British Open squash: Pallikal goes down fighting

Hull (England), May 24 (IANS) India’s Dipika Pallikal fought hard before losing to local hope Laura Massaro in the pre-quarterfinals of the Allam British Open Squash Championships here.

Fifteenth-ranked Pallikal squandered a great start to go down 11-7, 10-12, 9-11, 6-11 against the World No.2 amid cold and wet conditions surrounding the glass court at the KC Stadium here Thursday night.

Her loss ended India’s challenge in the competition. Pallikal had lost to Egyptian Raneem El Weleily at the same stage in the 2012 edition of the world’s oldest tournament.

In the men’s category, Saurav Ghosal Wednesday fell short against Frenchman Gregory Gaultier in the round of 16.

The 45-minute contest Thursday saw Pallikal taking control of the first two games until her more experienced opponent staged a remarkable comeback. The Indian was 8-3 up in the second game and had four match balls before Massaro turned the contest around.

Talking about that game, Massaro said: “I wasn’t even thinking about the score, I didn’t realise I was that far behind in the second.”

“It’s such tough conditions out there, I just had to concentrate on each point, and it might have seemed a bit excessive but I needed to keep on geeing myself up and that was the only way to do it.”

The English player takes on 14th seed Omneya Abdel Kawy of Egypt in the quarterfinals Friday.

“Omneya and I came through juniors together so it should be an interesting match,” said Massaro.

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