Kaushal Dharmamer and Aakarshi Kashyap kept Indian hopes alive in the men’s and women’s singles category after registering straight game wins to reach the semi-finals of the India International Challenge badminton tournament at the Cricket Club of India courts in Mumbai on Friday.

Also joining them in the last four stage in the combined events were K Maneesha and Arjun MR in mixed doubles and men’s doubles top seeds Manu Atri and B Sumeeth Reddy.

It was not going to be an easy outing for singles shuttlers with the second round and the quarter-finals being played on the same day. Playing two matches in a day can be taxing but up and coming women’s singles Kashyap ensured she didn’t spend too much time on the court. In the round of 16, the 18-year-old upset fourth seed Riya Mookerjee 21-14, 21-15.

She defeated compatriot Tanishq Mamilla Palli 21-16, 21-14 in the quarter-finals, spending a total of 72 minutes on court on Friday. She will now face top seed Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Dharmamer, too, did well to win both his matches without dropping a game in men’s singles. He ousted compatriot Raghu Mariswamy in the round of 16 with a 21-18, 21-12 scoreline. He returned later to defeat NG Tze Yong of Malaysia 21-17, 21-17 in the quarter-finals.

“Playing two matches is definitely a challenge but the key is to focus on just one point at a time. If you can have the grit and determination to do that, the rest takes care of itself,” Dharmamer said after his quarter-finals victory.

In the semi-finals, the 23-year-old Indian will faces Adulrach Namkul, the man who defeated second seed Ajay 21-19, 21-19 on Friday. Dharmamer had defeated the Thai in straight games in the pre-quarterfinals of the Maldives International Challenge in September, a tournament he went on to win.

“That doesn’t count for much, he is playing well and defeated Ajay today so his confidence must be high,” said Dharmamer. “I am sure he must have learnt from our last encounter and I will have to be at my best to get the win.”

In the doubles section, India’s Maneesha K and Arjun MR defeated compatriots Rutuparna Panda and Shivam Sharma 21-18, 21-15 to reach the mixed doubles semi-finals. Top-seeded Manu Attri and his partner Sumeeth Reddy went past Sharma and Tarun Kona 21-13, 20-22, 21-7 in the men’s doubles quarter-finals.

Among the other Indians in fray, junior shuttler Priyanshu Rajawat upset top seed Vladimir Malkov 21-17, 21-18 in the second round but then went down 21-18, 21-19 against fifth seed Xiaodong Sheng of Canada in the quarter-finals.