Dipika Pallikal went down fighting to world No. 4 Laura Massaro in a gruelling five-game semifinal match of the Australian Open Gold series squash event on Saturday.

In one of the longest matches of the tournament, Dipika started slowly, losing the first game 7-11, before winning the second and fourth games.

In the keenly-contested decider, Dipika and Laura were neck and neck but the English player eventually won the game and match 11-7, 7-11, 13-11, 3-11, 11-9.

Dipika looked in good form through the closely fought semifinal, making England’s more experienced Laura fight for every point.

Currently training under renowned squash player Sarah Fitz-Gerald, Dipika reached her career-best ranking of world No. 14 in February this year, which made her the highest-ranked Indian squash player ever.

The 20-year-old has already won the German Open, Dutch Open, French Open, Australian Open, Scottish Open on the European junior circuit.

The results: Women: Semifinals: Nicol David bt Madeline Perry 11-7, 11-4, 11-5; Laura Massaro bt Dipika Pallikal 11-7, 7-11, 13-11, 3-11, 11-9. — Agencies

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