National champion Joshna Chinappa clinched the women's title in the US $15,000 NSCI Open JSW Indian Squash Circuit 2015 after upstaging Egyptian top seed Habiba Mohammad in straight games in the final at Mumbai on Sunday.
Joshna, ranked 24th in the world currently, defeated Habiba 11-8 11-9 11-6 in a tough title-clash, which lasted 47 minutes.
The major hiccup for the Indian player came when she got hit by her rivals racket on the face in the second game and needed medical attention for a bloody nose before resuming her battle after a 10-minute break.
"I was just thinking, 'I hope I don't have to not play' because I was in so much pain. But it only lasted about 10 minutes. Fortunately, I was quite warm and that helped me get back on court faster. It all worked out. The crowd was great. They really helped," said Joshna after her creditable triumph by braving the injury.
It wasn't an easy match for Joshna. She took the first game smoothly, trading points with Mohamed throughout the opening game before prevailing 11-8.
The Indian fell behind in the second and at 1-3, Habiba hit her in the face in the follow-through of a huge swing. Joshna recovered from her bloody nose, and resumed play about 10 minutes later.
But this allowed her rival to rack up a 6-2 lead while Joshna tried finding her legs again. But at 6-9, the gritty Indian started clawing her way back with a few lovely drops and took the game 11-9.
The third game saw a conduct warning for coaching to Habiba at 1-2. After that, the play opened up as both players kept up the pressure. But three key unforced errors by the Egyptian top seed helped Joshna win the match.
"It was good. I think I played well," Joshna said later.