India were guaranteed at least two medals in the men's singles competition of the ongoing BWF World Badminton Championships after the Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen entered their maiden semi-finals of the marquee event on Friday.
However, defending champion PV Sindhu lost to familiar foe Tai Tzu Ying 21-17, 21-13 in the women's singles quarter-finals.
It would have been a massive achievement for Indian badminton had HS Prannoy won his quarterfinal duel against Kean Yew Loh of Singapore, but he surrendered 14-21 12-21 in just 43 minutes. Loh will face third seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark in the other men's singles semifinal.
But India are assured of at least a silver as Srikanth and Sen will face each other in the first semifinal on Saturday.
It turned out to be a historic day for Indian badminton as first Srikanth, seeded 12th in the tournament, defeated Mark Caljouw of the Netherlands 21-8, 21-7, a match that lasted just 26 minutes.
And then, the unseeded Sen fought his heart out to get the better of China's Zhao Jun Peng 21-15, 15-21, 22-20 in an enthralling three-game encounter lasting one hour and seven minutes.
The world number 14 Srikanth was ahead 11-5 at the first game's change of ends and from 14-8, he took seven straight points.
The second game was no different as Srikanth completely outplayed his opponent. From 4-3, it was Srikanth all the way as he zoomed to another seven straight points. Again, from 17-7, Srikanth won another four points on the trot to clinch victory.
In the women's singles match, Sindhu found it difficult to match Tai Tzu's speed, court coverage and drop shots as has been the case many times earlier though the Indian produced some fine cross-court smashes.
Sindhu, who also stumbled to many unforced errors during the match, was always playing a catch-up game. She managed to do that in the second game at one stage but lost steam later on.
The win extended the head-to-head record between the two top players to 15-5 in favour of the Chinese Taipei player.