Pusarla has had her troubles with Pornpawee Chochuwong, with the Thai having won their last two encounters. Today however the Indian looked sharp throughout, and gave nothing away as she closed it out 21-14 21-18.
Up next will be a familiar opponent – Tai Tzu Ying – who she beat at the same stage of the last World Championships in the match of the tournament. Tai had her revenge in the semifinals of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics earlier this year, and will be looking to break her quarterfinals jinx at the Worlds.
“Very important to get back because I lost to her (Chochuwong) the last two times,” said Pusarla. “I had to be focussed from the first point. Tomorrow it’s against Tai. We’re playing after the Olympics, I just want to do my best because it’s going to be tough. People keep telling me I do well at World Championships and Olympics so I take it as a positive thing. I just don’t know why that happens, but that’s good.
“Tai is a tricky player and has very good skills so it’s not going to be easy. At times you won’t be able to anticipate her shots but you have to make sure you’re always in the match, making sure you take all the shots, and you have to be patient.
“The key is to pick all her shuttles, to keep it in the court. If I get a lead I should maintain it and finish it off.”
Tai had an inconsistent spell midway through her third round against Kirsty Gilmour, but gathered herself in time to avoid any mishaps, 21-10 19-21 21-11. The top seed had some of her usual magical moments but the second game went awry as she just couldn’t find the lines.
“Against Tai Tzu Ying you have to go all out, she plays a high-risk, high-reward kind of game, so you can’t really play safe because she makes you pay for that,” said Gilmour. “I managed to execute the tactics I discussed with my coach, so I’m happy about that. She makes life difficult for you. I’m happy that I pushed her that far.
“I plan to get some rest now. I won’t touch a racket for a week, ten days. Actually, I will play some fun games with the squad on Wednesday with a secret Santa and everything. We will have some down time. And then we’ll have a good training block in January.”