Dipika makes my life on court better - Joshna

Former Asian singles champion Joshna Chinappa is at the peak of her fitness and is looking forward to joining forces once again with Dipika Pallikal.

Joshna Chinappa at a promotional event in Chennai on Thursday.   -  K. Pichumani

At 35 years, Joshna Chinappa isn't getting any younger. She pretty much knows it.

The former Asian singles champion is, nevertheless, at the peak of her fitness, and is looking forward to playing with Dipika Pallikal, who is making a comeback to international squash after more than three years. Dipika will play the World doubles championships to be held in Glasgow from April 5 to 9, and the Commonwealth Games from July 28 in Birmingham.

“World doubles is one of the big events before the Commonwealth Games. I will be playing with Dipika after three years,” Joshna told Sportstar after launching ASICS pair of shoes from the latest Lite-Show collection on Thursday.

“We have been practising together for four months at Indian Squash Academy here. For her, it's a big comeback. She has been playing really well. She has got fitter. Looking forward to good results,” Joshna said.

‘Naturally good’

Joshna was all praise for Dipika for her commitment and desire to compete at the top level. “It's sort of funny. The first day we met and played, it was as though she hasn't gone anywhere. Dipika is a naturally very good doubles player as well. She makes my life on court better. Her desire to play for India and wanting to win a medal is the same as before. It is going to be exciting watching her comeback,” she said.

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Joshna said she didn't want to put any count on the number of medals India will win at CWG and Asian Games. “For me, the reason I've extended my career this long is to play the CWG and AG for 2022. The preparation has started two years in advance. All with the aim to be fit and be win medal(s),” she said.

India will likely be without the services of one its key players for CWG and Asian Games, Tanvi Khanna, who is recovering from a knee surgery. “Tanvi is still recovering from a knee surgery a few months back. Sunaiyna (Kuruvilla) is training hard in Egypt. It all depends on the selection trials [at ISA on April 18].”

According to Joshna, she had a few sessions with the new foreign coach Chris Walker at New York a few weeks back and felt it was fruitful. “He (Walker) is very excited to work with the Indian team. He has won medals in singles and doubles at CWG. He knows that we have lots of potential. It's an added boost for the team,” she said.

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