Dipika, Joshna reach quarterfinals of Challenger series

Chennai: India`s Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa progressed to the quarterfinals but direct entrant, Anaka Alankamony, lost to top seed Donna Urquhart of Australia in the first round of the season`s first WISPA Indian Squash Challenger series here on Wednesday.

As expected, all the seeded players made the last-eight stage at the Indian Squash Academy.

World number 23 and seeded second here, Dipika was forced to drop a game before beating Siyali Waters of South Africa 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 11-0 in 38 minutes, but world number 32 Joshna was in total control, executing her shots to perfection in her straight-games victory over Olga Ertlova. Joshna won 11-9, 11-3, 11-5 in 30 minutes.

Dipika will take on eighth seeded Melody Francis of Australia while Joshna plays sixth seed Misaki Kobayashi in the quarterfinals tomorrow.

However, Alankamony, a promising young takent, played to her potential, but Urquhart changed gears in the nick of time to emerge winner.

It was a close match as Urquhart had to use all her experience to get the better of Alankamony. The manner in which she troubled her higher ranked player was what caught everyone by surprise.

On a few occasions in the third game, Alankamony had the set score (13-12 14-13), but could not withstand the pressure brought about by Urquhart, who won 11-9, 11-3, 17-15.

As for the other Indian stars, Aparajitha and Lashya, who fought their way beating higher ranked overseas stars in the qualifying event yesterday, exited the tournament.

Aparajitha lost to fifth seed Siti Munirah of Malaysia 7-11 11-9 8-12 11-6 11-2.

Lakshya lost to Tenille Swartz of South Africa 3-11 6-11 6-11 in 19 minutes.


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