India's up-and-coming shuttler P V Sindhu came up with a brilliant performance to shock defending champion Yihan Wang of China and join Saina Nehwal in the women's singles quarter-finals at the World Badminton Championships, at the Tianhe Indoor stadium in Guangzhou, China, on Thursday.
Parupalli Kashyap also kept the Indian flag flying in the men’s singles, scoring an upset 21-13, 21-16 victory over world No 6 Yun Hu of Hong Kong, in 37 minutes, to also make it to the last eight stage.
Sindhu, ranked 12th, needed 55 minutes to send the world No 5 and London Olympics silver medallist packing. Her 21-18, 23-21 victory is the biggest upset of the tournament thus far.
Third seed Saina had earlier beaten Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thialand 18-21, 21-16 21-14 in 52 minutes.
Sindhu was engaged in a neck and neck battle with the second seeded till 8-8 before opening up a 12-9 lead.
But the experienced Chinese drew abreast at 16-16.
However, Sindhu, seeded 10th, won two straight points and forged ahead. She maintained the lead and allowed her opponent just two more points to take the first game at 21-18.
However, the Chinese dug deep into her vast experience and saved as many as three match-points to level the score at 20-20 and forge ahead at 21-20.
The Hyderabad lass, however, maintained her composure to save the match-point and score two crucial points and seal the issue.
She will take on world No 8 Shixian Wang of China next.
Kashyap hit 16 clear winners as compared to just nine by his opponent from Hong Kong. He took early control, opening up a 14-7 lead in the first game, before wrapping it up 21-13.
The second game also saw Hu at the receiving end as Kashyap raced away to 14-7. Hu pocketed four consecutive points to reduce the gap to 11-14 and then levelled 15-15, but ran out of steam as Kashyap allowed him just a solitary point more before wrapping up the match.
Kashyap will meet world No 3 Pengyu Du in the quarter-finals.
Earlier, Saina rallied from a game down to beat 15th seed Buranaprasertsuk 18-21, 21-16, 21-14 in 52 minutes.
With this victory, she also maintained her all-win record against Buranaprasertsuk, having beaten her in five previous encounters.
Saina's most recent victory over Buranaprasertsuk was last year at the Thailand Open.
She will next take on the winner of the other pre-quarter-final between Sayaka Takahashi of Japan and Korea's Yeon Ju Bae, who is seeded 13th.
Buranaprasertsuk started off strongly and surprised the Indian with better command over smash winners, sending down 11 of them in the first game.
But Saina regained her composure pretty quickly and roared back in the second game with nine of her trademark smash winners.
She kept up the pressure in the deciding game as well to emerge triumphant after the initial scare.
Image: P V Sindhu