French Open: Trust Builds the Bond

Like other top pairs faced with setbacks during a match, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have the confidence and ability to figure their way out of problems. Then there’s the trust. That’s the unseen ingredient that contributes to their results.

Their quarterfinal at the YONEX French Open 2024 offered the latest sample. Although they trailed at the beginning against Supak Jomkoh and Kittinupong Kedren, there was no sense of vulnerability. Almost inevitably, they slashed the deficit, and once they had the opening game in the bag, they rolled on. They are now one win away from making their fourth final in a row.

“On the court we play an attacking game, but off the court too we are good friends, and that helps us off court too,” said Shetty.

“We trust each other,” stated Rankireddy. “At crucial times, I trust him and he trusts me, that I’m there to cover up for him, and he’s there for me. So that helps us keep an easy mind. Let Chirag do a perfect serve, then (I’m confident) we’ll catch it. If the shuttle comes to me I’ll do my duty.

“We weren’t playing our A game. They came out all-attack, but once we adjusted, we just played our game. We knew we had more experience than them. Chirag was serving, and I was a lot more confident from the back court.”

Ohori Surprised by Tai’s Speed

Japan’s Aya Ohori.

Aya Ohori was one of the few players to beat Tai Tzu Ying over the last year. The world No.13 had beaten Tai in the Asian Games quarterfinals and nearly repeated that feat at the last French Open.

Going into their quarterfinal today, the Japanese did harbour hopes of repeating her performance. As it turned out, Ohori was in the contest until 17-all in the first, after which the match swiftly slipped her grasp, with Tai pulling away 21-17 21-10.

“Tai’s skills have always been better than mine but the last two times, I could compete on speed,” said Ohori. “But this time she was playing at higher speed. I can only beat her physically or in speed. Today, in both skill and speed she was better than me. I was wondering what I could do.

“I felt I had my chances at 17-all in the first game, but my legs just stopped moving at that point.”



“Physically I was fine. I’m doing well after coming back from injury. There were long matches and I could sustain. There’s a lot to learn, I’m happy I’m back on track. I wanted to see where I was. There’s a lot to learn and move forward.” – Pusarla V Sindhu after falling to Chen Yu Fei

“I need to learn about the conditions in the stadium and how to control the shuttle. The drift changes every day. Some sides are difficult to control. Everyone is finding it challenging. Today was a pressure game, and I could control things better than yesterday. I’m very happy with my condition.” – Kunlavut Vitidsarn after beating Wang Tzu Wei 

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