NAGPUR: Chirag partnered with R Satwik Sai Raj of AP to win the men’s doubles crown in the All India Senior Ranking Badminton tournament which concluded at Cochin on Tuesday after practising with the former world No. 1 men’s doubles champion and former All England champion Mathias Boe of Denmark last week.
Boe, however was on his personal visit here and trained at Goregaon Sports Club for a week.
“Playing with Mathias did help me a lot. In fact, he is proving to be a lucky charm for me. Even if I practice 3-4 days with him before any tournament, I win that tournament,” a jubilant Chirag told TOI on Wednesday.
“Mathias is an experienced player. He is a truly world-class doubles player. I got to learn so many things just by watching him closely. Last week, he guided me on many occasions. If I made any mistake, he was there to point it out and correct it quickly. On court he is very fast and playing with him helps me sharpen my game. I was much more confident in Cochin after a brief stint with him,” said Chirag.
When TOI broke the news to Boe about Chirag’s victory in Cochin, he congratulated the promising lad. “That’s a great result for him. Chirag seems to be a natural doubles player and has an excellent future ahead of him,” said Boe from Denmark.
It has been a remarkable week for Chirag and his partner Satwik. For the first time in their career, Chirag and Satwik played together in a tournament. From qualification to championship, the pair of Chirag and Satwik created a history of sorts.
In five days, the teenage duo played eight matches, including three qualifiers, on their way to triumph. In the final, Chirag and Satwik outclassed Jishnu Sanyal and Shivam Sharma 21-17, 21-18. The unseeded pair of Chirag and Satwik caused three big upsets to clinch the title.
Chirag, aged 18, and Satwik at 15, became the youngest men’s doubles champions at a Senior All India tournament with their combined age of only 33 years.
Chirag and MR Arjun of Kerala are the reigning U-19 boys doubles champions. On the advice of national doubles coach Tan Kim Her of Malaysia, Chirag has now decided to play with Satwik.
“I am happy with win but I didn’t feel like celebrating much. Hopefully many more and much bigger ones are still left to be won. At Cochin we were individually stronger that’s why we managed to win despite playing for the first time. Our combination was okay but we both were better individually,” said Chirag.
Chirag Sen trains at the Uday Pawar badminton Academy, Goregaon Sports Club in Mumbai.
It is noteable that Chirag won the National U-19 boys doubles title after training with Boe few months ago.