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Indian Challenger 2011
19-23 Apr, $16k
Urquhart denies Chinappa to take
Chennai Challenger title

Gautam Das reports

Home favorite Joshna Chinappa nursed her hopes of winning the sixth title but succumbed to higher rated Donna Urquhart of Australia 3-1 in the 2011 season's first WISPA Squash Championship at the Indian Squash Academy Courts here this evening.

Word number 16 and top seeded Urquhart won the match at 7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 in 39 minutes.

As for the final encounter today, Joshna, who went in top the lead winning the first game with telling strokes and decisive drives and held on to her sizeable lead before clinching the game at 11-7. Then on, Joshna remained pedestrian as the Aussie made sure with her variety of strokes to wrap up the match with confidence display in her three games win.

It was a case of Urquhart, who lost to Joshna in an NSC 3 championship in 2009, analyzing the strengths of the Indian star in the first game and swiftly got to her rhythm and rarely kept Joshna in to rallies. With such commanding game plan, Urquhart was seen to be much relaxed and was not unduly worried even when Joshna was narrowing the lead on couple of times in the match.

On the other hand, Joshna was in two minds in her approach shots in almost all the three games but was brilliant at times, especially in her shots close to the walls. Perhaps, Joshna lacked ideas to counter and rarely answered the call of fight and the sparse home crowd was obviously disappointed by her performance.

Later, Urquhart complimented Joshna as a talented player and he had to change gears. "After losing the first game, I tightened up my serves as Joshna was able to return with elan. I am happy that most often I succeeded with my double boasts and was able to push to the corner to score points. Mainly, I concentrated on my game instead of trying to counter Joshna today", she said.

Indian Challenger 2011
19-23 Apr, $16k
Round One
20 Apr  16.00-17-30
21 Apr
22 Apr
23 Apr
[1] Donna Urquhart (Aus)
11/9 11/3 17/15(32m)
Anaka Alankmony (Ind)
[1] Donna Urquhart
 11/8 14/12 11/6 (34m) .
[7] Tenille Swartz
[1] Donna Urquhart

8/11 11/4 11/5 11/6 (39m)

[3] Lisa Camilleri

[1] Donna Urquhart

7/11, 11/6, 11/6,
11/4 (39m)

[4] Joshna Chinappa

[7] Tenille Swartz (Rsa)
11/3 11/6 11/3(19m)
[Q] Lakshya Ragavendran (Ind)
[3] Lisa Camilleri (Aus)
 11/4 11/3 11/6(19m)
Laura Pomportes (Fra)
[3] Lisa Camilleri
11/9 11/9 11/4 (34m)
[5] Siti Munirah Jusoh
[5] Siti Munirah Jusoh (Mas)
 7/11 11/9 8/11 11/6 11/2 (44m)
[Q] Aparajitha Balamurukan (Ind)
Sarah Cardwell (Aus)
11/8 11/5 11/7(29m)
[6] Misaki Kobayashi (Jpn)
[6] Misaki Kobayashi
11/4 11/5 11/6 (25m)
[4] Joshna Chinappa
[4] Joshna Chinappa

6/11 11/9 11/6 6/11 11/6 (60m)

[2] Dipika Pallikal

Olga Ertlova (Cze)
11/9 11/3 11/5 (30m)
[4] Joshna Chinappa (Ind)
Adel Weir-Nunan (Rsa)
11/4 11/6 11/3(18m)
[8] Melody Francis (Aus)
[8] Melody Francis
11/6 11/5 11/6 (27m)
[2] Dipika Pallikal
Siyoli Waters (Rsa)
11/7 11/7 8/11 11/0 (38m)
[2] Dipika Pallikal (Ind)

Qualifying Finals:

Aparajitha Balamurukan (Ind) bt Mayuri Namasivayam (Ind)     11/7, 11/3, 11/3 (25m)
Lakshya Ragavendran (Ind) bt Sai Meera (Ind)        7/11, 11/8, 1/11, 11/7, 11/5 (47m)

Round One:

Mayuri Namasivayam (Ind) bt Sruthi Lakshmi (Ind)          11/4, 11/5, 8/11, 11/7 (40m)

Donna & Joshna to contest Chennai Final

Gautam Das reports

India’s talented Joshna Chinappa put paid to the aspirations of her compatriot and highly ranked Dipika Pallikal to score a 3-2 win in the semi final of the 2011 season’s first WISPA Challenger Squash championship here this evening.

