Dipika Pallikal beats Aisling Blake to enter Monte Carlo Classic semis

Dipika-Pallikal-2Monaco: India’s Dipika Pallikal beat Aisling Blake of Ireland (11-5, 11-4, 11-2) to secure surprise semi-final berth in the WSA Silver 25 event at Stade Louis II in Monaco. Meanwhile, Egyptian-led upsets continued to dominate proceedings in the 19th edition of the Women's Monte Carlo Classic as teenagers Habiba Mohamed Ahmed and Nouran Gohar ousted experienced opponents to secure surprise semi-final berths.

Unseeded Ahmed, a 15-year-old from Alexandria, masterminded her second shock win over world No6 Camille Serme in three months when she twice fought from behind to topple the top seed from France 4-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6, 11-8 in 75 minutes.

Ahmed's mighty win guarantees Egyptian interest in the final for the first time for four years as the new world No24 (pictured above, left, with Serme) now faces compatriot Omneya Abdel Kawy, the winner of the title in 2010.

Fourth seed Kawy stopped another teenage upset when she prevailed 5-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-13, 11-2 over 17-year-old Alexandria-born qualifier Mariam Metwally.

Gohar denied WSA veteran Madeline Perry the chance of a fourth appearance in the final when she beat the 37-year-old third seed from Belfast 11-2, 12-10, 15-13. Former world No3 Perry was runner-up in 2005, 2009 and 2012.

Gohar, the 17-year-old world No22 from Cairo (pictured above, right, with Perry), now takes on Dipika Pallikal, the second seed who is bidding to become the first Indian to reach the final.

The world No16 from Chennai made it a bad night for Ireland when she defeated Perry's international team-mate Aisling Blake, the world No37 from Sligo, 11-5, 11-4, 11-2.

RESULTS: Monte Carlo Classic, Monte Carlo, Monaco


Habiba Mohamed Ahmed (EGY) bt [1] Camille Serme (FRA) 4-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6, 11-8 (75m)
[4] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY) 5-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-13, 11-2 (51m)
[8] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [3] Madeline Perry (IRL) 11-2, 12-10, 15-13 (44m)
[2] Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt Aisling Blake (IRL) 11-5, 11-4, 11-2 (24m)

Semi-final line-up:

Habiba Mohamed Ahmed (EGY) v [4] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)
[2] Dipika Pallikal (IND) v [8] Nouran Gohar (EGY)