Dipika Pallikal ensured her graduation to the world of professional squash picking up her maiden WISPA title outclassing second-seeded Emma Beddoes of England 3-1 in the women's final of the Indian Challenger at the Calcutta Racket Club here on Saturday.

With Saurav Ghosal ending the Indian hopes losing the men's semifinals yesterday, the PSA title went to third-seeded Mohamed El Shorbagy of Egypt, who beat compatriot Tarek Momen in a final that went the distance.

Determined bid

Dipika, who had piled up titles in an accomplished junior career, made a determined bid playing her first seniors' final. She made up for a slow start in the opening game with some brilliant front-court finishing.

The Indian showed a better fitness level than her English opponent and effectively made the latter slog for the returns with her clever drops and boasts. Trailing 1-5 at one point, Dipika produced a series of winners to bring the score level at 7-7 while persisting in her attack to win the game 11-9.

The second game continued with the flourish of the Indian, who worked up an 8-3 lead maintaining her level of consistency and winning 11-8. Emma, apparently unnerved by the level of her opponent's game, made a desperate comeback bid and succeeded a bit in the third game where she caught Dipika relaxing and made the scoreline 2-1, winning the game 11-9.

Stirred up by the reverse, Dipika was back to her devastating form and made short work of her opponent winning the fourth game 11-6 and the match.

See-saw battle

Mohammad El Shorbagy, who stopped an in-form Ghosal, won a see-saw battle against compatriot and seventh-seeded Tarek Momen.

Shorbagy played a brilliant front-court game, producing a mix of power and finesse. Momen, who is more of a touch player, did harass Shorbagy with deft placements and change of speed but could not hold on as Shorbagy proved more accomplished with his wide array of shots.

Shorbagy won the first game easily but looked troubled by Momen's placements to lose the next two games. But Shorbagy recovered in the fourth to even things up. The two players went neck and neck in the fifth till Shorbagy got a bit lucky with a ‘no let' call in his favour and pulled away from there to clinch his first PSA title.

The results (finals): Men: Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt Tarek Momen (Egy) 11-7, 3-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8; Women: Dipika Pallikal (Ind) bt Emma Beddoes (Eng) 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6.

Keywords: Dipika Pallikal

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