Dipika clears first hurdle at top WSA meet in New York

Brooklyn (New York), Sep 26 (IANS) India's top-ranked squash player Dipika Pallikal beat Maria Toor Pakay of Pakistan and cleared the first hurdle in qualifying for the main draw at the WSA Carol Weymuller Open Gold 50 event here.

World No.15 Dipika Tuesday defeated her 52nd-ranked opponent in straight sets 11-8, 11-5, 11-3. She takes on local hope Latasha Khan Wednesday for a place in the main draw of the $50,000 tournament. Latasha edged out Egypt's Kanzy El Dafrawy 8-11, 11-8, 14-12, 7-11, 11-8 in another qualifying match.

"I played Maria all my junior days and we always had close matches. Today, I tried twisting her and putting in cross courts and keeping her off her feet. It worked and she making errors at crucial points also helped," Dipika, 21, was quoted as saying by Squashsite.

The competition field includes world's top five players, including number one Nicol David of Malaysia.