Canberra: Dipika Pallikal fought her heart out but still fell short as she lost to world number four Laura Massaro in a gruelling five-game semifinal match of the Australian Open Gold series squash event here on Saturday.

In one of the longest matches of the tournament, Dipika started slow, losing the first game 7-11, before winning the second and fourth games 11-7 and 11-3.

In the keenly contested decider, Dipika and Laura were neck and neck but the English player eventually won the game and match 11-7, 7-11, 13-11, 3-11, 11-9.

Dipika looked in good form through the closely fought semi-finals, making England's more experienced Laura truly fight for every point.

In her third appearance at the event, Dipika scripted history by becoming the first Indian to enter the last four stage in a Gold Series event.

Currently training under renowned squash player Sarah Fitz-Gerald, Dipika reached her career-best ranking of world number 14 in February this year, which made her the highest ranked Indian squash player ever.

The 20-year-old has already won the German Open, Dutch Open, French Open, Australian Open, Scottish Open on the European Junior Squash Circuit.


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