Monday, December 4, 2023

Dipika Pallikal falls in Chinese quarters

Egyptian youngsters continue their giant-killing run in China
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent

Salma gets in front of Dippika
Salma Hany Ibrahim gets in front of Dipika Pallikal

Young Egyptian qualifiers Salma Hany Ibrahim and Nouran Gohar continued their giant-killing run in the Women’s China Open – Squash Stars On The Bund after despatching two further seeds in the quarter-finals of the WSA Gold 50 event in China’s largest city Shanghai.

Action in the event moved onto an all-glass showcourt on the 11th floor of The Peninsula Hotel, which offers breath-taking views of Shanghai and its famous waterfront, The Bund.

Jenny Duncalf admires the view
Jenny Duncalf admires the view

“It is hard to imagine a more spectacular setting than this court at The Peninsula Hotel – acclaimed by the players as the best hotel they have ever stayed in,” said noted English coach Malcolm Willstrop. “It’s a setting to match the very best.”

Gohar, a 16-year-old from Cairo who ousted experienced Australian Rachael Grinham in the first round, faced left-hander Annie Au, the No4 seed from Hong Kong.

“They traded winners before Gohar won the game 11-9,” reported event spokesman Graham Miao. “She began the second game aggressively, increasing the pace – but it was Au who took the tiebreak 13-11.

“Rallies lengthened in the third and Gohar began to force errors from Au, winning it 11-6. It was the pace and accuracy of the Egyptian that clinched the fourth 11-8.”

World No26 Gohar now faces top seed Camille Serme, the world No5 from France who beat England’s Sarah Kippax 11-6, 11-5, 11-8.

It was on the glass showcourt that 18-year-old Salma Hany Ibrahim gained revenge for her four-game defeat by world No12 Dipika Pallikal in the Macau Open late last year by defeating the fifth seed and Indian number one 11-8, 11-7, 11-5.

Alexandria-based Ibrahim, ranked 40 in the world, had secured her surprise place in the last eight after upsetting England’s world No6 Alison Waters in the opening round.

Ibrahim will now line up against Malaysian Low Wee Wern, the No3 seed who edged out England’s sixth seed Jenny Duncalf 11-7, 11-6, 11-5.

Women’s China Open – Squash Stars On The Bund, Shanghai, China:

[Q] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) bt [5] Dipika Pallikal (IND) 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (40m)
[3] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt [6] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 (37m)
[Q] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [4] Annie Au (HKG) 11-9, 11-13, 11-6, 11-8 (50m)
[1] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [8] Sarah Kippax (ENG) 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 (35m)

Pictures by WU PENG courtesy of WSA and social media


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