Indian Men's singles shuttlers are continuing their impressive run at the highest level. Sai Praneeth and Kidambi Srikanth slayed big names in Singapore, Indonesia and Australia in the initial half of the 2017 season.
While the two shuttlers are resting ahead of August's World Championships, the trio of HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma and Parupalli Kashyap have taken over. They are also engaged in a tussle for a spot in the world meet.
The three shuttlers have reached the quarter-final of the ongoing Grand Prix Gold tournament in Anaheim, United States. And two of them -- Verma and Kashyap -- will be facing each other in Friday's last-eight round match.
Live scores can be followed on BWF's official website.
The all-Indian battle
Fifth seed Verma, who has missed a major part of the ongoing season already due to shoulder injury, is getting back to peak form.
The Indian shuttler, who won the Grand Prix Gold tournament at home in January beating Praneeth in the final, started his campaign with a straight game win over Vietnam's Hoang Nam Nguyen.
The 22-year-old went to on to beat lower-ranked Croation shuttler in a marathon three-game battle 21-19, 25-27, 21-15 on Thursday morning in the second round.
Verma took to court again on Thursday for his third-round match against Brazil's Ygor Celho. He survived another stiff test, this time coming back from behind 18-21, 21-14, 21-18 to book his quarter-final berth.
On the other hand, Kahsyap, who also has had his share of injuries in the ongoing season, was in top form on Thursday, winning both his second and third-round matches in straight games.
Friday's all-Indian semi-final will be a closely-fought affair. In their only meeting in the past at 2010 India Grand Prix, it was Kashyap who beat Verma in straight sets.
However, fifth seed Verma will be keen on continuing his good run in the ongoing tournament and a good show here might help the 2016 Hong Kong Superseries runner-up to join Praneeth and Srikanth at the World Championships.
Stiff test for Prannoy
Second seed Prannoy, who is also a firm favourite to be India's third representative at the world meet in Glasgow, will face eighth seed Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan in today's quarter-final.
Notably, the 24-year-old will be looking to the distance, especially after his early exit from last week's Canada Open. However, he faces a tricky test against Tsuneyama, who is fresh from his success at the said Grand Prix tournament.
Prannoy though will take confidence from his early-season wins over Olympic medallists Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long ahead of Friday's outing.
Schedule of Men's singles quarter-final involving Indian shuttlers
1. Sameer Verma  vs Parupalli Kashyap
Time: 5:45pm local, 6:15am IST [Saturday]
2. HS Prannoy  vs Kanta Tsuneyama 
Time: 7:15pm local, 7:45am IST [Saturday]