Former champions Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap and Sourabh Verma advanced to the semifinals of the 83rd Yonex-Sunrise Senior Badminton Nationals in Guwahati on Friday. Defending champion Saina hardly broke a sweat to get the better of former India number one Neha Pandit of Mumbai 21-10 21-10 in a lop-sided quarterfinal contest.
The two-time Commonwealth Games champion will face 22-year-old Nagpur qualifier Vaishnavi Bhale, who was part of India’s Uber Cup squad last year, later in the evening.
Kashyap, a 2012 winner, prevailed 21-18 21-16 over Bodhit Joshi, who had reahed the finals of Iceland International last year. The former world no 6 from Hyderabad will face Lakshya Sen in the semifinals later in the day.
Both Saina and Kashyap had played their pre-quarterfinal match on Thursday night at the newly-laid wooden court at the TRP indoor stadium after refusing to play at the Assam Badminton Academy courts due to “uneven” surface.
Earlier, former World No 30 Sourabh, who had clinched Super 100 titles at Russia Open and Dutch Open last year, eked out a hard-fought 21-11 21-23 21-18 triumph over B Sai Praneeth.
Sourabh grabbed seven straight points from 14-17 down in the decider against former Singapore Open champion Sai Praneeth in the quarterfinals. The 26-year-old Sourabh, a two-time former champion, will meet qualifier Kaushal Dharmamer of Mumbai later in the evening.
Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu had notched up two clincal wins on Thursday and will play the other women’s singles semifinal against local sensation Ashmita Chaliha later in the day.