by AFTAR SINGH and KNG ZHENG GUAN
KUALA LUMPUR: Dipika Pallikal may be easily mistaken as the next Bollywood star due to her good looks and figure.
In fact, Dipika who hails from Chennai, India, has received offers to star in a few Bollywood movies.
Fortunately, despite her striking good looks, Dipika is one dedicated squash player and a very good one too who has rejected all acting roles to focus on her playing career.
“I’ve had a few offers to act in movies but it just wasn’t the right time and I am unable to take them up,” said the 20-year-old lass.
“Being a full-time squash player is not easy and I barely have time for myself. But I’m not exactly uninterested and who knows, maybe when I retire from the sport, I might consider going into acting,” said Dipika.
But while Dipika may have turned down offers to star in movies, she is certainly a rising star in the squash world.
The well-built Dipika played her first international tournament when she was only 12 and has already won the German, Dutch, French, Australian, and Scottish junior opens while still in her teens.
Two years ago, Dipika shifted her training base to Melbourne in order to train under squash legend Sarah Fitzgerald and has never looked back.
Since then Dipika has gone on to establish a reputation as one of the brightest squash stars from Asia, ranked No. 15 in the world.
She is currently the fourth ranked Asian woman in the world, behind Nicol David (No. 1), Annie Au of Hong Kong (No. 10) and Low Wee Wern (No. 13).
“Since training under Sarah, my game has improved significantly and I’m glad that everything is falling into place for me.
“It wasn’t easy at first because training is tough and I barely have time to see my family and friends as I only go home once every two or three months.
“But I have not regretted my decision one bit and I’m motivated to work hard and be on top one day,” said Dipika.
Meanwhile, the Indian youngster confirmed her status as the next big thing after pulling off an amazing 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 upset over eighth seed Kasey Brown in the first round of the CIMB Nicol David KL Open