Double Olympic medallist P V Sindhu overcame a strong challenge from her Chinese rival Han Yue in a battle lasting more than an hour to book her semifinal berth in the Singapore Open Super 500 Tournament on Friday.
The World No. 7 found the going tough early in the first game as Han was clinical with her placement and drew the first blood, but the Indian bounced back strongly to win the second and seal the issue 17-21, 21-11, 21-19 in a contest lasting 62 minutes.
Sindhu now leads 3-0 against the Chinese on head-to-head.
This was Sindhu’s first semifinal entry since the Thailand Open in May and it remains to be seen if she is able to make it all the way in her last event before the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Sindhu will next face unseeded Saena Kawakami, the Japanese world No. 38 who caused an upset by eliminating sixth-seeded Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand 21-17, 21-19.
Two other Indians -- veteran Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy -- too are vying for a last-four berth in the tournament and will be in action later in the day.
The world No. 19 had it easy in the first game after racing to 11-9 in the interval as Sindhu struggled with her defence.
The Indian bounced back in the second and took a three-point lead in the mid-game interval.
Sindhu extended her lead with a perfect cross-court winner and clinched the second game with seven points on the trot.
It turned out to be a thriller in the end as Sindhu, who found herself in familiar territory trailing 8-11 and then 9-14 in the decider, produced some fine rallies.
Sindhu showed great resilience to come back and level it at 14-all with five points in a row.
It became 19-all before Sindhu sealed it in her favour.
Saina, Prannoy lose
Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal lost to Aya Ohori of Japan in three sets 13-21, 21-15, 20-22 in the quarterfinal match that lasted for an hour and three minutes.
In the men’s quarterfinals, Thomas Cup winner H S Prannoy was defeated by Japan’s Kodai Naraoka in yet another three set thriller 21-12, 14-21, 18-21.