On Sunday evening there will be a rare clash between India's top two ranked professionals — Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal — in the final of the Otters Club 73rd senior National squash championship. In the last few days, the two skilful and ambitious girls from Chennai have breezed past opponents in the glass-back courts of the renovated club. On Saturday, Joshna beat Goa's Akanksha Salunke while Dipika drubbed Sachika Ingale in straight games to enter the final.
Joshna has won the title 14 times since her first win in 2000. Dipika has won it once in 2011. Some of the notable winners of the women's national title are Bhuvneshwari 'Candy' Kumari (16 times) and Misha Grewal (5 times).
Sandhu to lock horns with Ghosal
Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu and Mahesh Mangaonkar competed hard in the first men's semi-final that lasted for 95 minutes and at the end of a pulsating match, the 2014 winner Sandhu (he had shocked Saurav Ghosal in the final at the Cricket Club of India here), trailing 1-2, held his nerves to down the local boy in a five-game thriller. At 8-8 in the fifth game, Sandhu won two interference penalty points (stroke) and a tin shot played by his opponent to clinch the match. Sandhu will lock horns with Sourav Ghosal for the title. The 10-time senior national winner Ghosal clinched a 65-minute close five-game match against USA-based Vikram Malhotra.
Women's semifinals: Joshna Chinappa bt Akanksha Salunkhe 11-6,11-2, 11-4; Dipika Pallikal bt Sachika Ingale 11-5,11-1,11-4.