Bangkok, Jun 11 : Top seed Saina Nehwal of India crashed out in the quarterfinals of the Thailand Open against last year's Asian champion Li Xuerui on Friday, but her compatriot Sourabh Verma nearly pulled the plug on third seeded Korean Park Sung Hwan.
The Indian challenge ended with Verma's loss, as Saina and P Kashyap had both crashed out to Chinese opponents earlier.
Saina would be disappointed as she went down without much of a fight, losing 21-13 21-12 to Xuerui, who won the Asian Championships in New Delhi last year.
Kashyap, too, fell in straight games to top seed Chen Long, losing 21-18 21-5. Sourabh Verma, on the other hand, played brilliantly against former Asian champion Park, even taking the first game. The second game was tight, but Park broke away from 8-all and kept his lead to equalise.
The third game was close in the early stages, and Park had to use all his experience to seal the victory.
What made Verma's performance creditable was that this was his fourth straight three-game match. He had earlier beaten Andre Tedjono (Indonesia), Jen Hao Hsu (Taipei) and Kuan Beng Hong (Malaysia), all in three-game battles.
Following his India Open Super Series performance, where he reached the quarterfinals, Sourabh has overshadowed most of his other compatriots.
Xuerui will meet Porntip B of Thailand in the semifinals, while second seedJiang Yanjiao (China) will take on No.6 seed Cheng Shao Chieh of Taipei.
In the men's singles, Chen Long faces Park, while Chen Jin will meet either young compatriot Wang Zhengming or sixth seed Korean Lee Hyun Il.
Results: Quarterfinals: Women's singles: 7-Li Xuerui (Chn) bt 1-Saina Nehwal 21-13 21-12; Men's singles: 1-Chen Long (Chn) bt P Kashyap 21-18 21-5; 3-Park Sung Hwan (Kor) bt Sourabh Verma 16-21 21-16 21-11