Sport

Published: Friday August 1, 2014 MYT 9:55:00 PM
Updated: Saturday August 2, 2014 MYT 2:48:50 AM

Squash comes first for Dipika

GLASGOW: India’s Dipika Pallikal is not your typical Bollywood or Kollywood fan.

The Chennai-born beauty was offered a role in Tamil movies but she turned them all down to focus on her squash career.

Her decision proved to be the right one as she is the first Indian women’s squash player to be ranked in the top 10 of the world rankings in 2012.

For her achievement, she became the first squash player to receive the Indian government’s prestigious Arjuna award that year.

The 22-year-old Dipika, who turned pro in 2006, said that she was never keen on acting in Tamil movies despite the offers.

“I love to play squash and I’m happy to be the first Indian woman player to reach top 10 in the world,” said Dipika, who is trained by former world champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald of Australia.

Dipika said that she travels to Melbourne to train under the former five-time world champion three months in a year.

‘’Sometimes Sarah will also travel to Chennai to train me. I have improved under her guidance and I have set a target of breaking into the top five in the world by next year,” said Dipika, who lost to Alison Waters of England in the quarter-finals of the individual event in the Glasgow Comonwealth Games.

However, Dipika is looking forward to winning a medal in the doubles event in Glasgow.

She and Joshna Chinappa did well to beat Malaysia’s Nicol David-Low Wee Wern in straight sets to top their group.

The Indian girls, who won the Malaysian doubles championships last month, defeated Joelle King-Amanda Landers Murphy also in straight sets in the quarter-finals.

Dipika-Joshna will take on second seed Rachael Grinham-Kasey Brown of Australia in the semi-finals.

Dipika said that they have been playing doubles for quite some time and are confident of beating the Aussies to reach the final.

“I came to Glasgow with the hope of returning with a medal in the doubles,” she said.

The other semi-final will be an all-England affair with top seeds Laura Massaro-Jenny Duncalf taking on Waters-Emma Beddoes.

Tags / Keywords: Dipika Pallikal, Commonwealth Games, Glasgow, squash, Joshna Chinappa, Laura Massaro, Nicol David, Low Wee Wern

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