Dipika Pallikal makes strong start at World Double Squash Championships 2022 upon return
A file image of Dipika Pallikal.|
Dipika Pallikal, the ace squash player from India, made an impression on the opening day of the World Double Squash Championships 2022 at the Scotstoun Leisure Centre in Glasgow, Scotland, returning to the court for the first time after becoming a mother, winning two of her three matches.
Pallikal has been out of competitive play for almost a year owing to her pregnancy with Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik. On October 18, 2021, the couple welcomed twins Kabir and Zian into the world.
Pallikal and partner Joshna Chinappa, past Commonwealth Games winners, started their campaign in Group B with an easy 11-6, 11-8 victory over Malaysians Ainaa Ampandi and Yiwen Chan.
Pallikal-Chinappa, the third seeds, had a harder battle from Australian combination Rachael Grinham and Donna Lobban in their second women's doubles match of the day. Lobban competed in the World Double Squash 2019 and was a member of the Australian women's and mixed doubles teams that won gold. In that edition, she had competed in women's doubles alongside Christine Nunn.
The Indian squash couple put up a valiant fight against the powerful Australian combination, but ultimately lost 11-7 11-9. The 12 women's doubles teams were split into two groups, with the top two pairs advancing to the semi-finals and the others playing classification matches. Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa of India are in fourth place in Group B, with three games remaining against England, Hong Kong, and New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Pallikal and Saurav Ghosal, the second seeds in the mixed doubles, defeated Evan Williams and Kaitlyn Watts of New Zealand 11-7, 10-11, 11-6.
In mixed doubles, India is in Group B, which consists of four groups of five teams each. The quarter-finals are decided by the top two players from each group following the round-robin round. The other three teams in India's group are Wales, Scotland, and Malaysia.
In Group E, India's men's doubles entry, Vikram Malhotra and Ramit Tandon, lost 11-7, 9-11, 8-11 to South Africa's Jean-Pierre Brits and Christo Potgieter.