Commonwealth Games champion P Kashyap advanced to the semi-finals of the Korea Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament after edging past Korea's Jeon Hyeok Jin in a three-game thriller in Jeju, Korea on Friday.
Kashyap, who is on a comeback trail after recovering his fitness following a long injury lay-off, defeated sixth seed Jin 18-21, 21-8, 21-16 in a nearly one-hour men's singles contest of the $120,000 event.
The London Olympics quarter-finalist will face Korean top seed Son Wan Ho in the last-four stage.
Kashyap blew a 9-5 and 11-8 lead at one stage to allow Jin make a comeback and draw parity at 11-11. The Korean then managed to move ahead to a 19-14 lead. The Indian narrowed down the gap to 18-19 but could not stop Jin from pocketing the opening game.
Kashyap found his mojo in the second game as he dished out a superlative performance to jump to a 6-1 lead early on and then surged to 10-3 and then to 15-8 lead. He then reeled off six straight points to win the second game and bounce back into the match.
In the decider, Jin changed gears and zoomed to a 9-3 lead but Kashyap showed tremendous grit as he crafted his way back to draw level at 11-11 and grab a 13-11 lead.
After a few tight rallies, it was the Indian who had the last laugh as he rode on a five-point burst to win the deciding game and seal the issue.
Kashyap said he was happy to have beaten a player who had reached the Australian Open Super Series final earlier this year.
"He is a good player, he reached the Australian Open final but then he had a break as he went for compulsory military training. He used to be in top 20," said Kashyap.
The shuttler from Hyderabad said that he decided to play more rallies in the second and third games and the strategy worked for him.
"I could play fast-paced rallies. The conditions were suitable to me. I could play my strokes. He has got a good defence and so I decided to play more rallies in the second and third game and it worked.
"Tomorrow it would be a tough match. We have played a few times and I have beaten him (Korea's top seed Son Wan Ho) twice, so hope to do well. I am feeling good about my rhythm in this event. I prepared well for this," said Kashyap.
Image: P Kashyap