New Delhi: Dipika Pallikal fought back from two game deficit to win her match but could not save India from losing against South Africa 1-2 in a play-off match of the Women`s World Team Squash championship in Palmerston North, New Zealand.
Dipika came back from 0-2 down to beat former WISPA top 25 player Tenille Swartz, who is coming back after injury, 3-2 in a thrilling contest in the 9-12th classification tie.
India had failed to qualify for the quarterfinals after winning one and losing two matches in Pool B.
Anaka Alankamony was the first to take the field and the Indian was completely out of sorts against Milnay Louw. Anaka gave it everything and ran for every ball but was outclassed by her more skillful opponent to lose 0-3.
Dipika, however, brought the tie to level terms by 1-1 by beating Tenille 3-2.
Tenille, an amazing retriever, returned every shot that was thrown at her by attacking Dipika. Before she knew, Dipika was 0-2 down.
In the third game, Dipika decided to be more patient and managed to win that game. In the fourth, both players’ traded shots for extended periods of time. Dipika saved three game points to win it.
The decider was a touch and go affair. Dipika maintained her composure while her opponent made a few uncharacteristic errors and the Indian won it 3-2.
Joshana Chinappa went into the third match with great hopes but lost 2-3 to hard hitting Siyoli in a close encounter.
The Indian started of well making her opponent run the four corners of the court to win the first game 11-6.
Thereafter, Siyoli came back strongly to take the second game. Joshana won the third and Siyoli took the fourth. The deciding game was a neck to neck battle but with Siyoli edged Joshana to win the tie.
India now play against Hong Kong for 11-12th position on Saturday.