Winter warmer as Indian star stops Donna Urquhart’s comeback run before beating Heba El Torky in final
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
After conceding a game in the opening round, top seed Dipika Pallikal showed her true class in the Winnipeg Winter Club Women’s Open by reclaiming the WSA Challenger 15 squash title at the Winnipeg Winter Club in Winnipeg, Canada, without dropping a further game.
The 2013 champion from India reached the final – the 15th of her career on the WSA World Tour – after beating Donna Urquhart, the fourth seed from Australia making her Tour return after a six-month foot injury break.
In the final predicted by the draw, Pallikal faced second seed Heba El Torky, the 24-year-old world No.26 from Egypt who finished as runner-up in 2014.
El Torky survived a hard-fought five-game semi-final against Samantha Teran, the third seed from Mexico nine years her senior, eventually clinching victory on her third match-ball.
“Right from the start of the final, Dipika looked in full control of her game and the match,” said tournament spokesman Trevor Borland. “Dipika was striking the ball crisp and clean as she always does, mixing in an array of wicked offensive boasts, mostly from the forehand side as well as timely flicks and lots of dying length.
“Perhaps Heba’s hour and forty-five minute match from the day before had something to do with it, but Dipika looked in as good a form as we had seen this week. After getting down 10-6 in the second, Heba climbed back to 9-10 on a few of Dipika’s errors, but at 9-10 Dipika decided to do nothing but wait for an error from El Torky which she was rewarded with after an a very long backhand rally and took the second.
“A little tighter third, but the outcome looked inevitable as Dipika rolled on to win her second Winnipeg Winter Club Women’s Open title.”
The 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 triumph marks the 10th WSA Tour title of Pallikal’s career.
“Very happy to win my first tournament of the year in Winnipeg:)” the 23-year-old from Chennai told her Twitter followers later. “A big thank you to @Fitzsquash & @basu2013 :)”
Winnipeg Winter Club Women’s Open, Winnipeg, Canada
 Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt  Donna Urquhart (AUS) 11-5, 11-5, 11-8
 Heba El Torky (EGY) bt  Samantha Teran (MEX) 10-12, 11-13, 11-6, 11-6, 12-10
 Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt  Heba El Torky (EGY) 11-4, 11-9, 11-8
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Picture courtesy of WSA