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Joshna Chinappa, Dipika Pallikal go down fighting at Hong Kong Open

Joshna Chinappa, Dipika Pallikal crash out of the Hong Kong Open as Saurav Ghosal withdrew due to a fatigue fracture.

Joshna Chinappa (front) in action at the Hong Kong Open (image courtesy: Hong Kong Open)
Joshna Chinappa (front) in action at the Hong Kong Open (image courtesy: Hong Kong Open)

The Indian duo of Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal fought hard but both crashed out of the $150,000 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open 2015 in the second round on Thursday. While World No. 13 Chinappa went down 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 10-12, 6-11 to former World No. 4 Joelle King, the 16th ranked Pallikal lost 11-7, 8-11, 3-11, 8-11 to the third seed Camille Serme.

The 14th seeded Pallikal was the first to take the court against Serme and had a fast start as she captured the opening game 11-7. She had lost her last match against the Frenchwoman in straight games at the British Open this year. So, her brilliant start raised hopes of an upset.

But the experienced Serme came back soon and withstood a late charge from the Indian to advance to the quarter-finals in 45 minutes.

India No.1 Chinappa’s match was the last women’s match of the day. Chinappa continued with her impressive form as she took a hard-fought opening game 11-9. But Joelle King, who had beaten the Chennai girl in their most recent encounter at the Carol Weymuller Open, managed to halt the rampaging run of Joshna and levelled the score.

The two players exchanged the following two games and enforced a deciding fifth game. The Kiwi player was far more aggressive towards the end that dashed the hopes of the Indian star in 64 minutes.

“Joshna’s playing really well, but somehow I managed to stop her dominating play and sneak through in the end,” said King after her win.

Meanwhile, in some more disappointing news from the tournament, Saurav Ghosal had to withdraw ahead of his second round showdown with the top seed Mohamed Elshorbagy due to a fatigue fracture in his right foot. The injury has also forced the top Indian player to pull out of the upcoming WSF Men’s World Squash Team Championship, thus giving a major jolt to India’s chances at this prestigious tournament.

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