World doubles squash: Dipika-Joshna enter semifinals

Top Indian women’s squash pair of Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa finished second in Group B to sail into the semifinals of the World Doubles Squash Championships 2022, here.

Up against the 11th seeds Abbie Palmer and Kaitlyn Watts of New Zealand, the easier of the two challenges on the day, the third-seeded Indian pair won the match 11-5, 11-3 in 16 minutes at the Scotstoun Leisure Centre.

But, Dipika and Joshna had their task cut out against second seeds Sarah-Jane Perry and Alison Waters of England. The Indian duo, who are two-time Commonwealth Games medallists, lost their match 9-11, 8-11 in 18 minutes on late Thursday night.

However, Dipika and Joshna qualified for the semis after Rachael Grinham and Donna Lobban of Australia pulled out of the tournament on Thursday.

The Indian pair had lost to the Australians and were placed third on Wednesday. Dipika and Joshna had earlier defeated Hong Kong’s Tsz-Wing Tong-Ho Tze-Lok and the Malaysian duo of Ainaa Ampandi-Yiwen Chan in the other matches of Group B. Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa will now face top seeds Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy of New Zealand in the semifinal.

In Group B of the mixed team event, Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal, second seeds, are placed second with a group match to play.

They had bounced back with a win over Malaysia’s Mohammad Syafiq Kamal and Aifa Azman after going down to Scotland’s Greg Lobban and Lisa Aitken. The Commonwealth Games silver medallists will face the bottom-placed Welsh team of Peter Creed and Emily Whitlock.

The mixed team event has four groups of five teams with the top two teams set to progress to the quarter-finals.

In Group A, Vikram Malhotra and Joshna Chinappa, the second Indian squash pair in the mixed doubles, were brushed aside 11-2 11-7 by top seeds Paul Coll and Joelle King of New Zealand in their first match of the day.

Vikram and Joshna, however, moved to second place on the points table by defeating Hong Kong’s Chi Him Wong and Ka Yi Lee 10-11, 11-5, 11-10 later in the day. They had earlier won their first match against South Africa’s Jean-Pierre Brits and Alexandra Fuller on Wednesday, an olympics.com report said.

In the men’s doubles, Asian Games bronze medallist Ramit Tandon and Vikram Malhotra will play their classification matches after finishing third in Group E.

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