World No. 12 squash ace Joshna Chinappa began her campaign at the PSA $115, 000 Hong Kong Open 2016 on a winning note on Tuesday. The India No. 1 comfortably beat 19-year-old Egyptian qualifier Nadine Shahin, 12-10, 11-3, 11-6 in 26 minutes to advance to the second round of the season’s first World Series event.
She has a tough task up next as she meets the eighth seed and World No. 7 Omneya Abdel Kawy of Egypt on Thursday for a place in the quarter-finals.
The 29-year-old began the season with a couple of runner-up showings at the National Squash Championships and the SRAM Invitational where some of the world’s top stars participated.
Pallikal and Ghosal in action on Wednesday
The Chennai girl was the only Indian in action on Tuesday. Both Dipika Pallikal and Saurav Ghosal will start their challenges on Wednesday. And both of them have to put up their very best performances if they want to make it through to the next round.
While Pallikal faces the World No. 6 Camille Serme of France, Ghosal will be up against the former World No. 1 Ramy Ashour of Egypt.
Having said that, Dipika has been in superb form coming into this tournament and an upset win from her racquet cannot be ruled out. She won her second Nationals title and followed it up with the Australian Open crown. Last week, she also partnered Ghosal to the mixed doubles silver medal at the WSF World International Doubles in Australia, besides adding the women’s doubles bronze with Chinappa.
For Saurav, this is his first PSA event since April as he was on a break to recover fully from an ankle injury. He played his first tournament of any kind in July where he scooped up his 11th Nationals title.
Earlier, India did not have any luck in the qualifying rounds as both Harinderpal Sandhu and Mahesh Mangaonkar crashed out.