Anaka Alankamony claimed her second title on the women’s professional squash tour and her first one abroad when she stunned top seed Kylie Lindsay of New Zealand to win the Ipswich Open in Queensland.
The 18-year-old trainee at the Indian Squash Academy, Chennai took advantage of a string of errors from the world number 39 to win in straight games 11-8, 13-11, 11-5 in hot and humid conditions.
Alankamony ranked 93 in the world had earlier beaten sixth seeded South African Cheyna Tucker in the semi-finals and fourth ranked Christine Nunn in the quarters to complete a weekend of upsets.
She settled far quicker than Lindsay in the final and took control in all three games to record a comfortable win.
“It’s been an amazing week for me, I was seventh seed for this tournament so it feels really good to win,” she said.
“I had a five-setter in the morning today and yesterday I had a five setter and a four setter, so it was a long day yesterday and today, but I feel really wonderful now.”
Alankamony said she felt at home with the conditions.
“I train in Chennai and it’s very humid there and I think it was a big advantage for me because it is a similar climate to over there,” she said.
“The climate didn’t really affect me – I really enjoyed playing here. Finally, i would like to thank all my coaches and the Sports Develoment Authority of Tamil Nadu for all their support”
Lindsay offered no excuses, saying she just had an off day.
“I just really didn’t get into it today, not good,” she said. “I was just a little bit flat and couldn’t get into it, I made too many mistakes and gave her too much to hit.
“It was hot but I don’t think that had anything to do with it, apart from the bouncy ball, I just wasn’t good enough.”
Alankamony showed enough to suggest she would be a major threat at next week’s Queensland Open in Sandgate.
“I’m seventh seed there as well, so I am really confident now,” she said.
Aparajitha Balamurukan had earlier lost in the 2nd round of the event.
Results – prefix denotes seeding:
5-Lotte Eriksen (NOR) bt 12-Aparajitha Balamurukan (IND) 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 4-11, 11-4
7-Anaka Alankamony (IND) bt Zoe Petrovansky (AUS) 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7
7-Anaka Alankamony (IND) bt 4-Christine Nunn (AUS) 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7
7-Anaka Alankamony (IND) bt 6-Cheyna Tucker (RSA) 11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 10-12, 11-2 (50 mins)
7-Anaka Alankamony (IND) bt 1-Kylie Lindsay 11-8, 13-11, 11-5 (31 mins)
Published with permission from Cyrus Poncha's squash blog.