Pallikal and Grinham contest for ToC crown!

Dipika Pallikal (IND) beat Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL).11-5,14-12,11-9 in the semi-finals of the Tournament of Champions 2012 (photo: Steve Line)

The women’s ToC final will be a test of experience versus youth as 33-year-old Natalie Grinham and 20-year-old Dipika Pallikal play for the title. Experience carried the day – just barely – in Grinham’s semifinal match against 16-year-old Nour El Sherbini. “It’s not fair. She’s half my age and twice my height”, Grinham said jokingly. After dropping the 1st game, the 2nd seed won the next 2 games. El Sherbini fought back to level, but Grinham came back strong in the 5th to take the match 6-11, 11-5, 11-5,7-11,11-4.

Grinham will meet another young challenger in the final as Dipika Pallikal (pic ri) beat New Zealand’s Jaclyn Hawkes (pic le) in straight games 11-5,14-12,11-9. The success of the 20-year-old from India was a result of the attacking strategy, that her current coach Sarah Fitzgerald did implement to Pallikal’s game.

After coming off the court Pallikal’s competitive instincts were evident. “I won’t be happy until I have finished my job and won the tournament,” she said.