Dipika Pallikal enters pre-quarters of British Open squash

Hull (England): India's Dipika Pallikal defeated Denmark's Line Hansen in a marathon first-round encounter to reach the pre-quarters while Saurav Ghosal lost to fourth seed Gregory Gaultier 3-1 in the Allam British Open Squash Championships here.

Pallikal edged out Hansen 13-11, 14-16, 11-6, 8-11, 11-4 in the longest match of the tournament so far to keep the Indian hopes alive in the prestigious championship.

"Yes, I am fit and ready to face the next challenge," said Pallikal after her match.

However, Indian challenge in the men's competition came to a premature end when Ghosal lost his pre-quarterfinal to France's Gaultier 8-11, 13-11, 7-11, 0-11 at the KC Stadium here.

"Lost 1-3 to Gregory. Best I've played against him but fell short unfortunately! Thank you to the big Indian contingent for their support," tweeted Ghosal after his loss.

World number 15 Pallikal had to dig deep for 76 minutes to get the better of her Danish opponent at Ponterfact, about fifty miles from here.

The Chennai girl will face local favourite Laura Massaro in her next round tomorrow.

In their last encounter at the 2012 Australian Open semi-finals, Pallikal lost to her English opponent.

All matches from Thursday onwards will take place at an outdoor glass court at the KC Stadium.

The British Open is the world's oldest tournament which makes a return to Yorkshire after almost 40 years.