Chennai: Squash star Dipika Pallikal outclassed fellow Indian Lakshya Ragavendran to reach the semifinals of the JSW Indian Squash Challenger Circuit here today.
Pallikal pummelled Ragavendran 11-4 9-11 11-2 11-3 in a quarterfinal lasting 37 minutes. The World No.12, courtesy her well-timed strokes and agile movements ran away with the first game. With a mild setback in the second game, Pallikal won the next two comfortably.
Dipika Pallikal. Pic/ Agencies
"I am delighted to reach the semis for the second consecutive time in the JSW Challenger Circuit. I have been working on certain aspects of my game and its very rewarding to achieve positive results after all the hard work. Also, it feels great to play at home, in front of all these kids because at the end of the day, they aspire to be like one of us," said Pallikal, who will take on Siyoli Waters of South Africa in the last four.
While the centre court witnessed Pallikal in action, the other court at the Indian Squash Academy witnessed a hard fought encounter between Birgit Coufal and Cheyna Tucker. Coufal ended up winning the battle 12-10 4-11 5-11 11-5 11-7 in 47 minutes.
Come tomorrow, Coufal will face Japan's Misaki Kobayashi, who was the first woman to enter the semi-finals defeating compatriot Satomi Watanabe 11-3 11-5 11-2.
In the men's draw, top seed Karim Ali Fathi showed his class to cruise into the semifinals with a 11-9 11-9 11-6 win over the seventh seed Hannan Tarmidi of Malaysia. India's Harinder Pal Sandhu continued his winning ways by overcoming Welshman Joel Makin 11-5 11-6 12-10. Another Indian Ravi Dixit beat Kevin Moran of Scotland 7-11 11-5 2-11 11-6 11-6.