Dipika Pallikal shocks Alison Waters in US Open
By NATHAN CLARKE – Squash Mad Reporter
England’s Laura Massaro ended home hopes when she beat Amanda Sobhy, and India’s Dipika Pallikal overcame Alison Waters to reach the quarter-finals of the 2015 Women’s Delaware Investments US Open in Philadelphia.
Indian number one Pallikal secured a place in the quarter-finals of a major PSA World Series event for just the third time in her career after she knocked World No.5 Waters.
World No.19 Pallikal, ranked one place above compatriot Joshana Chinappa, last appeared in the final eight of a major event in March 2012 when she lost out to eventual winner Nicol David at the Kuala Lumpur Open. But after ending her six tournament long first-round exit streak with an impressive 3-2 win over former World No.4 Joelle King on Sunday she once again upset the odds to eliminate Waters after a 50-minute encounter.
“Obviously I’m delighted to win especially because I haven’t played well in my last two tournaments,” said Pallikal.
“To beat two top players in a row here is very pleasing and gives me a great confidence boost. Even more so because I’ve come very close to beating some of the top players recently and not been able to convert it into a win.”
The 24-year-old from Chennai twice came from behind against the Englishwoman, who at times appeared to be struggling with a back injury, to complete the win which sees her through to face Omneya Abdel Kawy for a place in the semi-finals after the Egyptian ended hopes off an all-Indian clash by defeating Chinappa in straight-games.
“I’ve been working hard to stay positive in recent months and that helped today and I’m glad to get through and I’ve got a day off now to recover before my next match as well which is good because I need to do some laundry – I wasn’t expecting to make the quarter-finals!”
Massaro knew she would be facing a pumped-up opponent in the shape of US number one Amanda Sobhy and stuck to her game plan to record a 3-1 victory, winning 11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9 in 49 minutes.
Massaro now meets long-term rival Nicol David, knowing she has one of the best track records of any player on the Tour against the mighty Malaysian, who will be keen to regain the world number one slot she recently surrendered to Egypt’s Raneem El Welily after more than eight years at the top.
In the Men’s draw England’s Nick Matthew moved one step closer to reaching a 68th PSA World Tour final after dispatching tough Egyptian qualifier Zahed Mohamed 3-0.
It took the 35-year-old Englishman five games to get past compatriot Chris Simpson in the first round but he produced an altogether more polished performance to eliminate the 23-year-old World No.34 in 47-minutes to set up a last eight match-up with Fares Dessouki – the man he eliminated at the same stage 12 months ago.
“I had a bit of a blip in the third game there but that’s probably the best I have played this season so far,” said Matthew.
“It’s been a little bit of a struggle this season to find my rhythm so I’m pleased to have done that but the key now is not to get ahead of myself and to keep working on my game tomorrow and make sure I get my basics right. Even though I felt well that means for nothing in the next round and I have to make sure I keep improving.
“Dessouki has a good mix of English basics with Egyptian flair so it’s going to be incredibly tough and I’ll certainly need to be ready for him.”
Women’s Delaware Investments US Open, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA.
Women’s Second Round:
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt  Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 3-1: 4-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9 (39m)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt  Emma Beddoes (ENG) 3-0: 14-12, 11-5, 11-3 (34m)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [Q] Donna Urquhart (AUS) 3-2: 9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3, 11-6 (48m)
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt  Delia Arnold (MAS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (31m)
 Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt  Alison Waters (ENG) 3-2: 9-11, 11-5, 3-11, 11-1, 11-6 (50m)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt Joshana Chinappa (IND) 3-0: 12-10, 11-6, 11-5 (29m)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-1: 11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9 (49m)
 Nicol David (MAS) bt  Nouran Gohar (EGY)3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 (33m)
Draw – Quarter-finals:
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) v  Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
 Dipika Pallikal (IND) v  Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v  Nicol David (MAS)
Men’s Second Round:
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [Q] Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (42m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt  Ramy Ashour (EGY) 6-1 retired
 Simon Rösner (GER) bt Alister Walker (BOT) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 (48m)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 (33m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 3-2: 2-11, 13-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8 (92m)
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-0: 15-13, 11-7, 15-13 (81m)
Fares Dessouki (EGY) bt Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-1: 10-12, 11-8, 11-4, 11-5 (55m)
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [Q] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-6 (47m)
Draw – Quarter-finals:
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
 Simon Rösner (GER) v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v  Omar Mosaad (EGY)
Fares Dessouki (EGY) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)
Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com) courtesy of PSA and US Open