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Squash courting

Squash player Dipika Pallikal, 19, is not shy to admit why ad offers are rolling in thick and fast for her.

entertainment Updated: Sep 30, 2010 00:55 IST
Debjeet Kundu

She’s living proof that it’s not just cricketers who bag all the endorsements. And, squash player Dipika Pallikal, 19, is not shy to admit why ad offers are rolling in thick and fast for her. “Let’s accept it — it is a combination of good looks and performance,” she says. “I like looking pretty. But yes, I don’t apply whitening creams.”

And, with athletes from all over the globe coming to Delhi, is there a chance of someone falling for her? “If there’s someone who plays squash and is willing to travel with me, then it’s okay,” says the Chennai-born. Does squash player Saurav Ghosal, her doubles partner, stand a chance? “No way!” she exclaims.

That doesn’t dampen Saurav’s spirits, though. During the next three weeks, the Kolkata boy plans to “check out Delhi girls. [If I get a date], I’d like to take her to Lodhi Garden for a nice evening,” says the 24-year-old. “And I’ll drop by midway,” Dipika butts in.

Ranked 27 and 38 in the world respectively, Saurav and Dipika are the highest ranked Indian squash players, ever. The upcoming Commonwealth Games are a priority for both. “We’d like to do for squash what Saina (Nehwal) has done for badminton in India,” says Dipika.