India’s HS Prannoy defeated Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke in straight games to reach the semifinals of the Indonesia Open Super 1000 at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta on Friday.

Prannoy, ranked 23, beat Gemke, ranked 13, in 40 minutes 21-14, 21-12 to advance and take a 3-2 lead in their career head-to-head.

The last time the 29-year-old made it to the semifinals at this event was in 2017, when he was promoted from reserves and he went on to beat Anthony Ginting, Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long in a row to reach semifinals before eventually losing to Kazumasa Sakai. Incidentally, Srikanth won the tournament that year and he is, till date, the only Indian apart from Saina Nehwal to win this prestigious event.

This time around too Prannoy defeated a higher-ranked player for the third time in a row this week in Jakarta, with wins against Lakshya Sen, Ng Ka Long Angus and now Gemke.

Prannoy will now face China’s unseeded Zhao Jun Peng for a spot in the final. It will be their first meeting, Zhao defeated Jonatan Christie earlier in the tournament. In the other half of the draw, Viktor Axelsen takes on Lee Zii Jia in an heavyweight battle.

As it happened: Prannoy reaches Indonesia Open Super 1000 semis by defeating Gemke

Prannoy started the match in strong fashion and raced to a 5-0 lead in quick time. He then led 8-2 before Gemke pulled things back, but the Indian managed to take a healthy 11-7 lead to the mid-game interval.

The commentator mentioned that the Dane has been struggling with a knee injury and he did seem to be a bit tentative on the court against Prannoy early on. Gemke tried to keep pace with the Indian in the opener but eventually the lead that Prannoy built at the start helped him take a one-game lead in the match.

However, the momentum Gemke built in the first game helped him put Prannoy under a little bit of pressure in the early stage of the second game. The score went to 8-all but that’s when Prannoy started to pull away.

Prannoy led 11-9 at the second-game interval before winning 11 of the next 14 points to seal the deal. His backhand flick from next to his toes at match point summed up how brilliant his performance had been.