Guwahati (Assam): Top seed PV Sindhu staved off a gutsy fightback from Assam’s Ashmita Chaliha to enter the final at the 83rd Senior National Badminton Championships here in Guwahati on Friday.
The two-time champion had to claw her way back from 16-19 down in the second game and needed two match points to douse the challenge of the spirited fourth seed Chaliha 21-10, 22-20.
Egged on by the motley crowd, Chaliha drew level at 13-13 and jumped into a 17-14 lead against the Rio Olympic silver medallist before advancing to 19-16. However, Sindhu’s vast experience came in handy and she evened the score at 19-19 to have a match point at 20-19.
The resilient Chaliha was not done yet and she saved the first match point only to see her world number six opponent wrapped it up on her in 38 minutes.
In the other semi-final matches of the day, Rohan Kapoor and Kuhoo Garg lived up to their reputation as the top seeds in mixed doubles.
World number 46 pair needed only 32 minutes to dispatch Vighnesh Devlekar and Harika V 21-15, 21-16 to enter the final.
They will take on the unseeded duo of Manu Attri and Maneesha K, who continued their rampage with a fine 21-18, 21-17 win over Shlok Ramchandran and Mithula.
In women’s doubles, top seeds Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram continued their quest for the title with a strong 21-13, 21-16 victory over Kuhoo Garg and Anoushka Parikh.
They will take on the unseeded Shikha Gautam and Ashwini Bhat K in the summit clash after the latter edged Aparna Balan and Sruthi KP 21-19, 24-22.
Men’s doubles second seeds Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Chirag Shetty defeated Arun George and Sanyam Shukla 21-17, 21-18 to secure a place in the final.
Earlier in the day, defending champion Saina Nehwal and former winners Parupalli Kashyap and Sourabh Verma all emerged victorious in their respective quarter-finals.
The second-seeded Nehwal was hardly ever tested in her 21-10, 21-10 victory over Maharashtra’s veteran shuttler Neha Pandit and needed just 24 minutes to complete the match.
Kashyap, the men’s singles third seed and 2012 winner, too was equally impressive in his 21-18, 21-16 win over the 21-year-old Bodhit Joshi.
The two-time champion Sourabh Verma, unseeded this time, dropped a game but managed to dig deep to knock out the second seed and the 2014 champion Sai Praneeth 21-11, 21-23, 21-18 in an absorbing clash that needed 1 hour 2 minutes to finish.