India bt Two-Time Defending Champs Malaysia in Women’s Squash S/F
Asian Games 2018: India pull off a massive upset, beat Malaysia to enter the final of the women’s team squash event.
- India beat defending champions Malaysia 2-0 in the women’s team squash semi-final.
- Joshna Chinappa beat seven-time Asian Games gold medallist Nicol David 12-10, 11-9, 6-11, 10-12, 11-9.
- Dipika Pallikal beat world number five Low Wee Wern 11-2, 11-9, 11-7.
- The Indian men’s squash team settled for a bronze medal after losing 0-2 to Hong Kong in the semi-finals on Friday.
India have entered the gold medal match of the women’s team squash event, pulling off a big upset with a 2-0 win over defending champions and top seeds Malaysia. However, the Indian men’s squash team lost their semi-final match against Hong Kong.
In the opening rubber, Joshna Chinappa was up against eight-time World champion Nicol David and after five gruelling sets, she emerged the winner with a 12-10, 11-9, 6-11, 10-12, 11-9 scoreline.
Dipika Pallikal then beat Low Wee Wern 11-2, 11-9, 11-7 in the second singles match to close out the win for India.
The team comprising Joshna Chinappa, Dipika Pallikal Karthik, Sunayna Kuruvilla and Tanvi Khanna are now assured at least a silver and will play the winner of the Hong Kong vs Japan semi-final.
Joshna and Dipika were part of the Indian team that finished second to Malaysia in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.
Chinappa Pulls Off Big Upset
Joshna Chinappa, the world number 16, had a point to prove in her semi-final match, after a crushing loss against familiar foe Annie Au in the final pool match against Hong Kong on Thursday, a loss that had her break down in tears after the match.
Her defeat then meant India lost the tie 1-2 and finished behind Hong Kong, resulting in a tougher opponent in Malaysia, the most dominant team in Asian Games history.
Friday though was a new day but she was facing Asian Games’ most successful women’s singles player in Nicol David. The match went down to the wire and was full of long gruelling rallies. Chinappa had a match ball on 10-9 in the fourth game but David fought back to take the next three points, levelling the opening singles at 2-2.
The crowd support too was heavily in favour of Malaysia but not enough to distract the gritty Indian. This time she converted the match ball on 10-9 to complete the biggest win of her Asian Games career.
I was very upset yesterday as you must have seen. I did not play the way I was supposed to play. Spoke to my parents and coach and that helped. Today, I just wanted to be myself. Nicol is such a champion. She always plays a fair game and today was no different. Really happy to have come through.Joshna Chinappa
David was gracious in her defeat. “Joshna played really. It was a very good match and I could not play my A game," the 35-year-old said.
Dipika Wins in Three Sets
One big win in the bag, world number 19 Dipika Pallikal came out firing on all cylinders against former world number five Low Wee Wern.
The Indian's brute power was too much to handle for Wee Wern, who is on a comeback trail after a 20-month injury lay-off. Dipika closed the win at 11-2, 11-9, 11-7.
The plan was definitely to rattler her with my power. Wee Wern has been a top player and has already won three tournaments after her comeback. Also, I had to do it for Joshna. She played such a great match to get us on the brink of a win.Dipika Pallikal
India are likely to play long-time rivals Hong Kong in the final on Saturday.
"Hong Kong are as tough to beat as Malaysia. They have a very solid team. But our confidence has got a major boost after today," she added.
Indian Men’s Team Settles for Bronze
Defending champions India settled for a bronze medal after losing 0-2 to Hong Kong in the semi-finals of the men's squash event at the 18th Asian Games.
The Indian men's team comprising Saurav Ghosal, Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu, Ramit Tandon and Mahesh Mangaonkar was no match for Hong Kong, who had won bronze in the last edition at Incheon, South Korea.
(With inputs from PTI.)
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