Joshna stuns Nicol David to set up India’s gold hunt in squash

Kirti Patil
Saturday, 1 September 2018

Joshna played really well. It was a very good match and I could not play my A game.— Nicol David (on her match against Joshna Chinappa)

Jakarta: Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Karthik helped Indian women’s team score an incredible 2-0 shock win over Malaysia and stormed into the final of the Asian Games squash competition here on Friday.

A win looked distant, but Joshna waged a grim battle to stun eight-time world champion Nicol David to open up 1-0 lead and then Dipika overwhelmed Wee Wern Low as the Indian women squash team achieved an unthinkable.

In the final India will face Hong Kong, who beat Japan 2-0 in the other semi-final.

In a see-saw battle, the World No 16 Joshna led 2-0 at one stage, but Nicol rallied back to make it 2-2 and in the bitterly contested decider the Indian held her nerve to put it across her famed rival to win the match 12-10, 11-9, 6-11, 10-12, 11-9.

Dipika faced no such resistance and overwhelmed Wee Wern 11-2, 11-9, 11-7 to wrap up the tie and in the process made India strong contender for  the title and gold medal.

Nicol offered no excuses for her defeat and straightaway praised the  Indian. A visibly thrilled Joshna also complimented her rival. “Nicol is such a champion. She always plays a fair game and today was no different. Really happy to have come through,” Joshna said.

With the win, India equalled their best ever performance at the Games, having won a silver four years ago.

Indian eves hold their nerve vs malaysia
The Indian had beaten Nicol on the PSA Tour in April and that fact put her  in a positive frame of mind. The match turned out to be a roller-coaster, involving long gruelling rallies. Joshna looked like sealing the match when she was on 10-9 in the fourth game, but Nicol fought back to take the next three points, levelling the match at 2-2.

In the decider, the Indian held her nerves converting the match-ball on 10-9 to record her biggest win at the Asian Games.

Dipika Karthik, came out firing all cylinders against former World No 5 Wee Wern. The Indian displayed awesome fire power to subdue Wee Wern, who is on a comeback trail after a 20-month injury lay-off.

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