HS Prannoy saved game points in both games to overcome a stiff challenge from Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama, eventually winning a gripping quarterfinal 25-23, 22-20 at the Malaysia Masters Super 500 in Kuala Lumpur.

The 29-year-old needed an hour, and some medical attention on his right foot, to get the better of the World No 14.

As they happened: Malaysia Masters Super 500 Quarterfinals

Both players started off the close match by staying within range of each other, as none managed to get a comfortable lead in the opening game. Tsuneyama though had game points when he lead 20-19, only for Prannoy to level the match and extend the game.

HS Prannoy: Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high

The hard-hitting World No 19 – part of India’s squad that won a historic Thomas Cup triumph earlier this year - then had game points of his own, eventually claiming the opener after converting his fourth game point opportunity.

Tsuneyama came back stronger in the second game, but Prannoy did not let him get too far ahead.

The Japanese though did have game point opportunities again, leading Prannoy 20-18, and looked sure to take the match into the decider. That’s when the Indian mixed shifted gears, showed remarkable consistency in his aggressive strokes, and won four points on the trot to secure the match.

He’ll next face eight seed Angus Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong, who beat World No 4 Tien Chen Chou of Chinese Taipei in their quarterfinal clash.

At this same competition 10 years ago, Prannoy had reached the quarterfinals. This time he’s gone one step further.

Earlier in the day, in the women’s singles contest, World No 2 Tai Tzu Ying extended her winning run over PV Sindhu to seven matches after winning their quarterfinal clash 21-13, 12-21, 21-12.

Tzu Ying boasted an enviable 16-5 head-to-head record over Sindhu, and had beaten the Indian in the quarterfinals of the Malaysia Open Super 750 event last week.

The first game was a cagey affair with neither player taking control of the game. Tzu Ying took a slender 11-9 lead at the mid-game interval in an evenly-matched contest.

However, the Chinese Taipei shuttler switched gears after the break, going on an eight-point run to blow Sindhu out of the game. The Indian reduced the deficit by two points before Tzu Ying closed the game 21-13 in 14 minutes.

Sindhu found her zone in the second game and raced to a an 11-4 lead at the mid-game break. Tzu Ying threatened to bridge the gap but the seven-point lead was big enough for Sindhu to win the second game 21-12 and force a decider for the 11th time in 22 meetings.

Sindhu had only won two of the 10 previous three-game matches between the two but she started strongly, roaring to a 7-3 lead.

A player of Tzu Ying’s quality needs just a momentary lapse in concentration from her opponent to fight back and Sindhu provided that opening.

The Indian misjudged two long shots which were called ‘in’ by millimetres, and though she challenged both calls, the referrals were unsuccessful.

A frustrated Sindhu trailed 9-11 at the mid-game interval and never really recovered. Tzu Ying dropped just three points after the break as she went on an eight-point run to win the third game 21-12 and book her spot in the semifinals.

The Chinese Taipei shuttler will play fourth seed Chen Yu Fei for a spot in the final.