On the comeback trail after a phase of injury, former National squash champion Joshna Chinappa made an encouraging start in the J.P. Morgan tournament of champions in New York when she beat compatriot and currently India’s highest-ranked player Dipika Pallikal and second seed in four games in the first round late on Monday. Joshna won 11-7, 11-7, 3-11, 11-8, the match lasting 43 minutes.

This is the third time that Joshna, ranked 30, has beaten Dipika, currently placed at 14, in their four meetings in the last three years.

Having had to go through two rounds of qualifying, Joshna seemed better settled for the occasion than Dipika. “This is the first time I am playing on a glass court,” said the winner.

According to reports, Joshna was able to find the right length and depth in her returns that upset Dipika.

However, after losing the first two games, current National champion Dipika found her touch as she took the third game conceding just three points.

The deceptive long shots and volley-play forced Joshna to err. But the tempo did not continue as Joshna regained her touch to win the fourth game and the match.

In the men’s section, unseeded Sourav Ghosal struggled in his first round win over Shahier Razik of Canada before crashing out in the next to seventh-seeded Egyptian Karim Darwish 3-11, 5-11, 10-12.

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