Singapore: Teen sensation P V Sindhu entered the quarterfinals with a victory in women's singles but it was young Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth, who created a flutter at the USD 300,000 Singapore Super Series, with a stunning win over world number 10 Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam here on Thursday.
Another Indian youngster, Sai Praneeth B, also made the last eight stage by registering a straight-game win over Zi Liang Derek Wong of Singapore.
The 18-year-old Sindhu, who won the Malaysia Open and Macau Open last year besides the prestigious World Championship bronze, prevailed over Japan's Shizuka Uchida 21-17, 17-21, 21-16 in a women's singles match. The Indian will next take on World No. 3 Yihan Wang on Friday.
After three first-round exits in the All England, Swiss Open and India Super Series, Srikanth finally found his form back as he notched up an upset 18-21 21-15 21-8 win over the World Championships bronze medallist.
Thailand Open champion, Srikanth, who was the finalist at the India Grand Prix Gold earlier this year, will next take on Hong Kong's Yun Hu in the quarterfinals tomorrow. The Indian has a 1-0 record against Hu, having beaten him at the Maybank Malaysia Open early in the season.
World number 50 Sai Praneeth gave a good account of himself as he managed to prevail over his opponent from Singapore, ranked 43rd, 24-22 21-19 in a match that lasted 39 minutes. He will be up against world no. 7 Chinese Du Pengyu in the quarterfinals.
Du Pengyu, earlier today, had posted a hard-fought win over India's H S Prannoy 21-17 18-21 21-12 in an hour and six-minute battle.
Meanwhile, it was also curtains for P C Thulasi, who lost to world number two Chinese Yihan Wang 19-21 7-21 in 35 minutes in a second round women's singles match.
In the men's doubles competition, Alwin Franchis and Arun Vishnu were humbled by the top seeded Indonesian combo of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan 21-17 24-22.
Another Indian pair of Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan, too, failed to cross the second round hurdle, as they went down fighting 21-23 17-21 to Gideon Markus Fernaldi and Rizki Amelia Pradipta of Indonesia in the mixed doubles event.
In the women's singles competition, Sindhu was 11-10 ahead at the first interval and seh kept the pressure on the world number 113 Shizuka even after the break, moving from 14-10 to 19-14 to pcoket the gameIn the second game, Uchida turned the tables after an early fight to lead 11-8, but Sindhu clawed back at 13-13. The Japanese, however, was not yet done as she again drew parity at 16-16 and reeled off four points to take the match to the decider.
In the decider, Sindhu led 15-11 midway. But Uchida brought down the lead to 16-18 before Sindhu marched away with the remaining three points to seal the issue.
Earlier, Srikanth was a little rusty to start with, but he fought back from 6-14 to draw level at 16-16 and moved neck and neck till 18-18. But the Vietnamese soon reeled off three points to earn the bragging rights.
In the second game, Srikanth started troubling Tien and opened up a 8-5 lead after an initial battle. Tien soon clawed back with three points, but the Indian managed to keep his rival at bay and slowly carved his way back into the contest.
Getting back his confidence, Srikanth was at his dominating self in the decider and moved into the interval with a massive 11-3 lead.
After the break, Srikanth kept the pressure on his higher-ranked rival and reeled off four points to move to 16-6 before closing the door on Tien with a five-point burst from 17-8 to cruise into the quarterfinals.
The match between Sai Praneeth and Wong was a neck-and-neck battle in the opening round, while the second game saw the Indian coming back from behind to seal the issue.
Sai Praneeth won seven game points as compared to just one by his rival.
Prannoy also had his chances in the three-game thriller that lasted for one hour and 16 minutes.
In the first game, Pengyu opened up a slender 5-2 lead early, but Prannoy brilliantly fought back to grab a three-point advantage at 10-7 and 15-12. However, Pengyu clawed back at 16-16 and then broke off to eventually stay ahead of the Indian.
Pengyu gained early advantage in the second game, too, but the lanky Indian shuttler didn't allow the Chinese to walk away this time as he turned the tables with a four-point burst from 9-11 and then kept pressing for points to finally roar back into contest.
In the deciding game, Prannoy led 3-0 initially, but Pengyu bounced back to lead 11-10 at the interval. After the breather, the Chinese dug deep into his reservoirs to extend the gap and held his fort to eventually edge out the Indian....