Australian Open squash: Dipika Pallikal reaches semi-finals
Indian squash queen Dipika Pallikal continues her great run on the PSA Tour. The World No. 19, who is the top seed at the Australian Open, reached the semi-finals of this $15, 000 event in Melbourne on Wednesday. After losing the first game, Pallikal made a strong comeback to beat the seventh seed Misaki Kobayashi of Japan 6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 in her quarter-final.
The 24-year-old will next play Egyptian qualifier Hana Ramadan for a place in Friday’s summit clash. The 18-year-old, a winner of July’s Bendigo International, last met the Indian in June, 2015 where Pallikal won in straight games.
The former World No. 10 Indian has been in impeccable form for the last few weeks. After winning her second National Squash Championships title in July, she started off the new PSA season with a bang by reaching the final of last week’s Victorian Open.
Harinderpal Sandhu bows out in quarters
However, the other Indians taking part in the Australian Open did not enjoy the same good fortunes.
Sachika Ingale was the only other Indian girl in the women’s draw and she bowed out in the qualifying, losing 11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 7-11 to Tamika Saxby of Australia.
On the men’s side, sixth seed Harinderpal Sandhu made the farthest progress, reaching the quarter-finals where he lost 12-10, 8-11, 10-12, 7-11 to the third seed Abdulla Al Tamimi of Qatar. 20-year-old Kush Kumar reached the semi-finals of the Victorian Open last week but was, unfortunately, let down in this event by an ankle injury due to which he had to retire in his second-round match against the eighth seed Joel Makin.
It did not go well for the other two Indians in the fray too. Ravi Dixit lost to the second seed Campbell Grayson of New Zealand in Round 2 while qualifier Sandeep Ramachandran succumbed to Zac Alexander in the opening round.