Delhi lad Divij Sharan showed he has it in him to slug it out with the big guys when he defeated third seed Kedar Tembe of Maharashtra in straight sets to storm into the semi-finals in the 12th DSCL Open National Tennis championship at the DLTA courts on Thursday.
Sharan, who was given a wild card in the championship following a creditable performance in the junior circuit this year, never looked under pressure against his experienced opponent, winning 6-4, 6-4 in an hour-and-a-half.
The 17-year-old south-paw had accounted for fifth seed Jaco Mathew in the first round and then got the better of fellow-junior player Tushar Liberhan to enter the last eight.
He will now face top seed Vinod Sridhar, who thrashed seventh seed Somdev Verman 6-2, 6-0.
But it was not a good day for another promising youngster, Sanam Singh, who seemed to suffer from big match nerves and lost to sixth seed Kamala Kannan 2-6, 6-7(1/7).
The 15-year-old, who was out of action for six months due to illness early this year, had shown great temperament to reach the last eight. But the Chandigarh-based lad not only failed to rise to the occasion but also looked tired against his hard-hitting opponent.
Kannan now faces second seed Punna Vishal of Andhra Pradesh, who ended the dream run of Delhi's Gurmehar Singh 6-4, 6-4.
The women's draw played to the script as all seeded players made it to the last four stage even as the two Hyderabad-based teenagers -- Afreen Jahan and Punam Reddy -- saw their winning streaks come to a halt.
Afreen, who had yesterday shown the door to top seed Lisa Pareira, lost to fifth seed Shruti Dhawan 4-6, 1-6 while Punam, who defeated Sai Jayalakshmi, lost to seventh seed Samrita Sekhar 3-6, 6-3, 5-7 respectively.
Dhawan will now meet fourth seed Ankita Bhambri while Sekhar will face wild card entrant and the younger of the Bhambri sisters, Sanaa.
Ankita accounted for Parul Goswami 6-1, 6-4 while Sanaa eased past Lata Assudani 6-1, 6-1.
In the boys' section, 13th seed Navdeep Singh, who had knocked out top seed Rupesh Roy of West Bengal, stormed into the semis by defeating J Vishnu Vardhan of Andhra Pradesh 6-2 6-1. He now meets third seed Saurabh Kohli of Maharashtra for a place in the summit clash.
Delhi lass Parul Goswami's dream run in the girls' section continued as she knocked out fourth seed Sandri Gangotri 6-2, 6-2 to set up a date with second seed Madhura Ranganathan.
In the other semi-final, top seed Sanaa Bhambri will meet third seed S Punam Reddy.
Men's singles: Vinod Sridhar (TN) beat Somdev Verman (TN) 6-2, 6-0; Divij Sharan (DLI) beat Kedar Tembe (MAH) 6-4, 6-4; Kamala Kannan (TN) beat Sanam Singh (CHD) 6-2, 7-6(7/1); Punna Vishal (AP) beat Gurmehar Singh (DLI) 6-4, 6-4.
Women's singles: Shruti Dhawan (CHD) beat Afreen Jahan (AP) 6-4, 6-1; Ankita Bhambri (DLI) beat Parul Goswami (DLI) 6-1, 6-4; Sanaa Bhambri (DLI) beat Lata Assudani (MAH) 6-1, 6-1; Samrita Sekhar (TN) beat Punam Reddy (AP) 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.
Boys' singles: Navdeep Singh (DLI) beat J Vishnu Vardhan (AP) 6-2, 6-1, Saurabh Kohli (MAH) Siddharth Gulati (MAH) 6-3, 6-4; N Jeevan (TN) beat Sanam Singh (CHD) 6-3, 6-3; Divij Sharan (DLI) beat S P Gupta (DLI) 6-0, 6-2.
Girls' singles: Sanaa Bhambri (DLI) beat Kartiki Bhat 6-4, 6-4; Punam Reddy (AP) beat Vandana Murali (TN) 7-6(7/2), 2-6, 6-4; Parul Goswami (DLI) beat Sandri Gangotri (AP) 6-2, 6-2; Madhura Ranganathan (TN) beat Preeti Subramaniam (TN) 6-2; 6-2.