After top seeded Australian Donna Urquhart dropped the first game to win the next three over third seeded Lisa Camilleri, also of Australia, 8-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6, the Indians took to the centre court, where Dipika, world ranked 25 to Joshna’s 36, belied the expectations of her supporters as she failed to raise her game to required levels. Joshna, who was patient and slugged it out for opportunities, won at 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6 a marathon 60 minutes game.

Both Chinappa and Pallikal, knowing their strengths well, were playing cautiously in the beginning and waited for their chances to gain points. However, Dipika was prominent in raising her game from a 3-all position in the first game and took five points in a row, before Joshna made it 4-8 and then scored two winners with her front court play. After couple of hand outs, Dipika went on to serve and clinched the vital lead 1-0.

Joshna, aiming for winning her sixth WISPA title, a second in her home country, was at her best in the second. Though Joshna trailed by two points at 3-5, she kept her cool in exhibiting variety and displayed tremendous amount of improvement in her shot selections. But Dipika, the highest ranked Indian player on WISPA, was not giving way easily and matched her senior mate in leveling the score twice at 6-all and 9-all with telling returns. However, Joshna, the more experienced player on the circuit, had little difficulty in clinching the next two points for the game.

The third also went on similar lines of the first game and the rivals were going neck and neck. At times Dipika was rather casual in her approach and failed in concentration midway the game but, Joshna to her credit, displayed her wares in great measure excelling with her boasts and front court play. From 5-3, Joshna steadily scored to lead 10-6 before winning the game for a 2-1 score.

But Dipika was perhaps waiting for the moment to show her superiority as the fourth game started. Dipika had her moments of positive play and in the manner in which she consistently attacked and had Joshna pinned to the back court was noteworthy. Dipika led 3-0 initially and then rode on successfully and served for the game at 10-4. Here, Dipika was perhaps under pressure and this helped Joshna to save two game points before losing the game at 6-11.

In the decider, both were matching each other with drops and playing to the glass walls. However, Joshna outwitted Dipika a number of times to take her score to 7-3 and then 8-4. Here Joshna had to exert her sinew and went on to win the match.

An elated Chinappa gave full credit to Pallikal for her rise in standards.

“I had prepared for the match mentally because Dipika has been playing well on the circuit. In fact, she had defeated higher ranked players with whom I had struggled. Today also, Dipika played well but I did not give her any opportunity to play shots, which is her strong point. I needed to go for winners early enough before being dragged on rallies, which I was able to succeeded.

“I have shown improvement in my game compared to 2008 and 2009 seasons. The thing that made me able to beat Dipika today was I had known that she tends to error if I maintained my consistency. She is a tough rival and at times her strokes are brilliant. I hope to maintain my form for winning the title tomorrow.”

Aussie/Indian Final assured in Chennai
Gautam Das reports

An Indian is assured of an entry to the final of the 2011 season’s first WISPA Challenger series as Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal are to figure in the semi final tomorrow after they won their respective matches with great ease this evening at the Indian Squash Academy here.

The other semi final will be between Australians Donna Urquhart, top seed, and third seeded Lisa Camilleri.

Second seeded Dipika was speaking with her racquet with her immaculate mixture of pace and delicate drop shots both from the “T” and close to the wall. Her Australian rival Melody Francis was quite often remained a spectator as Dipika translated her game for a straight forward win 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 in 27 minutes.

