Dipika Pallikal: the next star in the world of squash
by Shilarze Saha Roy
Coming from a family of sports personnel, there was no doubt that Dipika Pallikal would pursue sports, although there could have been no certainty that she would excel in it. To everybody’s amazement, this 19-year-old Chennai girl has risen by leaps and bounds in the world of squash. Currently no. 34 in the world rank, Dipika Rebecca Pallikal is climbing the ladder of success with huge strides.
Originally starting with athletics and tennis, Dipika began to play squash when a friend introduced her to the sport in the Indian Squash Academy summer camp. Dipika played her first international tournament when she was in her sixth standard. The rest, as they say, is history.
Apart from the world junior championship crown, Dipika has won every other tournament on the European Junior Squash Circuit, including the German Open, Dutch Open, French Open, Australian Open, and Scottish Open. Recently, she also won the prestigious Asian junior under-19 championship.
WISPA world No.1 Nicole David praised her by saying that Dipika is the next big star on the world of squash citation. But Dipika wants to keep her feet firmly on the ground. She attributes all her success to her family—comprising of her parents and two sisters, Diya and Divya—and her coaches, Amar Wagih, Malcolm Wilstrop and Cyrus Poncha.
Although she has to travel all throughout the year for her training in Egypt (under Wagih) and England (under Wilstrop), this Ethiraj College English Literature student is a strict disciplinarian and follow rigid fitness regime in order to achieve her ultimate aim to be among the best in the world of squash. But she wants to take one step at a time. And for now, Dipika’s only ambition is to make it into the top 20s by the end of this year.
With a great deal of self-confidence and faith in God, a line from Robert Frost’s poem, ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ comes to my mind: this Chennai girl has “miles to go before” she sleeps.
Suryanarayan, S. “ Sports runs in her family (an interview with Dipika Pallikal)”. Sportstar. 33: 30. 29 July 2010.
Squash Info. 14 Aug. 2010.