In what was a rollercoaster battle that swung one way and the other, former World No 1 Srikanth Kidambi downed second seed Anders Antonsen at the Swiss Open Super 300 badminton tournament in Basel on Friday.

In a match that had more plot twists you could count on two hands, Srikanth saved a match point and triumphed against the World No 3 from Denmark 21-19 19-21 22-20 in a marathon that lasted 79 minutes to enter the semifinals.

Double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy also breezed into the semifinals with straight-game victories in their respective women and men singles events on Friday.

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Sindhu, seeded second in the tournament, extended her Head-to-Head advantage to 7-2 against fifth seed Michelle Li of Canada with a 21-10 21-19 win in 36 minutes.

Prannoy beat compatriot and former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Parupalli Kashyap 21-16 21-16 in a quarterfinal match that lasted 43 minutes. He will take on third seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the semifinals. The Indonesian had defeated another Indian Sameer Verma 21-17 21-14 in a quarterfinal match that lasted 39 minutes, showing the speed on court that he is renowned for.

Sindhu was in complete control in the opening game but the second game was a close affair with Li finding success with her drop shots. Sindhu still was in control with 14-9 lead before Li made a remarkable comeback to make it 16-16. The scores then went to 17-17, 18-18 and 19-19 but Sindhu controlled her errors and flicked a switch to play three superb rallies, one of them showing remarkable defence, to hold her nerves to grab it 21-19 and pocket the match.

Former world champion Sindhu will meet unseeded Supanida Katethong in the semifinals on Saturday. This is already their third meeting in 2022 with the left-hander from Thailand, ranked 29 currently, defeating Sindhu in New Delhi at the India Open before Sindhu got the better of her in the following week at Syed Modi Super 300. Both were three-game battles.

In the women’s doubles, the Indian pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy went down fighting to the Malaysian duo of Vivian Hoo and Chiew Sien Kim in the quarterfinals. The Indian pair lost 20-22 21-23 in 55 minutes.

In a late-night thriller, Antonsen’s progress was halted for the second straight tournament by an Indian shuttler. The World No 3, after his All England Open 2022 last 16 defeat against finalist Lakshya Sen, was knocked out in the quarterfinals in Basel. This time at the hands of seventh-seeded Srikanth and the three-game loss was the Dane’s first against Srikanth since the World Championships in 2017.

The match started off with a streak of points in the opening game for Srikanth and then Antonsen but the second half was a closer battle, just like the rest of the match. Srikanth took the lead, Antonsen then forced the decider. In the final game, Srikanth was trailing 7-13 before he launched a brilliant comeback to lead 18-15. But he was the first one to face a match point, which he saved before letting out a big roar with arms aloft at the end after one of his best recent wins.

According to Badminton Statistics, this was Srikanth’s first win against a top 5-player (at the time of the match) in a completed match since October 2017.

It will be an all-India vs Indonesia semifinal battle as Srikanth, winner of the Swiss title in 2015, takes on Jonatan Christie. The latter also toiled to a 79-minute 21-18 16-21 24-22 win over Frenchman Toma Junior Popov.

Prannoy is 1-1 in previous meetings against Christie while Srikanth has a 4-3 lead against Ginting.

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