Joshna, seeded fourth, was nonetheless different to her junior country mate Dipika in her clinically achieved straight games victory over sixth seeded Misaki Kobayashi at 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 in 25 minutes. Joshna’s shot selections were utterly perfect as she rose to a sizeable lead in all her three games. Encouraged by her touching the required rhythm Joshna maintained further in the next two games too. In the second and third games, Joshna had about five points lead and won the match at a short time than expected.

In the match between Urquhart and unseeded Tenille Swartz of South Africa, the latter was patchy though she came up with some exhilarating shots, especially in the second game. Tenille who failed miserably with easy drop shots and hit the tin most often to yield points was on a game ball up in the second game but muffed with her chance. From there, Donna never looked back before winning the match at 11-8, 14-12, 11-6 in 34 minutes.

It was an easy affair for Camilleri against Malaysia’s Siti Murnirah (fifth seed), who lacked consistency throughout the match. On the other hand Lisa was seen pout in use her superb retrieving abilities of the ball to gain the momentum before winning at 11-9, 11-9, 11-4 in 34 minutes.
Round One in Chennai

Indian top stars Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa progressed to the quarterfinals on a day when all eight seeds took their appointed places in the last eight while hosts’ qualifiers Aparajitha Balamurugan and Lakshya Ragavendran bite the dust in the season’s first WISPA Indian Squash Challenger series here today at the Indian Squash Academy.

Second seeded Dipika, world ranked 23, was forced to drop a game before winning against Siyali Waters of South Africa 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 11-0 in 38 minutes, while Joshana (4th seed- world ranked 32) was in total control executing her shots to perfection in straight games victory over Czech Olga Ertlova at 11-9, 11-3, 11-5 in 30 minutes.

Dipika take on eighth seeded Melody Francis of Australia while Joshna plays sixth seed Misaki Kobayashi in the quarterfinal tomorrow.

However, the hosts’ interest centered around the match between top seed Donna Urquhart of Australia and a promising Indian school girl, Anaka Alankamony in the centre court. For her part, Anaka was not overawed playing the top seed but had her share of appreciation from the sparse crowd and displayed excellent returns to gain points, especially in the third game. In all counts, it was a close match where in Donna had to bring in her experience to get the better of Anaka, who lost the first two at 9-11, 3-11 but the manner in which she held control over a higher ranked player caught the eye of everyone. On few occasions, Anaka had the set score in the third game (13-12, 14-13) but could not withstand the pressure brought about by Donna.

As for the other Indian stars, Aparajitha and Lashya, who fought their way beating higher ranked overseas stars in the qualifying event yesterday made their exit. But, Aparajitha’s match against fifth seed Siti Munirah of Malaysia generated great interest as the Indian was lead with a game score of 2-1 mid way the match.

Aparajitha was in total command over the proceedings in the first game which she wrapped up in quick time (11-7) but the Malaysian came back strongly in the second at 11-9. After Aparajitha took the third at 11-8, Siti, who found her rhythm had little difficulty in clinching the next two games at 11-2, 11-6 in the 44 minutes tie.
Qualifying complete in Chennai

The Squash Rackets federation of India along with Tamil Nadu Squash Rackets Association will be conducting its first WISPA Event for 2011being held at Indian Squash Academy, Chennai from 19 -23 April 2011.

The main draw starts from 20th April featuring world no.16 Donna Urquhart of Australia, Indian’s Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa, ranked world no.25 and 36 respectively.

The final round of qualifying witnessed top seed Aparajitha Balamurukan moving into the main draw defeating Mayuri Namasivaysam 11-7 11-3 11-3 in 25 mins. Lakshya Ragavendran defeated Sai Meera in a very exciting match. Sai Meera won the first game in 11-7 and however lost the second 8-11. Sai Meera came back very strongly in third game beating her opponent 11-1. But the U15 National champion Lakshya came back well and beat Sai Meera in the next two games 7-11 11-8 1-11 11-7 11-5.

Lakshya playes Tenille Swartz and Aparajitha plays Siti Munirah in the main draw.

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