World No. 16 Dipika Pallikal’s absence proved costly as India finished a lowly 14th at the Women’s World Team Squash Championships held in Niagara-on-the-lake, Canada. The Indian team managed to secure just two wins out of seven matches.
India v Hong Kong
India opened with a loss to fourth seeds Hong Kong in their first match of Group D. World No. 22 Joshna Chinappa led the team in the absence of Pallikal. But the reigning National Champion found it difficult to tackle the formidable Hong Kong team. The team went down 0-3 in the opener.
Joey Chan def Anaka Alankamony 4-11, 11-1, 11-4, 11-9
Annie Au def Joshna Chinappa 11-3, 11-8, 11-8
Liu Tsz-Ling def Harshit Kaur Jawanda 11-2, 12-10, 11-5
India v France
India took on France in their second group match. Unfortunately the results were the same. Joshna squared off against World No. 6 Camille Serme. Despite a tough fight in the third game, the India No. 2 went down in straight games.
Coline Aumard def Anaka Alankamony 11-4, 11-6, 11-5
Camille Serme def Joshna Chinappa 11-3, 11-4, 11-7
Cyrielle Peltier def Sachika Ingale 11-8, 11-7, 11-7
India v Austria
The Indian women registered their first win of the Women’s World Team Squash Championships against Austria. Joshna Chinappa lost the first game versus Birgit Coufal but stormed back to win the next three games. Anaka Alankamony and Harshit Kaur Jawanda too put up brilliant performances to wrap up a 3-0 victory.
Joshna Chinappa def Birgit Coufal 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7
Anaka Alankamony def Jacqueline Peychar 11-9, 11-6, 11-4
Harshit Kaur Jawanda def Anja Kaserer 11-5, 11-2, 11-5
India v South Africa
However, India could not carry on the momentum when they played South Africa in the final group match. The Joshna Chinappa led-team lost 1-2 to finish fourth in the group stage.
Even though Chinappa beat World No. 33 Siyoli Waters, Anaka Alankamony lost against Milnay Louw and in the last match, 20-year-old Sachika Ingale showed resilience to take the match to the decider against Cheyna Tucker, but lost.
Joshna Chinappa def Siyoli Waters 11-4, 11-4, 11-7
Milnay Louw def Anaka Alankamony 11-2, 11-7, 11-8
Cheyna Tucker def Sachika Ingale 11-5, 11-7, 4-11, 7-11, 11-6
India v Canada
India met hosts Canada in the 9-16th place play-offs. Anaka Alankamony delivered the first win for India but Joshna Chinappa stumbled in a hard-fought encounter. With a boisterous crowd fervently cheering for the home team, World No. 31 Samantha Cornett edged past Chinappa in a five-game thriller. In the third match of the contest, Nikki Todd had a convincing win over Sachika Ingale.
Anaka Alankamony def Danielle Letourneau 5-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8
Samantha Cornett def Joshna Chinappa 11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 9-11, 11-6
Nikki Todd def Sachika Ingale 11-9, 11-3, 11-5
India v Colombia
In the 13-16th place play-offs at the Women’s World Team Squash Championships, India thrashed Colombia 2-0. Joshna Chinappa and Anaka Alankamony both notched up wins.
Joshna Chinappa def Catalina Pelaez 11-1, 11-5, 13-11
Anaka Alankamony def Laura Tovar 11-9, 11-7, 11-5
India v Mexico
India could not find the winning touch versus Mexico as the latter beat India 2-0 in the 13th place playoff. World Championship debutante Sachika Ingale lost to Karla Urrutia. Joshna too struggled for consistency and was beaten by World No. 34 Samantha Teran.
Karla Urrutia def Sachika Ingale 11-8, 11-5, 4-11, 11-7
Samantha Teran def Joshna Chinappa 11-9, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9
India’s performance at the 2014 Women’s World Team Squash Championships was a departure from the last edition in 2012 where the team had secured the 5th spot. India No. 1 Dipika Pallikal’s absence had a major impact on the team which was heavily banking only on Joshna Chinappa to pull them through. However, Joshna’s indifferent form coupled with lack of able support from her teammates could only give the team a 14th place finish.