Srinagar: London Olympics quarterfinalist Parupalli Kashyap and Ajay Jayaram set up the men's singles title clash between them after scoring contrasting wins in their respective semifinals at the 77th Senior National Badminton Championship here yesterday.
World number 20 Kashyap, who was the runners-up at the 2010 edition, spanked K Srikanth 21-5, 21-8 in a lopsided semifinal, while Jayaram tamed sixth seed K Nanda Gopal 21-14, 21-15 in the other semifinal.
Neither Kashyap nor Jayaram has won a national title before.
Kashyap hardly broke a sweat against Srikanth as he outplayed his rival. In the first game he opened up an 11-3 lead and in the second he raced to a 16-7 lead, not allowing his young rival to put up any challenge.
World number 25 Jayaram led 13-5 and 10-2 in his straight games win.
In the women's singles, defending champion PV Sindhu came from behind to beat Arundhati Pantawane 8-21, 21-18, 21-13 keeping her hopes of retaining the title alive.
The 2008 champion and second seed Sayali Gokhale prevailed over Tanvi Lad 21-17, 9-21, 21-11 to set up a title clash with Sindhu.
National Games champion Arundhati, who had beaten Sindhu at the 75th Nationals championship at Rohtak last January, troubled the current world number 20 in the first game and easily pocketed it 21-8.
Sindhu, who was playing with a knee brace, recovered in the second game and went into the break at 11-6. After the breather, Sindhu zoomed to the game point at 20-13.
Gutsy Arundhati saved five match points but could not stop the 17-year-old from Andra Pradesh as she bounced back in the match.
In the decider, Sindhu once again had her nose ahead at 11-8. Arundhati did equalise after gathering three straight points but Sindhu proved too strong for her in the end.
"I had too many negative thoughts initially and was frustrated at myself for not executing my strokes but then I started to find my rhythm. I had some pain in my knee, nothing major, but I wanted to be safe so I didnt want to exert too much," said Sindhu, who would be playing the World Junior Championship later this month.
In mixed doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and Tarun Kona will face top seeds and defending champions Aparna Balan and Arun Vishnu in the finals today, while top seed Aparna Balan and N Siki Reddy will take on Varsha Belawadi and GM Nischitha of Karnataka in the women's doubles.
In the men's doubles, Akshay Dewalkar (AI) and Pranav Chopra (Pet) notched up a 21-18, 21-15 win over Alwin Francis of Kerela and Petroleum's V Diju to set up a clash with Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy of Airport Authority of India.
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