Parupalli Kashyap stood just one win away from winning a historic gold after notching up an energy-sapping three-game victory over England's Rajiv Ouseph but PV Sindhu suffered a heart-breaking loss in the women's semifinal of the 20th Commonwealth Games here on Saturday. (Day 10 updates | Day 10 in pics)
World No. 22 Kashyap played out of his skin to avenge his loss to Ouseph, who had beaten him at the 2010 Delhi Games and also dumped him during the mixed team event at the Emirates Arena here. (Medal tally)
In a gruelling one hour and 23 minute match, Kashyap bounced back from a game down to edge out World No. 26 Ouseph 18-21 21-17, 21-18 and assure himself of at least a silver medal.
Kashyap will next take on the winner of the match between India's RMV Gurusaidutt and World No. 40 Derek Wong of Singapore in the summit clash on Sunday.
However, Sindhu, who is playing her first Commonwealth Games, could not go the distance in women's singles as she went down fighting to Michelle Li of Canada 22-20 22-20 in the last-four encounter.
This is her second defeat to Li at the Emirates Arena. Sindhu had lost to the Hong Kong-born shuttler during the Mixed team event.
The Hyderabad girl will meet the winner of Malaysia's Jing Yi Tee and Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour in the bronze medal contest.
For Delhi Games bronze medallist, Kashyap, it turned out to be a memorable day as he conjured up hopes of seeing an Indian male badminton player winning a gold medal for the first time in 32 years.
Prakash Padukone had won the men's singles gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Canada, which India retained through Syed Modi four years later.
It was a battle of attrition between Kashyap,27, and Ouseph as both the shuttlers engaged themselves in long energy-sapping rallies, with the longest having a total of 71 strokes.
It was, however, heartbreak for India in the women's singles with top seed Sindhu suffering a shock defeat to Chinese-origin Canadian Michelle in a fiercely fought semifinal match, which she lost 20-22 20-22 in 54 minutes.
The Indian made a bad start and then apparently lost concentration towards the end of the second game after taking a decent lead to lose the match.
Sindhu also had to endure a debatable line call in the first game, which the Indian protested to the umpire vehemently.
World number 11 Sindhu made a bad start as she trailed 3-8 and had to work hard to come back and tie the score at 8-8. But the world number 20 Canadian was a tough nut to crack as she matched her higher-ranked Indian opponent stroke for stroke.
It was a neck-and-neck battle in the first game and none of the two shuttlers could take a two-point lead. At 15-15, Michelle came up with a beautiful smash to take the lead but Sindhu replied immediately with another smash to tie the score again.
Sindhu was ahead at 18-17 but she made her long return to allow her opponent to tie the score. The Indian took a 19-18 lead but she failed to close out the game and allowed her opponent to take the next two points.
Sindhu could save one game point to take it to deuce but the Canadian won two straight points to go 1-0 up in the match.
In the second game, Sidhu took an early lead and she was 8-4 ahead and then 12-8 but from there she lost her way with the Chinese incessantly retrieving the shuttle while also making some fine smashes.
Sindhu was still in command at 18-15 but she could not close out the second game and lost three straight points, resulting in a 19-19 score. The Indian was the first to reach the game point but the Canadian kept her nerves at a crucial juncture and took the second game to deuce before taking another two straight points to win the match.