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Rediff.com  » Sports » Qatar Classic Squash: India's Joshana upsets World No 1

Qatar Classic Squash: India's Joshana upsets World No 1

October 31, 2015 17:15 IST

Joshana Chinappa

IMAGE: India's Joshana Chinappa plays a shot. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Joshana Chinappa registered one of the biggest upsets of the PSA World Tour season as she stunned World No 1 Raneem El Welily of Egypt in the first round of the Qatar Classic Squash Championship, in Doha, on Saturday.

The Indian national champion, ranked World No 20, took just 37 minutes to outplay the top seeded Egyptian 11-9, 11-6, 4-11, 11-9.

However, it was curtains for Dipika Pallikal, seeded 13th, as she went down 5-11, 7-11, 7-11 in only 26 minutes to another Egyptian Yathreb Adel, who will now face Joshana in the second round to the tournament.

Joshana, who had defeated World No 10 Annie Au in straight games at the Delaware Investments US Open just two weeks ago, came into the second PSA World Series tournament of the season in form and shot out of the blocks to establish an early two-game lead over an out-of-sorts El Welily.

Raneem El Welily

IMAGE: Egypt's Raneem El Welily returns a shot. Photograph: Stanley Chou/Getty Images

The 26-year-old from Alexandria's performance was littered with errors as she struggled to find any consistency.

A costly error on 9-8 in the fourth game, when she was on course to level the match, allowed Joshana back into the game and the 29-year-old Indian pounced, taking the next two points, and the match, to record one of the biggest victories of her career.

"This is by far the best win of my career – it doesn't get any better than beating the player at the top of the world rankings," said Joshana.

"I've played Raneem many times before so to get out to a 2-0 lead was huge and really gave me hope. With a player of her quality you can never be sure, she's World No 1 for a reason and she can come back from any position even when not at her best, so I'm really happy to come through. I've not been looking at my rankings or anything like that of late and I think that's showing through in my game. I'm more relaxed on court and it's paying off at the moment," she said.

"Hopefully I can keep my momentum going now and take that into my next match and see how far I can go."

Saurav Ghosal is in the fray in the men's section and will play his first match on Sunday.

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