India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty qualified for the men's doubles semifinals but B Sai Praneeth crashed out of the men's singles event at the Thailand Open here on Friday. While Rankireddy and Shetty registered a hard-fought win over qualifiers Choi Solgyu and Seo Seung Jae of Korea, Sai Praneeth suffered a straight game defeat against seventh seed Kenta Tsuneyama of Japan. After posing some challenge in the first game, Sai Praneeth, who reached the semifinals of last week's Japan Open, surrendered 18-21 12-21 in the men's singles quarterfinals.
With Sai Praneeth's exit, Indian challenge has ended in the men's singles event.
However, the unseeded Indian combination of Rankireddy and Shetty fought valiantly for exactly an hour to get past the Korean rivals 21-17 17-21 21-19 in a quarterfinal duel. The win was Rankireddy and Shetty's maiden victory over the Korean pair.
The 16th-ranked Indians will take on another Korean combo of Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol in the semifinals on Saturday. However, it was curtains for Rankireddy in the quarterfinals of mixed doubles event as he and Ashwini Ponnappa lost in straight games to bow out of the tournament.
Rankireddy and Ponnappa were no match for third seeds Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino of Japan, losing 13-21 15-21 in a lopsided encounter that lasted just 28 minutes.
Earlier, Saina Nehwal was knocked out in the second round of the Thailand Open 2019 on Thursday as she lost to 17-year-old Sayaka Takahashi. Kidambi Srikanth crashed out after losing to Khosit Phetpradab 21-11, 16-21, 12-21 in the second round of the tournament but Sai Praneeth had sailed into the quarterfinals.