Indian squash hierarchy will be put to the test in the semi-finals of the Granite Open when the country’s top two players Dipika Pallikal and Joshana Chinappa meet for a place in the final of the WSA International 25 event here.
Third seed Pallikal packed off former world number two Jenny Duncalf in five gruelling games yesterday night to set up an exciting semifinal with Chinappa.
Seventh seed Chinappa produced the unexpected clash after upsetting second-seeded Australian Rachael Grinham 11-1, 11-8, 11-6 in 23 minutes.
The former world number one and world champion from Queensland was taken to five games in the opening round.
“Playing Rachael is always hard,” said Chinappa, the world No.21 from Chennai. “I felt that she didn’t play her usual game today. I am quite glad to have won in three.”
Pallikal, also from Chennai, was fully extended by England’s Duncalf before beating the No.5 seed 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 13-11 in 75 minutes.
“Really happy to win,” said a delighted 23-year-old Pallikal later. “Jen played really well today. I knew I had to stick in there and play the rallies out.
“When I was match ball down, I told myself to play the rallies out and stay in there for as long as it takes. And that really helped.”
There will be English interest in the other semi-final where newly-crowned British National champion Sarah-Jane Perry takes on top seed Amanda Sobhy.
Perry, the fourth seed from Kenilworth, was taken to four games by Line Hansen before overcoming the unseeded Dane 11-5, 12-10, 9-11, 11-5.
“I started well but as the match went on Line found more and more shots,” explained 24-year-old Perry. “She was slotting anything I left loose.
“After she took the third, I knew I had to get back in front and try and control the pace. Thankfully it worked and I’m really pleased to be through to the semis.”
Sobhy, the 21-year-old world No.10 from the USA who has taken time off from her final year studies at Harvard University to defend her Granite title, beat Malaysia’s Delia Arnold 11-6, 11-3, 11-8.
Quarter-finals:  Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Delia Arnold (MAS) 11-6, 11-3, 11-8 (25m),  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Line Hansen (DEN) 11-5, 12-10, 9-11, 11-5 (45m),  Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt  Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 13-11 (75m)  Joshana Chinappa (IND) bt  Rachael Grinham (AUS) 11-1, 11-8, 11-6 (23m).