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Chinappa, Dipika advance into quarters of Asian Squash C`ship

Indian top stars Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal have joined World Number one and title favourite Nicol David in the quarterfinals of the women`s section in the 15th Asian Squash championships here today.



Chennai: Indian top stars Joshna Chinappa and
Dipika Pallikal have joined World Number one and title
favourite Nicol David in the quarterfinals of the women`s
section in the 15th Asian Squash championships here today.

In the men`s section, India`s highest ranked and lone
seeded player (third), Saurav Ghosal (PSA 27), Siddharth
Suchde (80), veteran Ritwik Bhattacharya (113) and Harinder
Pal Singh Sandhu (90) have made it to the pre-quarterfinals.

Sandhu was slightly off colour today and did not have a
start to the championship to his liking as he was stretched in
the very first game which he won on extra points and the same
tempo continued in the evening too against a lower rung
Kuwaiti E Alhosaini Bader, who played to his scheme of keeping
the ball in play.

However, Sandhu wriggled out of tough situations in the
decider before winning it at 8-11 11-3 9-11 11-9 11-6.

Lone seeded Indian in the women section, Chinappa got
past Korean Eun Ok Park 11-3 11-7 11-9 in 23 minutes, while
Pallikal, who has been in good nick since winning the WISPA
Indian Challenger in Kolkata last month, proved her mettle
surviving a five game tussle in a marathon 65 minutes against
Low Wee Wern of Malaysia.

It was a question of the fittest as the match meandered to
the decider. Here, Pallikal, who scored many eye-catching
winners in the match, brought in her best after being level
8-all before eventually winning the match at 10-12 12-10
11-7 8-11 11-8. Eighth seeded Chinappa is slated to play more experienced
second seeded Rebecca Chiu of Hong Kong tomorrow, while
Dipika has better chances of making the semifinals.

World number one junior player, Dipika, who has improved
upon her WISPA ranking by five slots to 38 as on today`s
ranking list, will take on 68th ranked Misaki Kobayashi of
Japan. Semifinal progress for Dipika would put her against top
seeded David.

In the pre-quarterfinal matches tomorrow, Ghosal will
take on Pakistan`s Waqar Mehboob, while Suchde fights Mohd
Nafizwan of Malaysia. Bhattacharya is expected to have a tough
time against second seeded Ong Beng Hee in the last eight
stages.

Sandhu, who survived anxious moments before managing to
progress after a hard fought 3-2 in 65 minutes, now plays
Pakistan`s Yasir Ali Butt, who is ranked 5-8.

World Number One David, considered favourite to claim her
seventh individual title in succession was seen to be in her
elements in terms of fitness. David is one player, who is way
ahead of others in the women section in the world and winning
the title at this Asian level should be a kinder garden stuff
for her.

After winning her first match in 16 minutes against
China`s unseeded Gu Jinyue, David made the quarterfinals
disposing off Elise Ng (9-16 seed) of Hong Kong at 11-6 11-6
11-5.

However, the men`s section threw out lot of possibilities
as few top rung stars had to bring in their best midway their
matches as the rivals were showing signs of getting the upper
hand.

As for the hosts players, India fielded 15 in men and
eight in women and it was a mixed luck for them as nine of the
them including Ghosal, and Suchede won their respective men`s
first round matches without much difficulty, excepting
Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu managed to take the first game in a
fast paced tie on extra points before making the next grade.

Vikas Jangra, Deepak Mishra, Ramit Tandon, Vrishab Kotian,
Naveen Jangra and Kush Kumar failed to cross the first hurdle.

PTI

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