Sindhu, Saina in final

BATTLING WIN: P V Sindhu en route to her win over Ashmita Chaliha in the semifinal of the National Badminton Championships in Guwahati on Friday. PTI

P V Sindhu and Saina Nehwal won their respective semifinals in contrasting fashion to set up a mouth-watering women's singles summit showdown at the 83rd Yonex-Sunrise Senior National Championship here on Saturday.

In a repeat of last edition's title clash at Nagpur, the two stalwarts will look to outdo each other and write another chapter in their on-field rivalry.

While Sindhu overcame the challenge of Assam's promising 19-year-old Ashmita Chaliha 21-10, 22-20 in the first semifinal, Saina got the better of Nagpur qualifier Vaishnavi Bhale, who was part of India's Uber Cup squad last year, 21-15, 21-14 to storm into the finals.

Saina had the last laugh against Sindhu in the last two encounters at the Nagpur Nationals in 2017 and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games gold-medal match last year.

While Saina has won the title in 2006, 2007 and 2018, Sindhu clinched the trophy twice, in 2011 and 2013.

"It will be just another match and I don't think it will help me for All England, I will just look to focus and give my best," Sindhu said about the final.

Two-time former champion Sourabh Verma, 26, sealed his spot in the men's singles final after beating Mumbai's Kaushal Dharmamer 21-14, 21-17 in 44 minutes. Sourabh will take on Lakshya Sen in the final after the youngster defeated veteran Parupalli Kashyap 21-15, 21-16 in the other semifinal.

Earlier in the day, former champions Saina, Kashyap and Sourabh advanced to the semifinals with contrasting wins.

Saina defeated Mumbai's Neha Pandit 21-10, 21-10 in a lop-sided quarterfinal contest.

Kashyap, the 2012 winner, prevailed 21-18 21-16 over Bodhit Joshi.

Both Saina and Kashyap had played their pre-quarterfinal match on Thursday night at the newly-laid wooden court of the TRP Indoor Stadium after refusing to play at the Assam Badminton Academy courts due to "uneven" surface.

Former World No 30 Sourabh eked out a hard-fought 21-11, 21-23, 21-18 win over B Sai Praneeth.

Sourabh grabbed seven straight points from 14-17 down in the decider against former Singapore Open champion Praneeth.

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. The World No 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 combine of Manu Attri and Maneesha K, who continued their rampage with a fine 21-18, 21-17 victory over Shlok Ramchandran and Mithula UK.

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 duo edged Aparna Balan and Sruthi KP 21-19, 24-22.

Men's doubles second seeds Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Chirag Shetty beat Arun George and Sanyam Shukla 21-17, 21-18 to secure a place in the final.

 

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Sindhu, Saina in final

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