Dipika Pallikal tried her best but failed to stop Egyptian teen sensation Nour El Sherbini in the final of the USD 50,000 Texas Open at the Downtown Club in Houston.
Pallikal, who played sublime squash to reach the biggest final of her career, was beaten 7-11 11-5 7-11 8-11 by a superior opponent on the day.
The final yesterday saw 18-year-old El Sherbini maintain her stellar form which sent three seeds out of the tournament including top seed Low Wee Wern. The Egyptian had created a furore by shocking World No.1 Nicol David in the World Championship last month.
El Sherbini was quick to share her joy. “So happy to win my 4th and my biggest title in my career in the Texas Open -it’s been an amazing week here started from the first round of the qualification,” she posted on a social networking site.
Sarah Fitz-Gerald, Pallikal’s coach and five-time World Champion, said her protege matched El Sherbini stroke for stroke, but her “fearless” opponent was better in winning crucial moments.
“Dipika played well but Sherbini hit some great shots at important moments. Both girls got some bad referee decisions but Dipika got a rough one in the fourth game which gave Sherbini a little break,” Fitz-Gerald said.
Nevertheless, it turned out to be a successful campaign for India’s World No.12, who did not enjoy the best of starts in 2014. The result here should also help her get back into the top-10 of the WSA rankings next month.
The Chennai girl had beaten eighth-ranked Madeline Perry of Ireland in a 75-minute long semifinal on Saturday.