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Joshna Chinappa advances at Tournament of Champions; Dipika Pallikal out

Chinappa faces the fifth seed Omneya Abdel Kawy next at the tournament in New York.

Joshna Chinappa
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The top-ranked Indian women’s squash players had contrasting fortunes at the prestigious $150, 000 Tournament of Champions in New York on Saturday as Joshna Chinappa won her opening round but Dipika Pallikal crashed out.

India No. 1 Chinappa,  seeded 15th at the tournament, staged a brilliant comeback from two games down to edge past 29th-ranked Egyptian wildcard Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy, 8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7 in a 59-minute marathon.

The 17th-ranked Pallikal did not enjoy the same fate and she lost 7-11, 10-12, 6-11 to Egyptian qualifier Mariam Metwally – ranked 34 places below her – in 34 minutes.

Chinappa, who reached her career-best ranking of 13 in December, has a tough task next as she is up against the fifth seed Omneya Abdel Kawy of Egypt. Kawy has defeated the Chennai girl twice since October, their most recent encounter being a five-game thriller at the Qatar Classic in November.

The second round match is scheduled on Monday.

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