Mumbai: World no 15 and top seed Saurav Ghosal set up a title clash with second seed Harinderpal Singh Sandhu after the two players fashioned hard-fought semi finals victories in the 38th Bombay Gymkhana-HSBC Maharashtra State Open Senior Squash Championship here Friday.
Ghosal, who has shifted to his home city Kolkata after eight years` stay in England and became the first Indian male to make the world championships quarter finals in Manchester, was given a bit of a scare by local player Aditya Jagtap before coming up with a 11-5 11-6 11-13 11-4 win.
The 27-year-old title favourite also overcame a minor hand injury to end the brave challenge put up by his younger rival.
World no. 80 Sandhu also endured a stiff challenge from sparring partner at the Indian Squash Academy, Chennai -- third seed and India no. 4 Ravi Dixit -- before snatching an exciting 11-6 12-10 13-11 victory to move into final.
"Ravi played really well. It was a good test for me before meeting Saurav. I have never beaten Saurav, so I will make an attempt to do so in the final," said Sandhu.
Women`s top seed and world No. 26 Joshna Chinappa remained on course to defend her title with a straight-game (11-9 11-5 11-6) win over Nikita Joshi of suburban Otters Club.
Joshna would take on surprise finalist Aishwarya Bhattacharya who shocked second seed and last year`s runner-up Urwashi Joshi of Jindal Squash Academy 11-9 8-11 11-9 11-9 in an engrossing semi-final.
Other results (semi finals): Professionals: Sanjay Pawar bt Manish Chavan 11-6 11-9 11-7; Rohit Kadam bt Sachin Jadhav 11-1 11-6 11-8.