Changzhou (China), Sep 17 (IANS) Indian duo Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy made an emphatic start to their campaign at the China Open World Tour Super 1000 tournament by defeating World No. 7 Indonesian pair of Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti in the first round of the mixed doubles event in Changzhou on Tuesday.
The Indian pair defeated the sixth-seeded pair 22-20, 17-21, 21-17 in a thrilling opening round clash that lasted for 50 minutes at the Olympic Sports Center Xincheng Gymnasium.
The World No. 7 pair so far had reached five finals, including the 2018 India Open, but they wilted under the relentless pressure created by Ashwini and Satwik.
The Indian pair was trailing 12-18 in the first game and looked on course for an exit from the competition. However, they made a remarkable comeback to erase the deficit and caught up at 20-20 and then sealed the opening game.
The Indonesian duo came back strongly in the second game as they showed their masterclass to roar back into the contest.
In the decider, the Indian duo jumped to a 4-2 lead initially and kept things under control, securing a 11-6 lead at the break. The sixth-seeded pair tried to make a comeback but the Indian duo didn’t let go of the lead and registered a famous win.
Ashwini and Satwik will next face Japan’s Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo — who defeated Ireland’s brother-and-sister combo of Sam Magee and Chloe Magee 21-9, 21-7 in their opening round clash.