Dipika Pallikal's run ends at US Open

New Delhi: Indian squash player Dipika Pallikal's great run in the US Open ended with a narrow 2-3 loss against the World Number 6 Omneya Abdel Kawy of Egypt in the quarterfinal at Philadelphia here.

World No. 19 Pallikal put up a brave fight before going down 11-9, 6-11, 8-11, 11-2, 3-11 to Omneya here. The first quarterfinal in the bottom half proved a see-saw affair between the two top players.

Both excelled in shot-making with typically short rallies. Neither of the players was inclined to forego any opportunity for a winner, many of which worked but the tin came into play frequently too.

Kawy took a 9-5 lead in the first game only to see Pallikal win six points in a row to grab it 11-9. The two then took turns to dominate in spells as Kawy annexed the next two games before Pallikal totally dominated the fourth. The decisive proved easy for Kawy.

The conditions -- which the saffron party has to abide by this year -- had been imposed by the high court in the past. These pertain to adherence to noise pollution rules and restoration of the ground to its original position after the rally.

"We have allowed Shiv Sena to hold the rally in the past and there is no reason why we should not allow the party to organise it this year...However, the party would have to abide by the conditions imposed by the HC earlier," said Justices V M Kanade and Anuja Prabhudessai.

The HC cautioned the Sena against violating the rules. "A political party is for the benefit of citizens and therefore it should ensure that they (citizens) are not troubled. We, therefore, request Shiv Sena to observe the noise pollution (regulation and control) rules and other conditions," the bench observed.

The party has been facing opposition from certain quarters in organising the event at Shivaji Park in the past two years as the high court had declared it as a 'silence zone'. Sena has been organising its annual rally on Dussehra every year since its inception to announce its policies and it has become a prestige issue for the party to hold the event every year at the same place.

The HC passed the order today, allowing Sena to hold the rally at Shivaji Park this year on separate applications moved by the BJP-led Maharashtra government and Shiv Sena, which also is part of the state government.

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