Joshna Chinappa has scripted history by becoming the first Indian to clinch the Asian Squash title with a thrilling win over compatriot Dipika Pallikal Karthik in the women's final in Chennai. In the men's final, however, Saurav Ghosal went down fighting against No.1 seed Max Lee to finish second best. In a clash between two players who train together at the Indian Squash Academy in Chennai, Chinappa held off a fighting Pallikal 13-15, 12-10, 11-13, 11-4, 11-4 in 78 minutes to win probably her biggest title.
The first game saw the two Indians go toe-to-toe as they mixed aggression with strong defence. Pallikal squeezed out the opener as her rival faltered at the end. Pallikal fought back, but only briefly as the world No.14 Chinappa sealed a memorable triumph. Earlier, Ghosal faded after a bright start, which saw him win the opening game, dropping just five points, to go down 11-5, 4- 11, 8-11, 7-11 in 61 minutes against Lee, ranked 17 in the world. Lee, with a better reach and lot more consistent in his shot selection found the way to check Ghosal. The deep lobs and the backhand drops began to work for the Hong Kong player.
Squash is a racket sport played by two (singles) or four players (doubles) in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball. The players must alternate in striking the ball with their racket and hit the ball onto the playable surfaces of the four walls of the court. The game was formerly called squash rackets.