BANGKOK: After their historic win in Thomas Cup 2022 on Sunday, Indian shuttler Satwiksairaj Rankireddy lavished praise on his bond with Chirag Shetty.
Indian badminton team created history on Sunday as they lifted the Thomas Cup trophy for the very first time.
Satwiksairaj and Chirag Shetty then survived four match points to come back and snatch the win in the second game, 23-21.
"There should be a bond between the two partners. It's not easy to play doubles. You need to have a good relationship with your partner and understanding. Between me and Chirag I think, he is a really caring person and has been like my big brother. Our bond is very special," Satwiksairaj told ANI.
In what was India's first-ever appearance in the tournament finale, they defeated the record 14-time champions Indonesia in the Thomas Cup 2022 final at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand by 3-0 to lift the coveted trophy.
"It has been a tremendous journey. Like for last 10 days, we were in some trance while playing the tournament. It's a brilliant feeling. We have been to so many countries and so many tournaments but this is different and it feels so good," said the shuttler.
Satwiksairaj was also a part of the Team India's Tokyo Olympics contingent. However the iconoic pair of Satwik and Chirag could not qualify for the knockouts due to some difference in the points.
"Playing Olympics was a dream for me. Before playing my first match, I could not sleep. I was tears as I thinking about my journey from a small town to Olympics. I alsways wanted to play Olympics but actually going there and playing is a different thing," said Satwiksairaj.
"The matches we played there were one of the best we ever played. Unfortunately, we could not qualify but in the end it was a mixed feeling," he added.
No Indian team has previously reached the final of the Thomas and Uber Cup in its 70-plus year history. Indian men reached the Thomas Cup semi-finals in 1952, 1955 and 1979 while the women's team made it to the Uber Cup top-four in 2014 and 2016.
The Indian team, featuring Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty and others, have given a good account of themselves at this year's tournament.