Arundhati Pantawane stunned World No 40 and top seed PC Thulasi 21-9, 21-15 to enter the women's singles final of the Tata Open India International Challenge at the Cricket Club of India's badminton courts on Saturday.
The World No 74 and fourth seed here took just 28 minutes to wrap up the semi-final against two-time Tata Open winner Thulasi. The first half of the opening game was close up to 7-7 before Pantawane began restricting Thulasi from playing long rallies.
A few deceptive baseline shots combined with some fine net play, then saw Pantawane take a 16-8 before wrapping up Game One 21-9. Thulasi tried to stage a comeback in the second game and the scores read 6-6 to begin with.
Arundhati Pantawane returns a shot during the semi-final match at the CCI on Saturday. Pic/Satyajit Desai
However, Pantawane again changed gears at the right time and went into a 16-11 lead. The Nagpur shuttler again ensured the rallies were shorter and low thereby forcing errors from Thulasi, before racing to 21-15.
Arundhati will take on 17-year-old Gadde Ruthvika Shivani in the final today. Shivani defeated third seed Saili Rane 21-19, 21-18 in the other semi-final to enter her maiden international final.