New Delhi: Top players Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal will spearhead India’s challenge in the 2010 Australian Open beginning tomorrow in Canberra which will feature cream of the international squash fraternity.
Unseeded Ghosal will get his campaign underway with a tricky clash against Australia’s former world number one and 2008 champion David Palmer in the PSA Super Series six-day-long event.
The USD 1,42,500 Australian Open is the fourth Super Series event and the biggest squash tournament to be held in Australia since the 1991 World Open in Adelaide.
In the women’s section, 18-year-old Chennai girl Dipika Pallikal faces the 2008 champion Hong Kong’s Annie Au in the first round draw.
Unseeded Pallikal has received a tough draw against the 10th seed opponent in the USD 56,000 WISPA World Tour Gold event to be played alongside the men’s event from August 10-15.
“Pallikal is a strong opponent. I have to be at my best,” said Annie Au.
With 18 of the world’s top 20 men players heading to the Royal Theatre in Canberra for the championship, there was never a chance of an easy passage to the later stages for any player in the main draw.
World ranked 10th Palmer, the two-time world champion and winner of four British Opens, said his clash against Ghosal would be an interesting one.
“I have been working hard over the break. I feel that I have a good chance even though I am outside the top eight. Match with Ghosal would be interesting,” Palmer said.
Men’s World number one England’s Nick Matthew has been accorded the top billing in the 32 players strong field.
In the WISPA event, the biggest since Women’s World Open in 1997 in Melbourne, England’s world number two Jenny Duncalf has been billed as title favourite.