It was always supposed to be a tricky encounter against the legendary Nicol David but Joshna Chinappa made it a fighting three-game match as she went down 8-11, 8-11, 10-12 to the former World No. 1 at the Women's SRAM Invitational 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Thursday.
Facing the top seed and eight-time world champion especially in an arena named after her – the Nicol David Arena – in her own country is quite an arduous task. Still, the India No. 1 and World No. 10 Chinappa can be proud of the way she fought.
The 29-year-old led in both the opening games before David stormed back to clinch them both. The fourth-seeded Joshna made one last push in the third game as she saved four match balls and forced the World No. 4 to work hard for the win.
This 37-minute Pool A victory thus ensures that the 32-year-old tops her group and qualifies for the semi-finals. Joshna now goes on to meet the other Group A player – the 14th ranked Jenny Duncalf. A win for either player on Friday will see her progressing through to the last-four.
“It’s good to beat her to get into the semis. I’m getting better with each game. She fought back in the third game, but I’m happy to come through,” said David after her win over Chinappa.
In Group B, third seed Joelle King played a brilliant match to upset the second-seeded Egyptian Omneya Abdel Kawy, 11-5, 14-12, 11-4. The Kiwi squash ace will next take on the sixth seed and local favourite Delia Arnold as she attempts to top her respective group for a semi-final berth.