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All credit to Achraf: Dipika

An all-Indian final is something that every sports fan would love and India’s top two women squash players ensured the same. Both Dipika Pallikal Karthik and Joshna Chinappa played top quality squash to topple their opponents and set up a mouth-watering final on Sunday.

All credit to Achraf: Dipika
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Joshna Chinappa during her semi-final game

Chennai

Dipika said Indian coach Achraf El Karagui had a huge role to play in her semi-final win. “I have been working with Achraf for almost eight months now and the results are unbelievable. He has brought out the best in all of us and all I had to do prior to Saturday’s match was take ample rest and reach the venue early to take the game plan from Achraf and execute it,” she said after the match. 

The fourth seed said she was lucky to win the match. “She was getting stronger and since she is a left-hander, she has a certain hold in the game. We (right-handers) are very smooth, but lefties, they hold and can produce unimaginable angles. That’s why when we play a leftie we have to be on our toes. We don’t know what’s going to come off their racquet. I am just glad to have won,” Dipika added. 

Dipika said her strategy was simple. “In glass courts, you have to be consistent. My plan was to get her off volleys and drops,” she added.

Later, Joshna Chinappa said Sunday would be a big day in Indian squash. “It has never happened before in India. It is good to have two Indians in the final just before the Asian Games as it would give us an indication of where we stand,” she said. 

Joshna said playing against Dipika wouldn’t be different from any other opponent. “It wouldn’t be anything emotional at all. We are always prepared to meet each other and we have to be on top of our games to triumph,” she added. 

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