Seldom has one result impacted so many fortunes as witnessed on the quarterfinal-day of the India Open badminton tournament here on Friday.
The straight-game loss of former World No. 1 Peter Gade, who vacated the fourth spot to Asian champion Chen Jin in the latest world rankings on Thursday, meant the Chinese firmed up a third entry into the Olympics men's singles draw.
Chen Jin pulls out
In the evening, Chen Jin cited a wrist injury and pulled out of the quarterfinals against P. Kashyap.
The walkover helped 30th ranked Kashyap pick up valuable ranking points, crucial for taking him past 27th-ranked Ajay Jayaram.
When the May 3 ranking will be considered for determining the qualifiers for Olympics, Kashyap will make the grade by virtue of being the highest-placed Indian in world rankings.
Since the rules allow three entries from one nation if they are ranked among the top-four, Chen Jin will join Lin Dan and Chen Long, ranked two and three, in the Olympics.
The doubles duo of G. Jwala and Ashwini Ponnappa also ensured a place in the Olympics despite losing their quarterfinals.
Jwala and Diju are also considered virtually through to the Olympics mixed doubles event.
The impact of Chen Jin's withdrawal pushed National champion P.V. Sindhu's gallant display into the background. She lost to World No. 8 Jiang Yanjiao in three games.
Sindhu, who will turn 17 in July, produced quality badminton to stretch the Chinese.
Sindhu's toss-and-drop game worked well in the first game until Jiang caught up at 17-all.
But Sindhu kept her cool to win four out of the next five points and took the game. In the second and third games, the superiority of Jiang at the net proved crucial.
Jiang will face compatriot Li Xuerui, who stopped Singapore's Juan Gu in straight games.
Juliane stuns Wang
In the other half, Germany's Juliane Schenk stunned top seed and World No. 3 Wang Shixian in three games and remained the only non-Chinese in the semifinals. This was Juliane's third victory in eight meetings with Shixian.
In the men's semifinals, Lee Chong Wei faces Hen Hao Hsu (Taipei) and Kashyap plays Wan Ho Shon (Korea).
After the men's singles action saw second-seeded Gade lose to Shon to whom he had beaten in all six previous meetings,
World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei dismissed former Olympic champion and seventh-seeded Indonesian Taufik Hidayat in straight games.
The results (Quarterfinals):
Men: Lee Chong Wei (Mas) bt Taufik Hidayat (Ina) 21-16, 21-13; Jen Hao Hsu (Tpe) bt Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (Den) 21-19, 21-18; P. Kashyap w/o Chen Jin (Chn); Wan Ho Shon (Kor) bt Peter Gade (Den) 24-22, 21-18.
Women: Juliane Schenk (Ger) bt Wang Shixian (Chn) 6-21, 21-10, 21-16; Xiao Jia Chen (Chn) bt Youn Joo Bae (Kor) 21-17, 21-13; Jiang Yangjiao (Chn) bt P.V. Sindhu 18-21, 21-12, 21-18; Li Xuerui (Chn) bt Juan Gu (Sin) 21-15, 21-11.
Men's doubles: Bodin Issara and Maneepong Jongjit (Tha) bt Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas 21-12, 21-12.
Women's doubles: Miyuki Maeda & Satoko Suetsuna (Jpn) bt G. Jwala & Ashwini Ponnappa 19-21, 21-13, 21-14.
Keywords: India Open