India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty qualified for the men's doubles semifinals after registering a hard-fought win over qualifiers Choi Solgyu and Seo Seung Jae of Korea at the Thaliand Open here on Friday. The unseeded Indian combination fought valiantly for exactly an hour to get the better of their Korean rivals 21-17 17-21 21-19 in a quarterfinal duel.
The win was Rankireddy and Shetty's maiden win over the Korean pair.The 16th-ranked Indians will play against another Korean pair of Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol in the semifinals on Saturday.Later in the day, B Sai Praneeth will be up against seventh seed Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan in the men's singles quarterfinals, while Rankireddy will combine with Ashwini Ponnappa to play against third seed Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino of Japan in the last-eight round of the mixed doubles.
Meanwhile, the ace Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth crashed out of the Thailand Open after suffering forgettable defeats but B Sai Praneeth sailed into the quarterfinals of the men's singles here on Thursday. Seventh seed Saina, who returned to action after nearly two months, squandered a game advantage to lose 21-16 11-21 14-21 against unseeded Sayaka Takahashi of Japan in a women's singles second round duel that lasted 48 minutes.
In the absence of PV Sindhu, who withdrew in the last minute from the event, Saina's ouster marks the end of India's campaign in women's singles.Saina had earlier made last-minute withdrawals from Indonesia Open and last week's Japan Open because of injuries.
Later, fifth seed Srikanth too wasted a game's lead to bow out against less-fancied Khosit Phetpradab of Thailand 21-11 16-21 12-21 in the second round of the men's singles. To add to India's woes, unseeded Indian shuttlers Parupalli Kashyap and H S Prannoy too bowed out without a fight. While Kashyap was no match for third seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, losing 9-21 14-21 in just 33 minutes, Prannoy suffered a 17-21 10-21 defeat against sixth seed Kenta Nishimoto of Japan.
But Sai Praneeth, who reached the semifinals of Japan Open last week, continued his good form and stormed into the last-eight round with a comfortable 21-18 21-19 win over compatriot Shubhankar Dey.Sai Praneeth will be up against seventh seed Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan in the next round.
(With Inputs: PTI)