Hard-fought win for Joshna Chinappa in Macau Open Qualifying

Joshna Chinappa earned a hard-fought victory in the first round win

Birthday girl Joshna Chinappa put up a display of sheer grit and stamina to register a first-round victory in the qualifying stages of the prestigious Macau Open – a $50k PSA event on Tuesday.

The 14-time Indian National Champion who celebrated her 29th birthday on 15th September, had to come back from two games down to outlast World No. 64 Vanessa Chu of Hong Kong 5-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-7 at the Centro de Bowling in Macau.

The 24th ranked Indian is in a rich vein of form lately, having won two of her last three international tournaments. Joshna’s last title came at the NSCI Open in Mumbai, as recently as 10 days back. The confidence surely helped her to roar back into contention when the chips were down in her Macau match.

Joshna has a tough battle at hand on Wednesday as she is up against the World No. 20 Egyptian Salma Hany Ibrahim in the final round of qualifying. Ibrahim, who is the top seed in qualifying, also did not have it easy in her Round 1. The Egyptian overcame Hong Kong player Lee Ka Yi 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6.

The recently-married World No. 17 Dipika Pallikal who is in the main draw, is the only other Indian at this tournament. Pallikal will begin her campaign against the top seed Laura Massaro of England on Thursday.

Meanwhile, defending champion Nicole David has withdrawn due to a calf injury.

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