Indian squash queen Dipika Pallikal made a thunderous start to her campaign at the PSA $10, 000 Victorian Open 2016 as she raced into the quarter-finals in Melbourne, Australia on Thursday. The World No. 19, who is the top seed at this tournament, needed only 24 minutes to dismiss Malaysian qualifier Teh Min Jie, 11-6, 11-6, 11-2.
The 24-year-old will next face the eighth seed Megan Craig for a place in the semi-finals.
Sandhu, Kumar in quarters
The simultaneous men’s event saw the third seed Harinderpal Sandhu and eighth seed Kush Kumar emerging winners.
Sandhu did not have it all going his way as he required four games to get the better of the 110th ranked Lance Beddoes. The World No. 84 prevailed over the Kiwi player, 11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6 in 47 minutes. He next faces the seventh seed Evan Williams.
The 20-year-old Kush Kumar, meanwhile, won a battle of rising Indian stars as he beat 19-year-old qualifier Sandeep Ramachandran, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8 in just 18 minutes.
The youngster, currently ranked 102nd, will next take on the fourth seed Reiko Peter. The 27-year-old Swiss is placed 22 ranking spots above the Indian.
This is the opening week of the new PSA season. Both Pallikal and Sandhu are in great form as evidenced by their performances at the National Squash Championships in July. While the Chennai girl went on to clinch her second title, Sandhu lost in a dramatic, closely-fought final to Saurav Ghosal.