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Pallikal powers into Texas Open quarters

Dipika Pallikal

Indian squash star Dipika Pallikal survived some anxious moments before beating Australian qualifier Donna Urquhart
Dipika PallikalHouston (USA): Indian squash star Dipika Pallikal survived some anxious moments before beating Australian qualifier Donna Urquhart in the opening round of the USD 50,000 Texas Open here.

Pallikal, who has not had the best of starts to 2014, took 36 minutes to get past her 26th-ranked opponent 12-10, 11-8, 11-5 on Thursday. The Chennai-girl saved five game balls in the first game.

The 22-year-old plays World No.19 Nicolette Fernandes in the quarterfinals on Friday. The Guyanese upset fifth seed Annie Au of Hong Kong 12-10, 10-12, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8.

“I think I played well today so would not like to change much for the quarterfinal. I played Nicolette about three years ago. She has improved a lot since then. I am expecting a tough match,” Pallikal told PTI recollecting her 3-2 win over the Guyanese.

Joshna Chinappa, the other Indian in the main draw, however, lost her opener. The World No.21 went down to 16th-ranked Rachael Grinham of Australia 7-11, 5-11, 5-11.

First round results:

[2] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [Q] Joey Chan (HKG) 7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 12-10 (38m); [Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt [6] Kasey Brown (AUS) 11-4, 11-5, 4-11, 11-8 (42m); [4] Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt [Q] Donna Urquhart (AUS) 12-10, 11-8, 11-5 (36m); Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt [5] Annie Au (HKG) 12-10, 10-12, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8 (65m); [8] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Joshana Chinappa (IND) 11-7, 11-5, 11-5 (24m); [3] Camille Serme (FRA) bt Amanda Sobhy (USA) 10-12, 11-6, 11-4, 11-8 (40m); [Q] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [7] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11-4, 11-4, 12-10 (29m); [1] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7 (64m).

PTI

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