India’s Kiran George continued his brilliant run at the Thailand Open Super 500 as he followed up his win over world No 9 Shi Yu Qi on Wednesday to down Malaysia Masters finalist from last week Weng Hong Yang on Thursday and reached the quarterfinals in Bangkok.

Joining him in the men’s singles quarterfinals is Lakshya Sen, who came up with one of his best performances of the year to down reigning All England champion Li Shi Feng in straight games 21-17, 21-15.

But elsewhere, there was disappointment for the Indian contingent as men’s doubles top seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty were knocked out in the round of 16 by former All England champions Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana. The Indonesians won 24-26, 21-11, 21-17.

Also bowing out were Ashmita Chaliha and Saina Nehwal, losing against fourth seed Carolina Marin and third seed He Bing Jiao respectively.

Back-to-back big wins for George

The headline once again belonged to George, Odisha Open Super 100 winner last year, who has reached the quarterfinals at a BWF World Tour Super 500 event for the first time.

In the round of 16, George defeated world No 26 Weng straight games 21-11, 21-19. The Indian, ranked 59th in the world, went from 12-10 to 21-11 on a superb run of points in the opening game to take the lead in the match. In the second game, a topsy-turvy affair, he trailed 10-11 at the mid-game interval. But from the break, he opened up a 15-12 lead before Weng fought back to close the gap down at 16-16. From 19-19, George pulled ahead to close the match out in 39 minutes.

On Wednesday, George had claimed the biggest win of his career yet after beating China’s world No 9 Yu Qi, also in straight games.

George will face Toma Junior Popov of France in the quarterfinal clash on Friday, after he defeated sixth seed Ng Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong. George had defeated Popov in their solitary meeting back in 2019.

Former champions of this event, Chirag and Satwik clinched the opening game in thrilling style, having missed out on five previous game point opportunities but also having to save three themselves. However the momentum swung decisively in favour of Fikri and Maulana in the second game, with the Indians struggling to control their errors, repeatedly finding the net. The third game too saw the Indonesians open up a big lead, going up 14-7 at one stage. While the Indians rallied back, and saved a few match points too in the end, the win was sealed comfortably by the world No 14 duo.

It was also the Indonesian pair’s first win against Chirag-Satwik with the Indians winning all their past three meetings.

Women’s singles interest came to an end when Nehwal bowed out in straight games 11-21, 14-21 against He Bing Jiao. The Chinese third seed, who had lost both her meetings against the Indian before this, took early control in the match, going up 11-3. While Nehwal improved as the match went on, it was never quite enough to catch up with He.

In the women’s singles round of 16 clash, Ashmita Chaliha also went down in straight games 18-21, 13-21 against former Olympic and World Champion Carolina Marin.

Big win for Sen

Sen took on a familiar foe in Li Shi Feng of China. The two have had some big matches against each other in their junior days with Sen notably losing the Youth Olympic Games final against Li. The Indian, who had a 3-2 in their overall H2H, made it 4-2 with a dominant showing. The start of the match saw Li power through Sen often, while the Indian tried to hang in there with his defence. But after the mid-game interval, where he trailed 8-11, Sen put on a superb run of seven straight points. And that was enough to hand him the lead.

Making the tactical adjustment to attack the world No 12 from the front-court with flat and fast drives, Sen, who has now slid to world No 23, continued to stay ahead and never lost the lead after 6-6 in the second game. The Indian punched his fists in the end and hugged his coach Anup Sridhar after what was an impressive win in an otherwise dull season so far on the BWF World Tour.

Sen will next take on Malaysia’s Leong Jun Hao (a qualifier) next. Leong, a former World Junior Championships silver medallist, came through qualification rounds and has defeated Sitthikom Thammasin and Christo Popov so far.

Here are the results for Indian shuttlers from Thursday: