Star India shuttlers P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth notched up comfortable victories but it was young Mumbai player Harsheel Dani who hogged the limelight at the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold when he stunned H S Prannoy in straight games to storm into the quarter-finals in Lucknow on Thursday.
Olympic silver medallist Sindhu took just 20 minutes to brush aside compatriot Lalita Dahiya 21-7, 21-12 to set up a clash with another Indian qualifier, bespectacled Vaidehi Choudhari, while defending champion Srikanth prevailed over fellow Indian Ansal Yadav 21-15, 21-16 in a 38-minute clash. He will face seventh seed Malaysian Zulfadli Zulkiffli next.
The highlight of the day was, however, the shocking loss of Swiss Open champion Prannoy, who suffered a 18-21, 18-21 defeat at the hands of 20-year-old Harsheel, seeded 15th.
Left-handed Harsheel, the runners-up of the 2015 Turkey International Open, had reached the quarters at the last edition also. He will next face 12th seeded Danish shuttler Emil Holst,.
Holst mauled India's Siddharth Pratap Singh 21-8, 21-11.
"I had defeated him once before. He is an attacking player and I am happy that I could beat him and defend my ranking points. My net game was not coming good in the tournament but today my strokes came good. I had injured my shoulder last year at Canada Open and so lost two months. Also I had my studies to attend. This year, I will play the Senior nationals and then go for Austria and Germany," Dani told PTI.
The Verma brothers -- Sameer and Sourabh -- also reached the quarters with straight game wins.
While Hong Kong Super Series finalist Sameer, seeded eighth, beat Malaysia's Wei Feng Chong, seeded 10th, 21-15, 21-16, Chinese Taipei Grand Prix Gold winner Sourabh, seeded 11th, beat compatriot Lakshya Sen 21-14, 21-16 in another match.
Sameer will next take on World No. 14 Denmark's Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, second seed, who defeated India's Abhishek Yelegar 21-18, 21-5, while Sourabh will face ninth seed B Sai Praneeth, who eked out a 21-17, 21-19 win over fifth seeded Anders Antonsen of Denmark.
In the women's singles, Polish Open winner Rituparna Das, who had joined Gopichand Academy after winning the under-13 Nationals in 2010, dispatched Russia's Ksenia Polikarpova, eighth seed, 21-12, 21-19 to set up a clash with fourth seed Fitriani Fitriani of Indonesia.
Another Indian Sri Krishna Priya Kudarvalli prevailed 23-21, 21-19 over Mugdha Agrey in another all-Indian clash to reach the quarters and will face Indonesian sixth seed Hanna Ramadini next. Among others, third seed Spaniard Beatriz Corrales, also reached the quarters.
In mixed doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and B Sumeeth Reddy defeated Rohan Kapoor and Sanjana Santosh 21-15, 21-18, while Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy beat Ketan Chahal and Mohita Sahdev 21-6, 21-15 to reach the quarters.
Among others, Denmark's top seed Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen, sixth seeds Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai of Malaysia, Singapore's third seed Yong Kai Terry Hee and Wei Han Tan, fifth seeds Mathias Christiansen and Sara Thygesen of Denmark and Russsian fourth seeds Evgenij Dremin and Evgenia Dimova also reached the quarters.
In the men's doubles, Rio Olympians and World No. 22, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, lost 15-21, 21-17, 17-21 to Malaysians Mohamad Arif Abdul Latif and Khim Wah Lim.
Denmark's top seed Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen set up a quarter-final clash with fifth seeded Indonesian-Malaysian combo of Hendra Setiawan and Boon Heong Tan after both the pairs won their respective matches.
In women's doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy defeated compatriots Dimpal Hazarika and Sanghamitra Saikia 21-7, 21-10 and will meet second seeded Malaysian Mei Kuan Chow and Lee Meng Yean next. Aparna Balan and Prajakta Sawant also made it to the quarters after a hard-fought win over Juhi Dewangan and Aakarshi Kashyap 21-13, 16-21, 21-11 in another match.
Image: PV Sindhu