Friday, April 19, 2024

Dipika Pallikal powers home in Mumbai

Indian top seed happy to support growth of women’s tour and calls for more events
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent

Dipika Pallikal on her way to victory in the final
Dipika Pallikal on her way to victory in the final

Indian squash star Dipika Pallikal fulfilled her top billing in the Women’s JSW WSA Indian Circuit No3 when she beat Egyptian Nouran El Torky in the final of the WSA Tour 5 event at the National Sports Club of India in Mumbai to become the first home winner of the women’s series.

Pallikal, the world No12 from Chennai, took her place in the 13th WSA World Tour final of her career after beating South African Cheyna Tucker in the semi-finals in straight games.

With the first two Indian Circuit titles already to her credit, 21-year-old sixth seed El Torky continued her ‘giant-killing’ run at the NSCI by upsetting No2 seed Laura Pomportes in the other semi to reach her third successive Indian final – and her fifth in a row on the WSA Tour!

But Pallikal was too strong for the world No64 from Alexandria, winning 14-12, 12-10, 11-7 in 46 minutes to secure the eighth Tour title of her career. “It was a good match,” said Pallikal (pictured above in action with El Torky), winner of India’s first ever Commonwealth Games squash gold medal with Joshana Chinappa at Glasgow 2014 in August. “Me and Nouran go back to our junior days at every British Juniors. They were tough matches.

“It’s nice to come up with a win for the home crowd. My main aim was to support this tournament. I’m just glad to be a part.

“I hope we get more tournaments like this in India, because it’s really phenomenal to play in front of a home crowd. It’s hopefully the start of great things to come in Indian squash.”

Women’s JSW WSA Indian Circuit No3, Mumbai, India.

1st round:
[5] Chloe Mesic (FRA) bt Janet Vidhi (IND) 11-2, 11-1, 11-5 (16m)
[4] Cheyna Tucker (RSA) bt Riddhi Sampat (IND) 11-4, 11-3, 11-2 (20m)
[7] Sachika Ingale (IND) bt Aishwarya Bhattacharya (IND) w/o
[6] Nouran El Torky (EGY) bt Sadia Gul (PAK) 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (26m)
[3] Birgit Coufal (AUT) bt Jui Kalgutkar (IND) 11-7, 11-4, 11-3 (30m)
[8] Sammer Anjum (PAK) bt Urwashi Joshi (IND) 6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 3-11, 11-9 (35m)
[2] Laura Pomportes (FRA) bt [WC] Nikita Joshi (IND) 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (21m)
[1] Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt [5] Chloe Mesic (FRA) 11-3, 11-2, 11-4 (22m)
[4] Cheyna Tucker (RSA) bt [7] Sachika Ingale (IND) 11-5, 13-11, 11-7 (22m)
[6] Nouran El Torky (EGY) bt [3] Birgit Coufal (AUT) 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 12-10 (39m)
[2] Laura Pomportes (FRA) bt [8] Sammer Anjum (PAK) 11-7, 11-9, 11-5 (27m)
[1] Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt [4] Cheyna Tucker (RSA) 11-3, 11-6, 11-3 (36m)
[6] Nouran El Torky (EGY) bt [2] Laura Pomportes (FRA) 11-8, 13-11, 8-11, 11-9 (60m)
[1] Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt [6] Nouran El Torky (EGY) 14-12, 12-10, 11-7 (46m)

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Picture courtesy of WSA


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