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Dipika Pallikal loses WSA Granite Open squash final to Sarah-JanePerry

Pallikal falters in the final hurdle Toronto, Feb 21 (IANS): Just five days after winning the British National crown for the first time, England ...

Pallikal falters in the final hurdle
 

Toronto, Feb 21 (IANS): Just five days after winning the British National crown for the first time, England's Sarah-Jane Perry powered to the biggest international squash title of her career after upsetting India's Dipika Pallikal in the WSA-Granite Open final here.

The 8-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-7 success Friday marked the 24-year-old from Kenilworth's eighth WSA World Tour title and her first ever win over Pallikal, the World No.13 from Chennai, in three meetings since October 2011.

Fourth seed Perry, the World No.16, made it to her 11th Tour final after overcoming top seed and defending champion Amanda Sobhy, ranked six places higher, in the semi-final.

But it was Pallikal who had the upper hand in the opening game with Perry making too many unforced errors. The English underdog corrected this in the second, pulling away from 6-all to level the match.

Perry maintained the momentum in the third, racing to a 6-2 lead, but 23-year-old Pallikal fought back to level at 10, before the English player clinched the game 12-10.

Pallikal twice led in the fourth at 6-5 and 7-6 but was unable to fend off Perry, who took five points in a row on the way to her second Granite Open title since 2013.

"I'm thrilled to win my second Granite title. I love it here and it seems to make me play well. A fantastic tournament as always and I'm already looking forward to coming back next year. It's been a tough couple of weeks and I'm looking forward to a few days off now before Chicago," exclaimed the jubilant champion.

Last week in England, Perry overcame compatriots Alison Waters and Laura Massaro, ranked three and five in the world, respectively, en route to winning the British National Championship against expectations.

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