Hong Kong: India’s top squash player Joshna Chinappa fell at the final hurdle after giving a close fight to top seed Joelle King of New Zealand in the PSA HKFC International squash tournament here on Saturday. The New Zealander won 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9.
Joshna Chinnapa (right) battles away against top seed Joelle King of New Zealand on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images
After coming through two five-game encounters earlier, the third seed Indian still looked fresh for another battle. Only once has Joshna beaten Joelle in their eight meetings and that too seven years ago.
Much has happened since then. Joelle is 9th in the world, four rungs above Joshna but it proved a lively match with points going neck and neck. In fact the Indian had led 9-8 in the first game where Joelle came up with three winning drives.
Touch of brilliance
The second too went on similar note with Joelle picking an early lead. Joshna equalised only to see the New Zealander come up with a touch of brilliance.
In the third game, Joshna earned two ‘strokes’ in the end stages and that sought of put a check on the rival. But the one game reverse did not unsettle Joelle who like in the earlier games, showed the superiority in the end stages with crisp volleys and drops to stop the Indian.