Double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu and World Championships silver winner Kidambi Srikanth, progressed to the quarterfinals of the Swiss Open badminton tournament in Basel on Thursday.
Five Indian shuttlers will be in the singles last eight action on Friday. HS Prannoy and Parupalli Kashyap will face each other while Sameer Verma also entered the quarterfinals.
It was, however, the end of the road for third seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty. The Indians, who had defeated the newly crowned All England champs in round 1, lost 19-21 20-22 to another young Indonesian pairing of Pramudya Kusumawardana and Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob Rambitan in the men’s doubles.
Also progressing was the women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy, who got the better of local pair Aline Muller and Jenjira Stadelmann 21-15 21-16 in straight games.
Sindhu, a former world champion crowned at this venue, battled into the last 8 with an intense 21-19 21-14 win over Neslihan Yigit of Turkey. She was put under pressure in the opening game by the Turkish shuttler’s gritty rallying and what she felt was time wasting before serves.
The Indian lost her cool briefly in the latter stage of the opening game and was even trailing 16-18 but reeled off a run of points to close out the opener and start the second game and never looked back. Second seed Sindhu will square off against fifth seed Canada’s Michelle Li. The Indian has a 6-2 Head-to-Head but they haven’t met since 2019.
On Wednesday night, Sindhu had entered the second round with a 21-14 21-12 win over Denmark’s Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt.
Srikanth, earlier, staved off a spirited challenge from France’s young rising shuttler Christo Popov, ranked 60th, with a fighting 13-21 25-23 21-11 win in the Super 300 tournament.
Seventh seeded Srikanth will face second seeded Dane Anders Antonsen next. Antonsen leads 3-1 against Srikanth on H2H, having won their last three meetings.
Former top 10 player HS Prannoy started slowly but breezed past the closing stages against Finland’s Kalle Kolionen 19-21 21-13 21-9 to find a place in the quarters as did former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Parupalli Kashyap. Kashyap progressed to last eight after top seed and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen gave a walkover.
It will be a first meeting on tour since 2017 between good friends Prannoy and Kashyap.
Sameer Verma defeated Azerbaijan’s Ade Resky Dwicahyo 23-21 21-7 to book a place in a tough quarterfinal against third seed Anthony Ginting.
In the women’s singles, Ashmita Chaliha put up a superb fight before going down 18-21 20-22 to eighth seeded Scot Kirsty Gilmour in the second round. Gilmour, a top 20 player at 19 now, had to bring her A-game at the end of the second game to prevent a decider. The first game was at 18-18, while the second game was at 19-19 and 20-20 and the Indian youngster will look back on it as a chance missed to produce a big upset.
Saina Nehwal later went down against Kisona Selvaduray of Malaysia (world No 64) 17-21 21-13 21-13 in a 55-minute encounter. The Indian took the opening game but the Malaysian fought back to win in three games and prevent a possible semifinal between Sindhu and Saina.