India's Parupalli Kashyap entered his maiden quarterfinals in a Super Series Premier event stunning top seed Chen Long of China in the Indonesia Open badminton tournament on Thursday. His compatriot Saina Nehwal also overcame a spirited challenge from Indonesian Aprilla Yuswandari to make the last eight stage in the women's singles.
Kashyap, ranked 26th, outplayed Chen 21-17, 21-14 in 45 minutes of sensational badminton for his first win over the World No.3.
Saina expectedly made the last eight stage beating Yuswandari 21-17, 14-21, 21-13 in the second round.
Kashyap, who qualified for the London Olympics ahead of Ajay Jayaram, was consistent with his smashes and net play against the 2010 Asian Games gold medallist.
The Hyderabadi was able to come back after trailing initially in both the games. Chen, on the other hand, looked tired towards the end and hit a forehand wide for probably the biggest win of Kashyap's career.
"He played consistent and was aggressive when he needed to be. I was particularly impressed with his net play," national coach Pullela Gopichand, who is here with the Indian contingent, told IANS.
Asked if he planned anything different for Kashyap before the match, Gopichand said: "Not really to be honest. We keep changing the strategy from time to time. He kept the shuttle in play just for the right time and it paid off against a top-player."
Kashyap has got to the quarterfinals of the Premier tournament series for the first time. Korea Open, All England Championships, Denmark Open and China Open are the other Super Series Premier events on the calendar.
In April, he had made the semifinals of India Open which was only a Super Series tournament.
Kashyap next faces 16th-ranked Dane Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, who got the better of Chinese Taipei's Hyun Il Lee 22-10, 21-11.
India's top-ranked men's player at No.23, Jayaram lost his second round match to Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka of Indonesia 15-21, 14-21.
Earlier in the day, Saina got past the 46th ranked Yuswandari in 59 minutes. The World NO.5 next plays higher-ranked Chinese Shixian Wang, who beat Singapore's Juan Gu 21-12, 21-11.
Saina, who won the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold event Sunday, will go into Friday's match with confidence. She leads Shixian 2-1 in their head-to-head record and most recently beat the World No.4 in straight games to win the Swiss Open in March.
P.V. Sindhu, however, lost to Germany's Juliane Schenk 21-14, 21-14.