Carrying confidence and momentum gained from Delhi’s successful campaign in the team events, unseeded Neha Aggarwal gate-crashed into the singles semifinals of the National table tennis championship here on Friday.

On an action-packed day that produced a series of intense battles in both sections, Neha knocked out fourth seed Madhurika Patkar and despatched fifth seed Divya Deshpande to earn a clash with defending champion Poulomi Ghatak.

Eighth seed Mausmi Paul made Poulomi look beatable before running out of steam in the seventh game. The other half of the draw saw predictable semifinalists in K. Shamini and Ankita Das, seeded two and three.

Sharath advances

Sharath Kamal, one of the three former champions to survive from the bottom-half of the draw from where Soumyadeep Roy and Subhajit Saha made pre-mature exits, raced past surprise quarterfinalist Aman Balgu.

Sharath plays second-seeded Sanil Shetty for a place in the final. Shetty stopped the dream run of Devesh Karia, the conqueror of sixth seed and former winner Subhajit Saha 11-6, 11-9, 6-11, 11-13, 9-11, 13-11, 11-7 in the second round and Commonwealth Youth Games G. Sathiyan. Earlier, Balgu surprised third seed Roy in the pre-quarterfinals.

Top-seeded Soumyajit Ghosh, unbeaten in domestic events this season, defeated Zubin Kumar. Ghosh finds defending champion Amalraj on way to his maiden National final.

Earlier, sixth seed Manika Batra proved the first casualty of the day. Rising talent K. Spoorthy brought down Manika 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-7. Thereafter, Spoorthy raised visions of upstaging Mallika Bhandarkar – the girl who advanced by packing off former champion Mouma Das. But Mallika fought from the brink of defeat in the sixth game to prevail in seven games.

The results: Men: (Quarterfinals): 1-Soumyajit Ghosh (Pet) bt 8-Zubin Kumar (Pet) 11-5, 11-6, 11-7, 11-6; 5-A. Amalraj (Pet) bt 4-Harmeet Desai (Guj) 11-8, 11-5, 10-12, 11-7, 11-6; 6-Sharath Kamal (Pet) bt Aman Balgu (Rlys) 11-9, 11-3, 11-5, 11-5; 2-Sanil Shetty (Pet) bt Devesh Karia (Guj) 11-6, 7-11, 9-11, 17-15, 11-2, 11-9.

Pre-quarterfinals: Ghosh bt L. Satheeswaran (TN) 9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-5, 11-8; Zubin bt Sourav Chakraborty (Pet) 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 14-12, 16-18, 11-9; Amalraj bt Sourav Saha (WB) 11-8, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6; Desai bt T. Nitin (TN) 11-7, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6; Balgu bt 3-Soumyadeep Roy (Pet) 12-10, 9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 4-11, 12-10; Sharath bt Jignesh Jaiswal (Guj) 11-3, 11-4, 11-2, 11-6; Karia bt G. Sathiyan (Pet) 6-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5, 3-11, 11-9; Shetty bt Sougatha Sarkar (WB) 11-5, 11-8, 11-9, 16-18, 11-9.

Women: Quarterfinals: 1-Poulomi Ghatak (Pet) bt 8-Mousmi Paul (WB) 11-8, 6-11, 11-9, 11-2, 8-11, 9-11, 11-3; Neha Aggarwal (Del) bt 5-Divya Deshpande (Mah ‘A’) 15-13, 11-6, 11-8, 11-3; 3-Ankita Das (Pet) bt Mallika Bhandarkar (Mah ‘B’) 11-7, 11-4, 11-3, 11-8; 2-K. Shamini (Pet) bt 7-Pooja Sahasrabudhe (Pet) 11-7, 11-9, 3-11, 10-12, 11-1, 11-4.

Pre-quarterfinals: Poulomi bt Takeme Sarkar (Rlys) 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9; Mousmi bt Mamata Prabhu (Mah ‘A’) 7-11, 14-12, 6-11, 13-15, 11-8, 11-2, 11-4; Divya bt Reeth Rishya 11-8, 9-11, 5-11, 13-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6; Neha bt 4-Madhurika Patkar (Pet) 11-6, 11-13, 11-7, 8-11, 11-13, 11-8, 13-11; Ankita bt Soumi Mondal (Pet) 9-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-2, 11-9; Mallika bt K. Spoorthy (AP) 11-13, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 10-12, 15-13, 11-9; Pooja bt Ayhika Mukherjee (AAI) 11-4, 10-12, 6-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-6; Shamini bt Sutirtha Mukherjee (WB) 13-15, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9.

Mixed doubles: Semifinals: Utkarsh Gupta and Manika Batra (Del) bt Sourav Saha and Sutirtha Mukherjee (WB) 15-13, 12-10, 2-11, 9-11, 11-7; Harmeet Desai and Frenaz Chipia (Guj) bt Soumyajit Sarkar and Krittwika Sinha Roy (WB) 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-9.

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