Sathwiksairaj Rankireddy Biography: A Smash Champ Outclassing Even the Best Ones on the Badminton Court

6 min read
Image Source: Twitter

Grit and determination are the two virtues that perfectly define a sportsman. But we often forget another quality that makes a tremendous difference, coordination.  Playing alone and giving your best is easier than playing with a partner and ensuring that you both give your best. The quality of lifting others along with yourself, is what sets champions apart.

Today, we are discovering myriad aspects of one such champion. He is still very young and has a really long way to go. However, even before he turned an adult, he has immense maturity and humility. His team members and partners have always had kind words for this lad. Whether playing for India or in the Premier Badminton League, he has always given his very best and outclassed some of the best in the field.

We are talking about the emerging badminton champ, Sathwiksairaj Rankireddy!


Sathwiksairaj rankireddy


Full NameSathwiksairaj Rankireddy
Sport CategoryBadminton(Right-handed)
Birth Details13 August 2000 (Amalapuram, Andhra Pradesh)
CoachPullela Gopichand, Tan Kim Her
Highest Ranking18 (June 2018)
Current Ranking19 (November 2018)



How it all began

Sathwik’s father is a former state-level badminton player himself and his elder brother is also a badminton player. It isn’t surprising then that Sathwik decided to pursue the game.

His family has not only supported, but also encouraged his ambitions. He decided the train under the legend himself. In 2014, he joined the Pullela Gopichand Academy. Gopichand, the legendary badminton player himself, has shaped the careers of the best in Indian badminton. Training under him was the best thing that could have happened for Sathwik.

Sathwik decided to train as a doubles specialist and that turned out to be an excellent decision for him.

The Smash champ

In an interview with the Scroll, Sathwik explained how he developed his attacking style and how playing doubles are far more difficult than what most people think.

“There weren’t enough courts and there were 30-40 members, so we used to play only doubles on the courts. That’s why my strokes are all doubles strokes. I used to only smash, smash, smash”,  he said.

Sathwik also added, “It is tougher to play doubles because there needs to be a good understanding between partners, good communication and the right mindset.”

“In singles, you play alone, but in doubles, if your partner is not feeling good you will lose the match. Doubles is also a faster game and you need to play more rallies, more smashes. You need more brains and it’s a mind-game,” he added.

Sathwik sure has got both, brains and the brawl! His mindset is going to take him to places.

The Unbeatable Duo

sathwiksairaj with chirag shetty

Source: Sportskeeda

Chirag Shetty and Sathwiksairaj Rankireddy have become the dynamic duo of Indian badminton. Their pairing has turned out to be one of the most successful pairings in recent times. It wasn’t easy though.

Coming from diverse backgrounds, they took quite some time to actually get along. However, once they did, there’s no stopping them. Malaysian coach Tan Kim Her played a crucial role in bringing the pair together. In an interview with the Scroll, Sathwik shared his thoughts on the same.

Rankireddy said, “We also started staying in one room. Earlier we used to stay in different rooms. I used to go out with Telugu people a lot. Then I didn’t like to go out with North Indian guys. He used to eat everything, I used to eat only Indian food. So I used to go alone.”

He added, “Tan, our coach said that in Malaysia they do it this way. It is like the doubles players are like in a marriage.”

The coach has high expectations from her prodigies. “This year Satwik-Chirag pair made a breakthrough by reaching quarters. Next year they should play semifinals and in 2019 they should play finals. If there is no injury, Satwik-Chirag will win a medal in 2020 Olympics,” Kim told the Times of India after their stunning performance in the Superseries circuit.

In March 2018, the pair broke into the top 20 for the first time in their career. Tan’s arrival has definitely helped Sathwiksairaj and the entire doubles team. Their technique has developed by leaps and bounds.

The Journey

Sathwiksairaj first came into the limelight when he won the Tata Open India Challenge with Chirag. The pair went on to outclass former Olympic champion Markis Kido and his partner Hendra Gunawan to win the Vietnam Open International Challenge. This victory made them badminton sensations of India. Later, they qualified for the Glasgow World Championship.

Their performances at the Korea Open and the French Open were very commendable. They could reach the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Commonwealth Games 2018

India has produced numerous badminton legends. It is surprising then that we don’t have many team medals in the Commonwealth Games. This changed in 2018. At the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the Indian badminton team won the gold at the mixed event. Sathwiksairaj, with partner Ashwini Ponappa, smashed excellent shots to beat Malaysian opponents, Peng Soon Chang and Liu Ying Goh.

Satwik added another medal to his tally. He defeated, along with Chirag, Sri Lanka’s Buwaneka Goonethilleka to enter the finals of the men’s doubles event. The pair became the first Indians to do so. Unfortunately, they lost out to Ellis and Langridge from England in the finals. They had to settle with the silver eventually.

Premier Badminton League

Sathwik started his Premier Badminton League (PBL) career with Hyderabad Hunters. He was a part of the title-winning team of 2017. His unorthodox style and tremendous energy made him a quite popular in the team. Also, his versatility as doubles and mixed doubles player gave him an extra edge.


In 2018, Ahmedabad Smash Masters signed on Sathwiksairaj Rankireddy for a staggering amount of 52 lakh!

“Tell me one reason not to pick him up? In all the team strategies I have devised, he’s a key member. We were clear from the very beginning that we have to get him on board. He’s performed consistently on the international circuit and is a very effective player,” Ahmedabad coach Madhumita Bisht told the Indian Express.

Interesting Facts

  • Sathwik’s long-time dream is to own a luxury high-end car.
  • Sathwik wasn’t very excited to partner with Chirag Shetty initially. He used to play with Krishna Prasad, but Coach Tan changed their pairing. However, the reluctance soon turned into enthusiasm as the duo discovered how similar their playing styles are.

Sathwik has just turned 18 and has many more years to shape his career and reach heights. With his attacking mindset and cooperative stance, he is perhaps the best doubles player in the country. His sole focus on doubles has uplifted his game to tremendous heights. It will be very interesting to see his future progress.


Career Doubles


Career Mixed




Commonwealth Games

2018Gold Coast, AustraliaMixed TeamGold
2018Gold Coast, AustraliaMen’s DoublesSilver


Asia Team Championships

2016Hyderabad, IndiaMen’s TeamBronze


Social Media

Carolina Marin goofing around with PBL teammate Satwiksairaj

Sathwik with Sumeeth Reddy and Srikanth Kidambi at Gold Coast


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A passionate foodie, a versatile writer, and now a sports enthusiast, Mamta is always open to exploring new avenues. She has a vast experience in Web Content Writing, Editing, and Social Media Management. A self-confessed coffee and dark chocolate addict, she believes in following her heart and giving her 100% into everything she does.


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