New Delhi: The Indian challenge in the Women`s Qatar Classic Squash Open came to an end after Dipika Pallikal suffered a straight-game defeat against England`s Laura Massaro in the pre-quarterfinals of the event in Doha.
Pallikal, unseeded in the tournament, went down 6-11, 5-11, 13-15 to sixth seed Massaro in 31 minutes at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex last night.
In the first round of the USD 74,000 World Tour event, the Chennai-girl had caused a major upset, defeating 15th seed Ireland`s Aisling Blake 13-11, 3-11, 4-11, 11-4, 12-10 in an encounter that lasted more than an hour.
Massaro will next meet her team-mate second seed Jenny Duncalf in the quarterfinals.
The 19-year-old Pallikal was featuring in her first tournament after the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last month, which she missed due to illness.
Pallikal, world ranked 33rd, had pulled out of the women`s and mixed doubles events due to a mild fever which she developed before the start of the October 3-14 event. She was to partner her Chennai team-mate Joshna Chinappa in the women`s doubles and Saurav Ghosal in the mixed doubles event.
"The last month was just awful for me, having to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games with illness," Pallikal said.
"It took me three weeks before I could come out of my room and talk to someone. But I`m pleased to be back again," she added.
In the first round, another Indian woman player Joshna Chinappa had lost narrowly to 10th seed New Zealand`s Jaclyn Hawkes 5-11, 11-4, 4-11, 11-9, 6-11 in 47 minutes.