Seasoned campaigner Parupalli Kashyap, Sameer Verma and Olympic champion Carolina Marin chalked out thrilling three-game wins to enter the quarterfinals of the Yonex-Sunrise India Open badminton tournament, at the Siri Fort Complex, New Delhi on Thursday.
In one of the longest matches of the tournament that lasted one hour and 23 minutes, Marin overcame a scare from Chinese teenager Gao Fangjie to make it the last eight.
She had to use all her experience to down the China Open runner-up 15-21, 21-15, 21-11.
Marin’s opponent in the quarterfinals will be sixth seed Cheung Ngan Yi of Hong Kong who handed a 21-4, 21-7 drubbing to Thailand’s Thamolwan Poopradubsil.
Earlier, the doughty Sameer Verma upstaged former World No. 3 Tommy Sugiarto 21-18, 19-21, 21-17 in a grueling battle that went on for one hour and 20 minutes.
Qualifier Shreyansh Jaiswal too put in a spirited display to stretch Parupalli Kashyap before bowing out 21-19, 19-21, 21-12.
Kashyap will face Qiao Bin in the quarterfinals, with the Chinese having defeated qualifier Kartikey Gulshan Kumar 21-7, 21-3.
Meanwhile, in the mixed doubles, the Indian pair of young Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and the experienced Ashwini Ponnappa stunned third seeds Tan Kian Menga and Lai Pei Jing of Malaysia 21-16, 15-21, 23-21 in a humdinger that lasted more than an hour.
It was the first time that the Indian duo was entering the quarterfinals of a Super Series event since they teamed up 10 months ago.
Terming it as an ‘important victory’ for their partnership, Ashwini said, “it was a crazy finish. We really wanted to win this as we were leading (in the match). I’m really happy it went our way.”
They will take on fifth seeds Mathias Christiansen/Christinna Pedersen of Denmark who downed the Indians Rohan Kapoor and Kuhoo Garg (Ind) 21-10, 21-11.
Eighth seeded Indian duo of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N. Sikki Reddy also entered the quarterfinals after seeing off Malaysian-Indian pair of Yogendran Khrishnan and Prajakta Sawant 21-10, 21-19 in 32 minutes.
Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy too progressed to the last eight stage with a 21-11, 21-15 win over compatriots Tushar Sharma and Chandrabhusan Tripathi.
Earlier, unheralded Mugdha Agrey’s campaign ended with a 12-21, 16-21 loss against fifth seeded Beiwen Zhang of USA, while eighth seeded Spaniard Beatriz Corrales ended Ruthvika Shivani Gadde’s run with a 21-19 21-16 win.