Second seed Abhinn Shyam Gupta of PSCB stormed into the final of the 66th Syed Modi Memorial Senior National Badminton Championship defeating seventh seed Nikhil Kanitkar, also of PSCB, in a gruelling five-game encounter here today.
Gupta, who is now the favourite for the title after the exit of top seed Chetan Anand, overcame a determined Kanitkar 7-5, 3-7, 5-7, 7-3, 7-6 in a match that lasted over 75 minutes.
Much to the cheer of the capacity crowd at the K D Singh Babu Stadium, Gupta rallied superbly after conceding two games in a row. Kanitkar had opportunities in the final game and at one stage he led 6-4 but lost valuable points at crucial junctures and allowed Gupta to dominate.
In the other semi-final, fourth seed Arvind Bhatt of Karnataka knocked out fifth seed Ravindra Singh of Uttar Pradesh 7-1, 7-5, 7-1 in a rather one-sided match. Ravinder Singh, who had generated a lot of hype after his performance yesterday when he ousted Chetan Anand, could not repeat the same form.
In the women's section, top seed Aparna Popat of PSCB drubbed fourth seed C H Deepti of Andhra Pradesh 4-7, 7-1, 7-0, 7-1.
Deepti, displaying some fine skills clinched the first game 7-4 but could not keep the momentum going in the subsequent games and went down tamely. In the other women's semi-final, third seed Trupti Murgunde of Air India outclassed PSCB's second seed P V V Lakshmi 7-0, 7-3, 7-0.
Trupti showed excellent net play and had absolutely no problems in overcoming her rival in the one-sided match. (PTI)