India’s top-ranked female player Dipika Pallikal put up a spirited display before going down 1-3 to second seed Laura Massaro of England in the pre-quarters of the Allam British Open Squash Championships.
With the ouster of the Chennai girl, the Indian challenge came to an end in the women’s event of the World Platinum Series currently underway at the KC Stadium.
The Indian men’s challenge had ended on Wednesday with the defeat of Saurav Ghosal, who lost his pre-quarterfinal match to France’s Gaultier 8-11, 13-11, 7-11, 0-11.
In the match between 15th seed Pallikal and Massaro, it was the Indian player who started in better form, attacking quickly in the cool conditions, with her opponent struggling to retrieve.
The Englishwoman was able to move her opponent off the tee more in the second game and claimed a narrow tiebreak game to draw level, before taking an equally close third.
The home hopeful had more breathing room in the fourth game as Pallikal’s error count rose, and she sped to match point with a comfortable cushion.
Pallikal took a nasty slip in the final rally, colliding head-first with the sidewall but the match was Massaro’s and the world No.2 in 45 minutes.
“It’s such tough conditions on there I just had to concentrate on each point,” said Massaro.
“It might have seemed a bit excessive but I needed to keep on geeing myself up and that was the only way to do it,” she added.