Joshna stuns world number one

After weeks of rigorous practice sessions, ISA trainee Joshna Chinappa went to the $1,15,000 Qatar Classic in Doha and instantly caused a stunning upset , removing the world number one and top seed Raneem El Welily of Egypt in the first round. The Indian national champion, ranked 20th in the world, won 11-9, 11-6, 4-11, 11-9.

Around the same time another Indian star, Dipika Pallikal, seeded 13th and playing in the same half, went down to Yathreb Adel in straight games 5-11, 7-11, 7-11.

It was sensational stuff from the Joshna, who meant business right from start. Grabbing the first two games even before Raneem realized what had happened, the Indian seemed to do everything right. At that juncture, the Egyptian pulled one back and led 9-5 in the next as though to indicate that she had put things together. But Joshna’s next burst of brilliance came and with it six straight points to leave the audience and her great rival stunned. This is the first time that she was beating a player in the top five bracket in the world ranking. The last time she had played Raneem, the Egyptian had raced away with a 3-0 win.

Joshna will play Dipika’s conqueror Adel next. All the top players of the world are in Doha for this prestigious event for men and women.

India’s Saurav Ghosal also in the fray in the men’s section lost in round one to Faresand will play his first match on Sunday.

About Cyrus Poncha
I was born and lived in Bombay before moving to Chennai in 2001 to coach the Indian national squash team....what a journey its been!!

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