After her giant-killing act against World No.1 Nicol David and her partner in women’s doubles, India’s Dipika Pallikal teamed up with Sourav Ghosal to notch up a straight-game win over Canada’s Sam Cornett and Shawn Delierre in a mixed doubles Pool E match of squash event at the 20th Commonwealth Games, on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old Pallikal and Ghosal thrashed the 12th seeds from Canada 11-3 11-2 to top pool E, which also has Sri Lanka, at Scotstoun Campus in Glasgow.
In Pool G, Harinder Pal Sandhu and Joshna Chinappa defeated New Zealand’s Paul Coll and Amanda Landers-Murphy 11-8 11-10.
Earlier in the day, Pallikal and Joshana Chinappa made a big stride towards ending India’s medal drought at the Commonwealth Games by beating the mighty Malaysian pair of Nicol David and Low Wee Wern in the women’s doubles.
The fifth seeds from India brushed aside David and Wee Wern 11-8 11-5 for their second win in as many matches in Pool D.
David is a legend of the game and on Monday had retained her singles title at the Commonwealth Games.
The surprising result also showed that the India duo’s win over the formidable combine in a tri-nation tournament in Malaysia was no fluke.
After their match against Canada, Ghosal, who became the first Indian to reach the semifinals at the Games, said: “It has been decent. Samantha and Shawn are actually really good players so, yes, it’s been an impressive win and we were really focused on having a really hard match and I think both of us played quite well. We co-ordinated and adapted the game plan pretty well.”
Talking about playing together as a doubles team with Pallikal, Ghosal said: “We have played a little bit, but obviously this comes once in four years, so you try to practise before that but both of us are pretty close off the court so we kind of know each other really well and for a very, very long time. I think that helps to understand what the other person is thinking.”
“She is obviously a few years younger than me and so I have watched her grow up and I almost know her game inside out. It helps to understand the stuff she likes to do and the stuff she doesn’t like to do and the areas of the court she likes to cover and I adapt accordingly,” Ghosal said.
On the impact of their win, Ghosal said: “We top the group now. It is a good start and we begin the last 16 and take one day at a time. We are four matches away (from a medal) but we are not even thinking of that now. We have to focus on the next game.”
Pallikal, who had reached the singles quarterfinals, said: “We got a good start. First game was imporant. We took a lot of confidence from the first game and that allowed us to play more freely in the second. It all worked.
“Every match is a different match. We have a game plan and we are happy with the way it came out and now we’re looking forward to the next one.”
On the difference between doubles in the glass court and the normal court, she said: “It is a bit different because you have to hit the ball differently and vary the pace and stuff like that. We are all on the professional circuit and we have a bit of experience of playing on it.”