Defending champion Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty has pulled out of the India Open 2023 after the former pulled up a groin strain. The duo was scheduled to take on China’s Yu Chen Liu and Xuan Yi Ou in the second round of the tournament at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi.
The celebrated men’s Indian pair of Satwik-Chirag had earlier registered a straight-game win over Scotland’s Grimley twins in the first round of the tournament, beating them 21-13, 21-15. BAI notified about the shocking development via Twitter terming it "a sad moment".
“India's top men's doubles pair #SatChi has unfortunately pulled out of the tournament due to an injury. A sad moment for all of us!” the BAI tweeted on Thursday.
With Satwik-Chirag out of the competition, onus relies on Lakshya Sen (men’s singles) and Saina Nehwal (women’s singles) at the India Open. Krishna Prasad Garaga, and Vishnu Goud Panjala are another Indian men’s pair still in fray. The Indian duo will meet Liang Weiking and Wang Chang of China in the second round.
Earlier on Day 3, the minions had defeated Chinese pair of X Ren and Qiang Tang in a three-set thriller. Talking about Indian contingent, Lakshya crashed out of the India Open losing to Rasmus Genke of Denmark 21-16, 15-21, 18-21, while Saina Nehwal will take on Chen Yu Fei of China in their second rounds respectively.
In another shock, top-seeded Kidambi Srikanth was knocked out in the first round by World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen in straight games. The Danish star had cruised to a 21-14 win in the first game, but Srikanth made a brilliant comeback in the second, ensuring 14-6 lead at one point. However, a series of unforced errors eventually cost Srikanth, as the Indian bowed out of the tournament.