B Sai Praneeth would have fancied his chances of upsetting Kidambi Srikanth once the score was level at 19-19 in the final game of their quarter-final. Praneeth just needed to answer Srikanth’s consistent returns. But that is when Praneeth lapsed.

Srikanth stroke was on the downward path when Praneeth withdrew from his shot, thinking it would fall outside. But it fell within the lines and gave Srikanth the match point.

The former world no. 1 then wrapped up the match 21-23, 21-11, 21-19 and enter the semi-final at the India Open Super 500 tournament on Friday.

This will be Srikanth’s first semi-final in over five months since the Denmark Open in October last year. The world number seven was relieved that he got a win over his compatriot despite being pushed to three games.

But more than that, he was happy that he was able to play three-game match twice in three days.

“I had a slight advantage today as I had a straight-sets win in the last round while Praneeth had to stretch it out,” Srikanth said. “But I am happy to pull out three-setters again.”

It was a comeback of sorts in all three games from the top ranked Indian. He was trailing 17-20 in the first game before losing it and then had to recover from a 1-7 deficit to lead 8-7 and turn around the second game on it’s head.

“I think it was the turning point,” he said. “When it was 1-1, I gave him three-four easy and one stroke points. I just thought to build a rally and fight for every point. And I think at that moment, I really got 4-5 easy points and that changed things.”

Throughout the match, Srikanth just kept the game simple, trying to return the smashes and not push himself. In contrast, Praneeth tried too hard.

On the adjacent court, Parupalli Kashyap continued his winning streak and entered the semi-final after beating Wang Tzu Wei 21-16 21-11.

Still trying to reach his peak, Kashyap was quick to read Wang’s game. He made sure that he attacked more than the Chinese Taipei player and when it mattered, finished at the first opening he got.

“There’s this one shot he would play very good, and if I can retrieve, he will play a good push. So he has a good one-two. But if you can take those shots, you can attack. If you play a passive game, he will keep doing that,” Kashyap said.

He will be playing his first semi-final of an super series/world tour 500 event since 2015 Singapore Open. Now, he wants to go past that barrier as well.

But that won’t be an easy job as he faces top seed Viktor Axelsen who defeated HS Prannoy in the other quarter-final. Despite Prannoy’s sparks of brilliance, Axelsen dominanted the proceedings to win 21-10, 21-16.

In the women’s singles event, India’s PV Sindhu was pushed by Mia Blichfeldt but scraped through to a 21-19, 22-20 to enter the semi-final in which she will face He Bingjiao of China.

Bingjiao got the better of Beiwen Zhang of USA 21-19, 26-24.

But it was a disappointing end to India’s women’s doubles campaign as the pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy went down to top seeded pair of Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu 21-10, 21-18.

In men’s doubles, the pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy defeated Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Shivam Sharma 21-10 21-12 to reach the semi-finals.