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Monday, April 19, 2021

Australian Open: Pallikal makes history

Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad and the new Squash 200 Partnership, building clubs of the future. Founder of the Kent Open and co-promoter of the St. James's Place Canary Wharf Classic. Author and Public Speaker.

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Dippika Pallikal marches into the Australian Open semi-finals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pallikal Makes History By Reaching Australian Open Semis


Dipika Pallikal made history after becoming the first Indian player to reach the semi-final of a WSA Gold event at the Hi-Tec Australian Open in Canberra.

Having already seen off the challenge of higher seed Camille Serme in round two, the 20-year-old ended the giant-killing run of Harvard student Amanda Sobhy, who yesterday beat No.2 seed Jenny Duncalf in her own most successful tournament to date.  Pallikal will now face a rested Laura Massaro, who didn’t feature in today’s play as her opponentDonna Urquhart was forced to concede a walkover due to injury.

Australia’s hopes of a home title winner were dealt a final blow as Urquhart’s fellow Aussie Kasey Brown was also eliminated from the event in straight games at the racket of experienced professional and world No.5 Madeline Perry.

The most highly anticipated game of the day came as the six-time World Champion and world No.1 Nicol David squared up to the rejuvenated Alison Waters for the first time since the Englishwoman returned from a year-long absence with an Achilles injury.

Waters, who has won 4 out of 5 WSA World Tour titles so far this year, got off to a great start against the Malaysian favourite, taking the first game 12-10 on the tie-break.  David hit back with a resounding 11-1 second game and gained the advantage in the third, taking it 11-7.  A marathon fourth game ensued, with Waters displaying exactly why she is still a force to be reckoned with a the very highest level of the game.

Just falling short of pushing a fifth game, the former world No.3 succumbed to defeat at 15-13, but will take comfort from the fact that she pushed David to her longest match in over a year, registering at 68-minutes.  David will progress to play Madeline Perry of Ireland in tomorrow’s semi-final.

Semi-finals:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) v [4] Madeline Perry (IRL)

[11] Dipika Pallikal (IND) v [3] Laura Massaro (ENG)

Quarter-finals:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt Alison Waters (ENG)      10-12, 11-1, 11-7, 15-13 (68min)

[4] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [8] Kasey Brown (AUS)        11-4, 11-5, 11-6 (33mins)

[3] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [12] Donna Urquhart (AUS)           w/o

[11] Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt Amanda Sobhy (USA)         11-5, 11-7, 12-10 (32mins)

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