It was a commendable performance from the 22-year-old, who reached the final defeating Rachael’s younger sister Natalie, a former World No 2 currently ranked eighth in the WSA rankings.

There was not much to choose between the two finalists. Dipika played better in the crucial stages of the 42-minute contest, capping off a memorable week with a 12-10, 5-11, 11-7, 11-9 victory.

“It seems all the summer training is paying off now. I trained really hard on and off the court. Beating Natalie in the semifinals gave me a lot of confidence. She is the most experienced player on the circuit,” World No 17 Dipika said.

Dipika, the first Indian to break into the top-10, had beaten another higher-ranked player, Kasey Brown of Australia, in a New York tournament earlier in October 2013.

“It is time I beat the top-10 players regularly. One of the reasons I have started beating them is Ken Way,” she said of the sports psychologist, who has also worked with Dipika’s coach and five-time World Open winner Sarah Fitz-Gerald.

“Ken has helped me a lot. Earlier it was frustrating to come close to beating the higher-ranked players. With his help, and Sarah of course, I am playing the mental side of the game better,” said Dipika.

She now heads to Shanghai for the China Open next week.


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