Pune, Jan 25 - Mumbai's Meenal Thakur and Pune cueist Arantxa Sanchis will face-off in the final of the ladies billiards event at the Manisha-National Billiards and Snooker Championship after posting 3-0 wins in their respective semifinals here Wednesday.
Former champion Thakur made light work of I. Lahiri of Andhra Pradesh before winning her semifinal encounter 76-48, 78-17, 75-17.
On the other table, Arantxa defeated Karnataka's Varsha Sanjeev, who won three titles last week in junior and sub-junior section, 77-56, 76-67, 77-31.
That Varsha managed to reach the semifinals itself was an achievement given that she defeated seasoned and former champion R. Uma Devi in the previous round.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra's Arun Agarwal upset Brijesh Damani who had beaten Geet Sethi, on way to the senior billiards quarterfinals.
Joining Agarwal in the quarterfinals was Mumbai-based V. Subramanian, who was lucky to have sneaked into the knockout from group stages after Sethi withdrew from the championship despite having made the grade.
In the pre-quarterfinal match, Subramanian played with confidence despite losing the first frame 123-155 to seasoned Prem Prakash (Tamil Nadu). However, Subramaniam won the next three 152-124, 152-98, 150-32, that included a break of 64 in the second frame.
In the quarterfinals, Subramanian will meet Sourav Kothari, who made it to his first National billiards quarters with a hard-fought 3-2 win over veteran Railways cueist S Simachalam with a break of 112 in the third frame.
Also making it to the quarterfinals were, defending champion Pankaj Advani, former champions Rupesh Shah, Alok Kumar and last year's runner-up Balachandra Bhaskar.
Men - Billiards (pre-quarter-finals): Pankaj Advani (PSPB) bt Shakeel Ahmed (Ben) 3-0; Rupesh Shah (PSPB) bt K Venkatesham (Rlys) 3-0; V Subramanian (Mah) bt Prem Prakash
(TN) 3-1; Sourav Kothari (PSPB) bt S Simachalam (Rlys) 3-2; Arun Agarwal (Mah) bt Brijesh Damani (Ben) 3-2; Alok Kumar (PSPB) bt Devendra Joshi (PSPB) 3-1; Siddharth Parikh
(Rlys) bt Manish Jain (Ben) 3-2; Balachandra Bhaskar (Kar) bt Sarang Shroff (Mah) 3-1.
Women - Billiards (semi-finals): Meenal Thakur (Mah) bt I Lahari (AP) 3-0; Arantxa Sanchis (Mah) bt Varsha Sanjeev (Kar) 3-0. Quarterfinals: Varsha Sanjeev (Kar) bt R Uma Devi
(Kar) 2-1; Arantxa Sanchis (Mah) bt Chitra Magaimairaj (Kar) 2-1; I Lahari (AP) bt Judy Walia (Kar) 2-0; Meenal Thakur (Mah) bt Neena Praveen (TN) 2-0. (IANS)