Gurgaon:Third seed Sanaa Bhambri entered the final of the $10,000 International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament, though not before she was given a fright by eighth seed Parija Maloo at the National Tennis Academy (NTA) courts in Gurgaon on Friday.
Maloo, who had an easy passage through to the semi-finals after an injured Ankita Bhambri pulled out, went down to the younger Bhambri sibling 5-7, 6-3, 2-6.
Sanaa next meets seventh-seeded Korean Han Sun-hee, who overcame a strong second set comeback from Poojashree Venkatesh, who is in the Wimbledon girls singles main draw, to win 6-1, 7-6 (5).
Sanaa, however, was given a tough fight by Parija, who with her fluent stroke-play recovered from an early break to level the scores in the tenth game only to drop here serve again to lose the first set.
Parija fought back in the second set to break Sanaa in the fifth and the eighth games to make it set all.
Parija, however, could not maintain the same level of intensity in the third set and her reckless hitting resulted in a rash of errors. Sanaa on the other hand covered both the flanks well and played percentage tennis. She broke Parija's service in successive games to close the set and the match.
Parija blamed the loss on her errors. "I did well to come back in the second set, but committed far too many errors," she said.
The big serving 17-year-old was clueless and Korean dropped just a game in the first set. But Poojashree upped her game in the second set and took it to the tie-break, but lost it 5-7.
"I was not able to execute my shots well. At this level it is important to have good shot conversion and mine was near-zero today. Also I couldn't hold my serve in themy first set," said Poojashree.
Han, partnering Parija, later won the doubles title beating second-seeded Australian pair of Cassandra Chan and Julia Moriarty 6-3,6-4