India’s Ashmita Chaliha dished out a brilliant performance as she beat Ester Nurumi Wardoyo of Indonesia in straight games to storm into the women’s singles semifinals of the Thailand Masters badminton tournament on Friday. The 24-year-old Chaliha remained the only Indian in the fray after Mithun Manjunath lost his men’s singles quarterfinals while the women’s doubles pairs of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand also exited from the Super 300 tournament in the last-eight stage. World no. 61 Chaliha, who made it to the main draw from the qualifiers, beat Wardoyo, ranked 44th, 21-14 19-21 21-13 in a 57-minute match.
The first game saw both Chaliha and Wardoyo fighting on an even keel as they tied the score at 7-7 and 8-8, before the Indonesian took a 14-10 lead. Chaliha fought back and made it 14-14 but she could not stop the Indonesian from taking seven straight points to pocket the first game.
The player from Assam made amends in the second game with a superb fight back. She won six-straight points from 15-19 down to win the second game and take the match to the decider.
With the momentum going her way, Chaliha just outplayed her opponent in the deciding game as she did not allow her opponent to take the lead even once. It was Chaliha all the way as she took 12-3 lead before wrapping up the match with ease.
Chaliha will face the winner of the match between fourth seed Supanida Katethong of Thailand and Wen Chi Hsu of Chinese Taipei in the semifinals.
However, sixth seeded doubles pair of Treesa and Gayatri suffered a narrow loss to fourth seeds Indonesia’s Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma and Amallia Cahaya Pratiwi 12-21 21-17 21-23 in the last-eight match that lasted one hour and seven minutes.
In the men’s singles, national champion and world no. 63 Manjunath lost to Dutchman Mark Caljouw 19-21 15-21 in 43 minutes in the quarterfinals.