Thailand Open: Sweet Bangkok Memories Power Top Seeds

Two of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty’s finest hours came in Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok.

The Indians bagged their first major title in 2019 at the Thailand Open and added what Rankireddy calls “the biggest achievement of our careers till date” – the Thomas Cup – three years later for their country.

The world No.3 men’s pair are now in another Bangkok showpiece match – the TOYOTA Thailand Open 2024 final – after cruising to it without dropping a game. In the 21-11 21-12 semifinal win over Chinese Taipei’s Lu Ming Che/Tang Kai Wei, they didn’t spend more than 35 minutes on court. Their lengthiest match all week was only three minutes longer.

Rankireddy/Shetty are keen to use the sweet experiences to extend their love affair with the country.

“We’ve always loved playing in Thailand. There’s a special bond – we won our first event here and also the Thomas Cup. Now one more final,” said Rankireddy. “My first medal at junior level was here as well. We have a lot of good memories and we want to add to it.”

Having won many prestigious titles in recent years and reached world No.1, Shetty looks back at their breakthrough in 2019 as the moment that lit something in them.

“(The impact) was immense,” said the 26-year-old. “Growing up watching greats like Ahsan/Setiawan, Boe/Mogensen and Lee Yong Dae do it, we had always dreamt of winning a SuperSeries. When we actually pulled it off, we couldn’t believe it.

“It’s an indescribable moment for both of us and then on, we’ve been able to believe in ourselves, that ‘yes, we can achieve great things together’.”

Rankireddy/Shetty’s 2019 crown remains India’s sole men’s doubles success in tournament history. Given the form they are in, and that their final opponents Chen Bo Yang/Liu Yi sit 26 places below them on the world rankings, many view the outcome as a foregone conclusion.

The Asian Games gold medallists are careful not to make the mistake which previously cost them.

“There’ll be a lot of expectations in India, they are hoping for big things but we don’t want to let that get to the head,” said Rankireddy. “We didn’t perform well in the past when we did that. It’s one step at a time.”

Results (Semifinals)

Order of play (Finals)


“I’ve just got to believe in my own ability. If you focus on your strengths, you hopefully get good results.” – Guo Xin Wa on making the finals of his last three tournaments with different partners

“I knew I needed to be patient and use my speedy attacks. I couldn’t keep it up towards the end but I told myself to keep going. The fans cheering made me fight harder.” – Supanida Katethong after saving a match point to beat second seed Wang Zhi Yi

“I have to accept he did better in the end. I may have lost but I learned what to improve on.” – Kunlavut Vitidsarn after Ng Ka Long Angus ended his reign

Guo and Chen Fang Hui in their match against Rinov Rivaldy/Pitha Haningtyas Mentari.

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