Dipika Pallikal Karthik is an Indian squash player. She is the first Indian to get featured in the top 10 World Rankings by Professional Squash Association.
Dipika started her career in a promising fashion. She reached the final of the Chennai Open in 2008, beating the first and third seeds on her way. This phenomenal player is known to play a prominent role in making Squash popular among the Indian masses.
|Full Name||Dipika Pallikal Karthik|
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.71 m)|
|Age||27 (21 September 1991)|
|Highest Rank||10 (2012)|
|World Ranking (Current)||22 (as of 2018)|
|World Series Ranking (Current)||23 (as of 2018)|
|Shoe & Clothing Sponsor||Adidas|
|Coach||Sarah Fitz-Gerald, Amir Wagih|
Chennai-born Dipika Pallikal started playing Squash at a time when it was considered as a sport for the elite few. Dipika played her first international tournament in London when she was in sixth grade. Her first real potential towards the sport could be seen when she reached the final of the Chennai Open in 2008. To reach the finale, she had defeated the first and third seeds.
The first honours came two years later when she won her Tour title in 2010 after toppling the top two seeds to claim the Indian Challenger No.5 trophy. Thereafter, she went on to double her tally by clinching the Nepal Open. By 2011, she was in the world’s top-30, before improving her climb up to top-20 after winning a number of titles throughout the year. That year, Dipika also achieved a credit-worthy quarter-final place at the World Championship.
Her amazing form continued in 2012 when Pallikal made it to the final of the prestigious Tournament of Champions in January. However, Natalie Grinham comfortably beat her in the final match.
She was also a major part of the Indian squash team that finished 5th in the Women’s World Team Squash Championships. India was seeded tenth in the event and defeated higher ranked Ireland and Netherlands in the process. Pallikal defeated seasoned players like Madeline Perry in the tournament.
In December 2012, she broke into the top ten for the first time, also becoming the first Indian to achieve the distinction. She then went onto become the first Female Squash player to be conferred with the Arjuna Award, India’s second highest sporting award in that year.
2013 was a big year for India, as the country bagged two prestigious titles.
Most notable of the two was the Macau Open triumph that came in October. In February 2013, Dipika won the sixth WSA title of her career after defeating Joey Chan of Hong Kong in straight sets 11–9, 11–7, 11–4 of the final of the Meadowood Pharmacy Open in Canada’s Winnipeg.
If 2013 was big, 2014 turned out to be even bigger and spectacular. In 2014, Dipika partnered with Joshna Chinappa to win India’s first medal in Squash. They had defeated Laura Massaro and Jenny Duncalf of England to pocket the historic gold.
Later, after featuring at the JSW Circuit in 2014, Pallikal collected her 10th Tour title in January 2015 after triumphing at the Winter Club Open. A month later she missed out on the Granite Open title after being defeated by Sarah-Jane Perry.
Dipika managed to reach the final of the Victoria Open in 2016 where she eventually lost to Millie Tomlinson after five games. The squash player then backed this up by going one further and sealing victory in the Australian Open when she beat Egyptian Mayar Hany over four games.
Dipika Pallikal Karthik and Joshna Chinappa- Rivals?
Only a month after Joshna and Dipika scripted history by winning India’s first ever gold at the Commonwealth Games 2014, both of them lost their cool on the court during Asian Games 2014 in Incheon, South Korea. They had a heated exchange of words, which unfortunately resulted in the successful pair splitting up. They were reportedly not even on talking terms.
The incident happened during quarter-finals match between the two, where Dipika defeated her doubles partner Joshna. She went on to win India’s first women’s singles medal at the Asian Games.
Even before the Games, both Dipika and Joshna had named the draw as being “unfortunate” as both the Indians were in the same pool.
“It is back to normal between us. We have known each other way too long to not sort out our differences. And we also live in the same city (Chennai). Besides that, both of us realize the importance of playing together and get more medals for India,” later revealed Joshna.
Dipika, who is five years junior to Joshna, too has reportedly now moved on from the Incheon incident.
Dipika Pallikal was born to Sanjiv Pallikal and Susan Pallikal (née Itticheria) in Chennai on 21st September 1991. Hers is a Malayali family as both Sanjiv and Susan are natives of Kerala. Dipika got her sporting genes from her mother who has represented the Indian women’s team in international cricket. She also has two siblings named Diya Pallikal and Divya Pallikal.
Dipika met Dinesh Karthik, a Chennai born Indian cricketer in 2013 at a gym, where they both frequented. In fact, they also shared the same fitness coach. Their friendship grew stronger and later culminated into a relationship when Dinesh popped the question in London. The duo tied the knot in August 2015.
Indian Challenger 2010
Macau Open 2013
Meadowood Pharmacy Open 2013
Winter Club Open 2015
Granite Open (runner-up) 2015
Australian Open 2016
Gold at 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games (Women’s Doubles)
Silver at 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (Women’s Doubles)
Silver at 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (Mixed Doubles)
Bronze at 2014 Incheon Asian Games (Women’s Singles)
Silver at 2014 Incheon Asian Games (Women’s Team)
Bronze at 2018 Jakarta Asian Games (Women’s Singles)
- Arjuna award in 2012
- Padma Shri in 2014
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Feels surreal to wake up this morning knowing that yet another Asian games has passed by. 4 years of hard work , 4 years of sacrifice , 4 years of dreaming of this moment. Just like that these 2 weeks have gone by. I’m cming back home with 🥉+🥈. I don’t know where we’ll all be in the next 4 years , but the only thing I know is despite everything that happened behind the scenes before and during these Games , i am so proud of the fact that as a team we all stood together and fought through everything that was thrown at us. We might not be cming back with a Gold medal, but this team right here for me is my Gold medal. To my entire family – I know the sacrifices all of you have made in the last 4 years to make me win these medals. Everything I do is for you guys ❤ To my coaches back in Egypt and in India- You have been the best support team I could have ever had in my corner. Thank you for being patient with me through these years. To Basu Sir and his team- Thank you for making me the athlete I am today.. You’ve been the best mentor and without you this wouldn’t have been possible. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey. This one is for all of you .❤️