Thailand Open: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa stun Olympic silver medalists to enter semis

Satwik Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa of India compete against Yong Kai Terry Hee and Jia Ying Crystal Wong of Singapore at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Getty Images

India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponappa stunned fifth seeds Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying in a hard-fought three-game contest to enter the mixed doubles semifinals of the Toyota Thailand Open badminton tournament on Friday.

The unseeded Indian pair toiled hard for one hour and 15 minutes to beat their world no. 7 Malaysian opponents 18-21 24-22 22-20 in a nail-bitting quarterfinal duel.

With this win, Rankireddy and Ponnappa became the first Indian doubles pair to reach the semis of a World Tour 1000 event. This was their third win against the Malaysian pair in five career meetings.

They had last faced each other in first round of the Thailand Open in 2019, when the Indian duo won 21-18, 18-21, 21-17. Rankireddy and Ponappa, who are ranked 36th in the world, will face top seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand in the semis. The world no. 3 ranked Thai pair have won both their previous matches against the Indians.

Later today, PV Sindhu will take on Thailand's fourth seed Ratchanok Intanon in the women's singles quarterfinals, while Sameer Verma will play third seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark in the men's singles last-eight round.

Rankireddy will then team up with Chirag Shetty to face Malaysia's Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi in the men's doubles quarterfinals.