Satwik Is Like Ice And I Am The Fire, Says Chirag | Surat News – Times of India

SURAT: “We are like ice and fire. Satwik is the ice and I’m the fire”, said Chirag Shetty of the famed Indian badminton doubles pairing of Chirag and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, who had a sensational 2022.
During the year, they won the India Open Super 500 series title, helped fashion country’s historic Thomas Cup victory, won the men’s doubles gold at the CWG in Birmingham before becoming the first Indian men’s doubles combination to clinch a momentous World Championships medal – a bronze.
Chirag, who represented Maharashtra in the mixed team event here at the National Games Gujarat, said that the duo has set a target of breaking into the top-5 in the world ranking. The Indians are presently ranked eighth.
“Our next target is to get into the top-five in the world ranking. That is tough. We need to consistently play well and also need to play a lot of tournaments. Our aim is also to be injury-free too,” said Chirag.
Though Maharashtra lost 2-3 against the eventual champions Telangana, Chirag and partner Ritika Thaker secured a hard-fought win over P Vishnuvardhan Goud and Gayatri Gopichand in the mixed doubles tie.
Speaking about the bond the two enjoy on the international stage, the Mumbaikar said, “Satwik is the ice and I’m the fire. One has to be a calming partner and Satwik has donned that role magnificently. He never gets upset and never shows anger even when I make an error. That is what a good partnership is. He is a smiling assassin. Usually, after big victories he dances on the court. He is animated in tight games, but he does it in his own style.”
Chirag is also happy that doubles has started getting attention in the country. “Now people follow our game. There are a lot of expectations now. You can’t win every match, though. It is good in a way that we are being recognised. In the past, the singles players hogged the limelight but now with Satwik and I winning matches, doubles has started getting the attention in the country.”
Chirag said the biggest change Indian badminton has witnessed over the years is that the players have become more “fearless and aggressive”. “That aggression was missing a little in the past, especially in the team event. The first time I played in the Thomas Cup we ended up fourth in the group stage in 2016. But now it is different. There is a lot of bonhomie and team spirit. That is very important as a team. There is a lot of difference attitude wise. We play more fearless badminton because each one of us is extremely aggressive.”

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