Dipika Pallika in full gear

May 15, 2013, 01:17 IST | Urmimala Banerjee

Though squash is not a very popular sport in India, Dipika Rebecca Pallikal has brought glory to the nation by becoming the first Indian woman to break into the Top 10 in the world rankings.

CS caught up with Dipika for a chat before the lady heads for the British Open that’s going to start from May 21, 2013. Read on:

Dipika Pallikal
Who: Dipika Pallikal
What: On her competitive spirit 

Up for the challenge
The British Open is one of the most prestigious squash tournaments and I am looking forward to competing with some of the best. I have been training hard since March. I train for six-seven hours along with working out in the gym on a daily basis. Plus, I have stayed for quite some time in England, so I love the place. If I get time I will definitely go to London and meet my friends.

Home and away
I have been living out of a suitcase since I was 18. Eventually, you get used to it.  I enjoy travelling and competition so I don’t mind the grind that comes along with it. Plus, you get to visit new places. My mom used to accompany me till I was 16. From then on, I have been on my own, and it has taught me to be independent and tough in the long run.

Southern comfort
It is just a coincidence that Saina Nehwal, Sania Mirza and I are all from South India. It is heartening to see that people from down South are encouraging their daughters to pursue and excel in professional sports. I am happy that all of us are doing well and bringing laurels for the country.

Support system
My family is my pillar of strength. They made sure that I got all the resources and emotional support needed to play sport at the highest level. They understand my lifestyle and never pressurise me about anything. The only thing they insist on is that I complete my education. I was never allowed to quit schooling or college for squash. Thankfully, I have managed to do well in both.

Off the court
I love shopping, watching films and travelling. I am only 21, after all. Yes, people do call me fashionable but I am not fashion conscious per se. I like to dress in a trendy manner. I look upto Roger Federer because he has performed and managed his career very well. 

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