Mumbai :  Favourites Neha Pandit and her Pune teammate Mudra Dhainje, the top two seeds, made light of their respective opponents on their way to the women’s singles semi-finals in the 1st Maharashtra State badminton selection tournament, sponsored by Tridhaatu Realty and Infra and hosted by Victory Sports Consultants at Chembur Gymkhana on Thursday.

Neha, given top billing after Aditi Mutatkar, cried off due to injury, just  outplayed Nagpur’s Bhakti Dahsahasra (NGP) 21-10, 21-4.  Mudra, on the other hand, routed Vrushali Malthankar (SAT) 21-3, 21-1.  However the most impressive performer was another Pune girl, 20-year-old collegian Shruti Mundada. The lefthander was all grace and fast court coverage as she beat another Nagpur girl Mrunmayi Saoji 21-7, 21-12.

Nagpur’s Gaurav Rege dropped a game to  Mumbai Suburbs’ Satyajit Jadhane before rallying to 13-21, 21-17, 21-15 to move into the men’s singles pre-quarterfinals.However, another Nagpur lad Zoeb Dhamani after  putting up a plucky fight went down to  Pune’s Narendra Gogawale 22-24, 21-15, 15-21.

Results: (1)Neha Pandit (PN) bt Bhakti Dahsahasra (NGP) 21-10, 21-4; Vaishnavi Bhave  (NGP) bt Sampada Sahasrabudhe ((PN)21-16, 21-16; Shruti Mundada (PN) bt Mrunmayi Saoji (NGP) 21-7, 21-12; (2) Mudra Dhainje (PN) bt Vrushali Malthankar (SAT) 21-3, 21-1.  (Pre-quarterfinals): Neha Pandit (PN) bt Isha Datta (MS) 21-8, 21-5; Bhakti Dahsahasra (NGP) bt Rucha Nigam (PN)  21-18, 22-20; Vaishnavi Bhave  (NGP) bt Nisha Rani (BOR) 21-11, 21-10; Sampada Sahasrabudhe ((PN) bt Smita Salgaonkar (GM) 21-8, 21-6; Mrunmayi Saoji (NGP) bt Bhoomika Vangala  (MS) 21-5, 21-12; Shruti Mundada (PN) bt Riya Pawar 21-9, 21-12.

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