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16 Jul 2024

Pallikal Powers Into US Open Quarters

14 Oct 2015

Indian number one Dipika Pallikal secured a place in the quarter-finals of a major PSA World Series event for just the third time in her career after knocking England's world No.5 Alison Waters out of the 2015 Women's Delaware Investments US Open in Philadelphia.

The world No.19 from Chennai, ranked one place above compatriot Joshana Chinappa, last appeared in the final eight of a major event in March 2012 when she lost out to eventual winner Nicol David at the KL Open.

But after ending her six-tournament-long first round exit streak with an impressive 3/2 win over former world No.4 Joelle King on Sunday, the 24-year-old once again upset the odds to eliminate Waters after a 50-minute encounter at Drexel University.

"Obviously I'm delighted to win especially because I haven't played well in my last two tournaments," said Pallikal, a first round loser in her previous appearance in the event's main draw.

"To beat two top players in a row here is very pleasing and gives me a great confidence boost. Even more so because I've come very close to beating some of the top players recently and not been able to convert it into a win," explained the first Indian player ever to reach the US quarters.

Pallikal twice came from behind against the Englishwoman, who at times appeared to be struggling with a back injury, to complete the win which sees her through to face Omneya Abdel Kawy for a place in the semi-finals. The Egyptian ended hopes off an all-Indian clash by defeating Chinappa in straight games.

"I've been working hard to stay positive in recent months and that helped today and I'm glad to get through and I've got a day off now to recover before my next match as well which is good because I need to do some laundry - I wasn't expecting to make the quarter-finals!"

In the Men's draw England's Nick Matthew moved one step closer to reaching a 69th PSA World Tour final after easily despatching Egyptian qualifier Zahed Mohamed 3/0.

It took the 35-year-old Englishman five games to get past compatriot Chris Simpson in the first round but he produced an altogether more polished performance to eliminate the 23-year-old world No.34 in 47 minutes to set up a last eight match-up with Fares Dessouki - the man he eliminated at the same stage twelve months ago.

"I had a bit of a blip in the third game there but that's probably the best I have played this season so far," said Matthew.

"It's been a little bit of a struggle this season to find my rhythm so I'm pleased to have done that but the key now is not to get ahead of myself and to keep working on my game tomorrow and make sure I get my basics right. Even though I felt well that means for nothing in the next round and I have to make sure I keep improving.

"Dessouki has a good mix of English basics with Egyptian flair so it's going to be incredibly tough and I'll certainly need to be ready for him."

An all-England semi is in prospect after unseeded Daryl Selby claimed a surprise quarter-final slot after seeing off South African Stephen Coppinger 2-11, 13-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8 in 96 minutes - the longest match of the tournament so far.

"Steve is an absolute animal," said Selby, now in his first US Open quarter-final after five appearances since 2006. "He's an unbelievable player - his tenacity and sheer will to win is something we can all learn from and I tried to match him in that department today.

"I've been playing well and hitting well but if you don't match him in positivity then he steamrollers you like he did in to me in the first game tonight. He deservedly beat me in a really tough match at the World Championship last year and he's on the up at the moment so he's a player that I'm really delighted to beat."