Basel (Switzerland): Top Indian singles players Kidambi Srikanth, World Championships silver medallist, and H.S Prannoy advanced to the quarter-finals with hard-fought wins while Parupalli Kashyap too made it after World No 1 and Olympic Champion Viktor Axelsen gave a walkover in the Swiss Open badminton championship here on Thursday.
World N.o 12 Srikanth, seeded 7th here, got the better of Christo Popov of France in three games, fighting back after losing the first game to win 13-21, 25-23, 21-11. Prannoy too came back from a game down to overcome Kalle Koljonen of Finland, winning 19-21, 21-13, 21-9 in four minutes less than an hour in the USD 180,000 prize money event at St. Jakobshalle, Basel.
With Kashyap too reaching the last-eight stage, India are assured of a place in the semi-finals as Kashyap, the former Commonwealth Games medallist, is set to meet Prannoy in the quarter-finals.
Former World Champion PV Sindhu, the second seed here, too advanced to the women’s singles quarterfinals by beating Yigit Neslihan of Turkey 21-19, 21-14 in 42 minutes.
Young Indian shuttler Ashmita Chaliha exited the event, losing 18-21, 20-22 in a hard-fought encounter to eighth-seed Kirsty Gilmour of Scotland.
India’s top men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, the third seeds, were upset by Pramudya Kusumawardana and Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob Rambitan of Indonesia in a pre-quarterfinal clash, losing 19-21, 20-22 after their attempt to fight back in the game were thwarted by their rivals.
Srikanth fell behind in the first game as Popov surged ahead from 2-2 to 4-2 and then to 11-4 to take a big lead. The 29-year-old ranked 12th in the World, fought back to reduce the score to 8-11. But the French shuttler could not be denied as he kept winning points to win the first game 21-13.
In the second game. Srikanth fought valiantly with his French rival as scores went neck-and-neck as the lead changed hands many times before eventually winning it 25-23 saving two game points.
In the third game, Srikanth took lead from 3-3 to 11-9 before surging ahead to an 18-9 lead and eventually won it 21-11 to win the match in one hour and 13 minutes.