Cleveland Classic 2020: Joshna Chinappa bows out in semi-final
What's the story?
Chinappa had enjoyed a stellar run in the tournament thus far. After receiving a bye in the first round, the 33-year-old emerged victorious in Round 2. She was handed the win in the pre-quarters as her Egyptian opponent Menna Nasser had to retire midway during the match due to injury. Chinappa was in a 12-10 3-0 lead when Menna chose to retire.
It took a five-game thriller to settle the quarter-final match between Joshna and Annie Au of Hong Kong. Fourth seed Au took the opening game but Chinappa bounced back by winning the second game thanks to a splendid display of hard shots and volleys. However, Au took the lead again after winning the third game. The fifth seed Indian showed tremendous resilience and fighting spirit to win the next to games and win the encounter with a scoreline of 3-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6 in her favour.
The heart of the matter
The win against Annie Au in the quarter-final helped Chinappa set up her semi-final match against Egypt's Nour El Tayeb. Joshna's tried her level best against the higher-ranked opponent and also displayed a few stunning volleys and accurate straight drives in the second game.
World No. 5 and also the top seed in the tournament, El Tayeb, ultimately proved to be a little too much for Chinappa. The Egyptian ace defeated the World No. 12 Joshna 11-4, 11-8, 11-3 in straight sets and cruised to the summit clash. Tayeb, with her consistency in drops and lobs, had the upper hand throughout the match and seemed in control.
After upsetting 4th seed Au in the quarter-final, Chinappa failed to register another upset in the semis and bowed out of the World Tour bronze event.
Joshna Chinappa will look to quickly recover from the heartbreaking defeat at Cleveland Classic 2020, assess her semi-final match carefully, and aim for the title when she plays her next PSA World Tour. As of February 2020, Chinappa has 3,855 ranking points and is still the top-ranked Indian Women's squash player in the PSA circuit with a World rank of 12.Published 03 Feb 2020, 14:55 IST