Dipika Pallikal survived some anxious moments before getting past USA’s Latasha Khan to make the main draw of the Carol Weymuller Open Gold 50 squash tournament here.
The world number 15 Dipika defeated 28-ranked American 12-10 11-6 8-11 11-4 in her second and final qualifying match at the Heights Casino squash courts in Brooklyn here on Wednesday.
The Chennai girl will play against world number four, Jenny Duncalf of England in the first round of the USD 50,000 event.
In the match against Latasha, Dipika got a good lead in the first game and whenever Latasha tried to make a comeback, the Indian put in drop shots. At 9-5 down, Latasha fought back by using her array of shots to level the score at 9-9, but Dipika managed to scrap through to win the first game.
The 21-year-old Dipika got a good start in the second game and forced Latasha to make errors.
Latasha did try to make a comeback but Dipika controlled the rallies again to gain a comfortable 2-0 lead.
In the third, Dipika made a few errors and even though, she made an extra push at the end, Latasha came through, winning it 11-8.
Dipika started the fourth game perfectly, moving the ball around the court well.
Latasha stayed patient and tried to make a contest out of it but Dipika was always in control of her game and won the match.
“I am relieved to get through. Latasha is an experienced player and she took full advantage of it when I started going short in the third game. In the fourth, I hit more straight and less cross-courts which made a big difference,” said Dipika after the match.