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