Winnipeg: After conceding a game in the opening round, top seed Dipika Pallikal showed her true class in the Winnipeg Winter Club Women's Open by reclaiming the WSA squash title in her season opener here.
Pallikal dispatched second seed and last year's runners-up Heba El Torky 11-4 11-9 11-8 in yesterday's final of the USD 15,000 event.
The world no.13 from India had also won the title here in 2013 before compatriot Joshana Chinappa lifted the trophy last year.
Pallikal had reached the final -- the 15th of her career on the WSA World Tour -- after beating Donna Urquhart, the fourth seed from Australia making her Tour return after a six-month foot injury break.
The 23-year-old Indian had endured a tough start to last season but this time it seems the work put in the lead up to the new year is bearing fruit. Pallikal is now looking forward to the Granite Open in Toronto in two weeks time.
"It is a great win considering it is my first tournament of the year. All the matches were tough," Pallikal told PTI today.
Pallikal usually trains abroad with former five-time world champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald in Melbourne but she recently spent some time with renowned Egyptian coach Amir Wagih in Washington DC before beginning her US leg of the season.
"I really had a good off season to train back home and then it was nice to go back and train with Amir. He is one of the best in the world and the stint really helped," said the Commonwealth Games gold medallist, whose ranking took a hit last year when she missed a few tournaments to prepare for CWG and Asian Games.
"Last year turned out to be the best year of my career with win in Glasgow but it is now back to the grind of professional squash. I consistently need to beat the top players and get back into the top-10," she added.