Satwiksairaj and Chirag say they have the game to beat anyone in the world

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Chirag Shetty and R. Satwiksairaj are being tipped as medal hopes in men’s doubles at the Olympics, given the kind of reputation they have built up in the recent past with their attacking game.

What exactly does the World No.10 ranked pair think about the Olympics? “Mathias Boe’s smart training has been really beneficial to us. Short duration sessions, lesser breaks, more focused and not too hard sessions but really quality sessions,” said 20-year-old Satwiksairaj.

“Thanks to Boe, we are playing much better, more confidently. We will have to see how it shapes up in the Olympics. I feel the strong points are our attack. Definitely, we have changed our game a bit for the good. We will have to see how they work against the opponents. A very good communication channel between us is our strength,” he said.

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“Chirag plays a daring game even at crucial points, coming up mostly with winning points. He controls the game after 15 points,” Satwik said. “We are not thinking too much. We just want to give our best, changing the tactics as the situation demands and not inviting any sort of pressure.”

Lack of crowds

“Having no crowds is a disadvantage though we have played a few tournaments and got used to the new normal. It might be more mechanical now, playing like in any practice sessions,” said Satwik with a big smile.

For his part, 24-year-old Chirag said the emphasis initially was on physical strength before focussing on on-court training defence and shot selection as the Games approach.

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“Definitely, looking forward to the Olympics which will be different but we are going to take it like any other tournament,” he said. “Our strength is our attack which separates us from the others. If we are able to create as many opportunities to attack we will be playing at our best,” he said.

“I will be lying if I say there is no pressure on us. But, if both of us play at our best. I think we have the game to beat anyone in the world,” Chirag said.

“In the Olympics, anything can happen. No one has an upper hand. Even the World No. 1 or the No. 16 is equal. Whoever handles the pressure well will have an edge,” he concluded.

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