Chennai: Asian champion Ravi Dixit helped India reach the semifinals along with Dipika Pallikal and Ramit Tandon in the Chennai Open World Cup (Under-21) Squash Team Championships at the Express Mall on Friday.
Shouldering the responsibility as the Indian top seed, Ravi, in his last year in junior category, was at his best in scalping Jaime McErvale 11-4, 11-3, 10-12, 10-9 in 58 minutes.
Dipika had little difficulty in getting over Sarah Cardwell of Australia 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 in 42 minutes, while Tandon completed the formalities with an easy 11-1, 11-2, 11-4 win over Walter Koteka in just 17 minutes.
The final round of qualifying held at one of the biggest Malls in the country attracted huge crowd to witness the matches and it is considered a worthy advertisement for the sport, which is shortlisted as one of the events for 2012 Olympics.
Ravi dominated the match throughout and started with a 9-3 lead in the first game and the only time he looked to have problems was in the third game. Despite enjoying the advantage on two match balls, Ravi wilted under pressure to lose the game but in no time he recovered to win the fourth and the match.
India now take on France in the semifinal, while the second semifinal will be between Egypt and England.
Hot favourites Egypt, with two world junior champions in their ranks, played to their billing as top seeds to maintain a clean slate on way to the semifinal.
Meanwhile, for the third time in three days, France recovered from losing the second match to beat their opponents 2-1. In today`s final qualifying round, France overcame Hong Kong 2-1 to ensure that they take the unexpected position at the top of Pool B, ahead of favourites England.
Hong Kong and Malaysia finished third and fourth respectively and went out of the reckoning.