Cairo: India's top squash players Dipika Pallikal and Joshana Chinappa fought hard against higher-ranked opponents before losing their respective pre-quarterfinal in the World Championship here.
World number 16 Pallikal showed promise against third-ranked Raneem El Welily of Egypt before going down 11-7 5-11 3-11 6-11 in 50 minutes in a match played yesterday night. 22nd-ranked Chinappa got extremely close to the biggest win of her career against world number seven Low Wee Wern of Malaysia. The Indian earned the advantage of having a 2-1 lead in what turned out to be a long intense affair.
However, Wee Wern made a decisive comeback in the next two games for a 6-11 11-3 11-13 11-7 11-8 win. In other matches, England's defending champion Laura Massaro moved one step closer to a third successive appearance in the final of the premier event when she defeated Hong Kong's top-ranked player Annie Au.
But the world number two was pushed all the way in the first two games by Au, the ninth seed, before closing out the match 12-10 12-10 11-2 in 40 minutes. "The two tie-breaks showed how tight it was," said Massaro. "It's the fifth time I've played her this year - I guess I'm getting to grips with what I've got to do."
The second seed will now line up against fifth-seeded Londoner Alison Waters, the England team-mate with whom she won the world team title last week in Canada. Waters earned her place in the last eight after an 11-7 11-6 11-3 victory over compatriot Sarah-Jane Perry, the 15th seed who was also a member of the triumphant England team.
The other quarter-final clash will be an all-Egyptian affair El Welily, the third seed, and eighth seed Nour El Tayeb, also from Cairo, both prevailed. El Tayeb claimed the day's first win - and her maiden appearance in the event's last eight at her sixth attempt - after beating Australian veteran Rachael Grinham 11-8 9-11,