Joshna Chinappa was the only Indian to win on Sunday as Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal bowed out in the quarter-finals of the 18th Asian Individual Squash Championship 2015 at the International Squash Complex in Kuwait. While Joshna won a five-game thriller against Joey Chan, Dipika went down to lower-ranked Delia Arnold in a five-game clash.
In a late match, second-seeded Saurav Ghosal who was the only Indian left in the men’s draw, crashed out to Nasir Iqbal in four games.
Hard-fought win for Joshna Chinappa
Just three ranking places separate Joshna Chinappa and Hong Kong player Joey Chan. Quite expectedly, the quarter-final contest turned out to be a thriller.
World No. 24 Chinappa was the first one to inch ahead in this match. Winning seven points in a row, the Chennai girl clinched the first game 11-8. A determined Chan made a comeback and took the next two games 12-10, 11-9.
In a closely-fought fourth game, Joshna managed to edge past the 27th-ranked Chan 11-9. In the decider, it was one-way traffic initially as Joshna built a 6-0 lead. Even though Chan made a brief comeback, the Indian closed out the match 11-8, 10-12, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7 to advance to the semis.
Dipika Pallikal crashes out
World No. 18 Dipika Pallikal who was flawless in her opening match yesterday, could not continue the same momentum against the 29th-ranked Delia Arnold of Malaysia. Dipika, who took a 2-1 games lead, ended up on the losing side as the veteran Malaysian stormed back to take the last two games.
The final score was 11-7, 12-14, 11-13, 11-8, 11-9 in 95 minutes in favour of Arnold.
Saurav Ghosal bites the dust
In some disappointing news, Asian Games gold medallist and World No. 21 Saurav Ghosal fell to an in-form Nasir Iqbal of Pakistan in a late match. Saurav won the first game but eventually lost the match 1-3.