Dipika Pallikal defeats Jaclyn Hawkes in semifinal

New Delhi: Dipika Pallikal defeated Jaclyn Hawkes of New Zealand 11-5, 14-12, 11-9 in the first semifinal, which lasted for 40 minutes to move into the final of JP Morgan Tournament of Champions squash meet in New York here on Thursday.


In the final, Pallikal will meet second seed the Natalie Grinham of Netherland, who edged past Egypt's Nour El Sherbini 6-11, 11-5, 11-5, 7-11, 11-4 in the other women's semifinal.

The women’s final matchup will be a test of experience versus youth as 33-year-old Grinham and 20-year-old Pallikal play for the title. Experience carried the day – just barely- in Grinham’s semifinal match against 16-year-old Nour El Sherbini. “It’s not fair,” Grinham said jokingly after the match. “She’s half my age and twice my height.” After dropping the first game 6-11, the second seed found her stride, winning the next two games 11-5. But El Sherbini came back in the fourth, winning it 11-7. “Nour changed her game a little bit in the fourth,” Grinham reflected. “I let her dictate the points, thinking that I would let her lose the match rather than trying to win it. So in the fifth, I knew I had to go out to win it.”

Meanwhile, Dipika effective when stepping in to take an early volley – a playing pattern that was the hallmark of her current coach Sarah FitzGerald. After coming off the court Pallikal’s competitive instincts were evident. “I won’t be happy until I have finished my job and won the tournament,” she said.

Meanwhile, in the men's event, World champion Nick Matthew and James Willstrop, who recently ousted him from the world No 1 ranking, will renew their rivalry in the final of the first World Series tournament of the year.  Matthew defeated Greg Gaultier, the former world number one from France, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-4 while Willstrop outplayed outplaying Daryl Selby, the British national champion, 11-2, 11-3, 11-3.

Women’s Semifinal Results
[2] Natalie Grinham (NED) bt. Nour El Sherbini  6-11, 11-5, 11-5,7-11,11-4 45 mins
[7] Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt. [5] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL).11-5,14-12,11-9 40 mins

Men’s Semifinal Results
[2] James Willstrop (ENG) bt. Daryl Selby (ENG) 11-2,11-3,11-3 25 mins
[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) v. [3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 11-8,11-9,9-11,11-4 75 mins.



By Indian Sports News