Indian women's badminton team assured itself of at least a bronze medal after notching up a comfortable 3-1 win over Thailand in the quarter-finals of the Thomas and Uber Cup in China on Thursday.
The Indian women's team had created history in the last edition when it clinched a historic bronze in New Delhi after losing to Japan in the semifinals.
On a day when India's top shuttler Saina Nehwal bit the dust against 2013 World Champion, Ratchanok Intanon in the first singles, P V Sindhu and the pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa took the responsibility on themselves and won the second singles and first doubles.
It was young shuttler Ruthvika Shivani Gadde, who sealed the win for India after she dished out a superb game to outclass Nitchaon Jindapol in the second singles.
"We thought we had less of a chance after Saina losing," said Shivani. "Our first step was to beat the Thai team... so we'll decide what to do (in the semis) now."
India is likely to take on China in the semi-finals on Friday.
"And we are through to the semis!!Woooohooooo! Way to go team! Great team work! Brilliant play Ruthvika," Ashwini wrote on her twitter page.
And we are through to the semis!!Woooohooooo! Way to go team!🏼 Great team work! Brilliant play Ruthvika🏼 pic.twitter.com/mCMhTYyTNy
— Ashwini Ponnappa (@P9Ashwini) May 19, 2016
Olympic bronze-medallist Saina started the proceedings but she could not breach the defence of World No. 2 Ratchanok, who notched up a 21-12 21-19 win over the Indian to give Thailand a 1-0 lead. It was World No. 8 Saina's fifth defeat to the Thai girl.
However, World No. 10 Sindhu brought India back in the hunt after registering a 21-18 21-7 win over Busanan Ongbumrungphan in the second singles which lasted 43 minutes at the Kunshan Sports Center Stadium.
In the first doubles, 2010 Commonwealth Games champions Jwala and Ashwini prevailed 21-19 21-12 over Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai in a 39-minute clash to make it 2-1 in India's favour.
Ruthvika was then given the responsibility of taking India home and the 19-year-old showed her prowess with a 21-18 21-16 win over World No. 25 Nitchaon in a 41-minute third singles to seal the victory for India.
The second doubles between Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai and N Sikki Reddy and Sindhu was thus rendered inconsequential.