Joshna eases into second round of world c'ships

She has a tough second round against the top seed and World No. 1 Laura Massaro of England. Dipika Pallikal, meanwhile, will begin her campaign against Annie Au in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday

Joshna Chinappa defeated Victoria Lust of England 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 in the first round in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.   -  S. MAHINSHA

Top Indian player Joshna Chinappa crossed the opening hurdle, defeating Victoria Lust of England 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 in the PSA Women's World Championships in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

Drawn in the top half, the 14th ranked player played a tight game and made things easy for herself while making the rival struggle. Joshna, however, has a tough second round against the top seed and World No. 1 Laura Massaro of England.

Massaro overcame an early scare to defeat Mexico's Samantha Teran in the first round. The top seed was second best to the lively Teran in the first game and trailed 5-9 in the second. But Massaro eventually rescued that game before going on to claim the next two comfortably, winning the match 9-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-3.

"If I wasn't spurred by the fact I might be exiting the tournament in the second game, I might as well retire," said Massaro after the 46-minute match.

"She was picking up all my returns in the first game, and I needed to get my body language right in the second. Thankfully I found my range, which gave me the momentum."

"But this level is not good enough at the world championships. I have to start the next game how I finished this one," added the 32-year-old.

The English player denied any suggestion she was under pressure competing in a country where squash gets much attention, especially with the legendary Nicol David defending her world title on Malaysian soil. "It's lovely to come to a country that appreciates the sport and the players. We have been having a great time here and I don't mind it at all," said Massaro.

Third seed Raneem El Welily from Egypt also booked a second-round berth after easily dispatching Tesni Evans from Wales 11-5, 11-2, 11-6 and will next meet New Zealand's Joelle King.

Eight-time world champion David opens her title defence on Tuesday against Australia's Rachael Grinham. India's Dipika Pallikal will start her campaign Annie Au of Hong Kong tomorrow.

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.