Former junior world number one, Anupama Upadhyaya of Haryana and Chhattisgarh’s Aakarshi Kashyap will fight for the women’s singles title in the 84th Badminton Nationals after winning their respective last-four matches here on Monday.
In the semifinals, Khelo India sensation Aakarshi ended third seed Adita Rao’s challenge with a 21-9, 21-19 victory, while fourth seed Anupama prevailed over Asmita Chalha 21-18, 11-21, 21-18.
Anupama played a safe and calculative game and kept Asmita under pressure. These tactics helped, and she won four points in a row to gain a valuable 20-16 lead in the first game.
Asmita bounced back in the second and garnered eight points in a row. With an 8-1 lead, Asmita made sure that her opponent didn’t make a comeback. Despite all efforts, Anupama managed to fetch just 11 points in the game.
The decider saw Asmita once again enjoying a 5-1 lead. Her smashes and accurate drops were quite effective and forced Anupama to stay near the net.
However, Asmita failed to take advantage of the momentum and, in a desperate attempt to increase the pace of the game, she lost control.
Several times she committed unforced errors, giving easy points to her opponent. On the other hand, Anupama was patiently waiting for the opportunity, and she received it in a crucial situation when the score read 20-17 in her favour.
Asmita was successful in saving a match point once but that was her only consolation, and again, an unforced error ended her campaign in the nationals.
Earlier, Aakarshi had little trouble in beating the third seed, taking 38 minutes to ensure her berth in the final.
Meanwhile, in the men’s category, Maharashtra’s Harsheel Dani crashed out of the tournament after losing to Madhya Pradesh’s Priyanshu Rajawat 14-21, 15-21.
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