India’s World No.11 Joshna Chinappa was made to work hard against England’s World No.30 Julianne Courtice to reach the second round of the CIB Black Ball Open with a 3-1 victory.
Chinappa, who is featuring in her second tournament since the PSA restarted in September, started well and looked as though as she was going to lay the foundations for a strong win as she held two game balls in the first before Courtice fought back to sneak it 12-10 on the tie-break.
The Englishwoman continued to make life difficult for Chinappa in the second but at 6-6, there was a big shift in momentum as the Indian used her experience to take advantage of a loss of focus from Courtice and punish any loose shots to draw level.
The next two games seemed to follow a similar pattern for the World No.30 with Chinappa able to build her way back into the games each time and close out on the tie-break in the fourth.
Chinappa will face the winner of Emily Whitlock v Sarah-Jane Perry in the second round.
“There were a lot of long rallies and it was very physical,” Chinappa told SquashTV afterwards.
“But that’s what I expected coming in, Julianne is a tough player and a couple of games could have really gone her way as well and I should have definitely capitalised on that first game. She played well throughout the whole match and I found that I was playing well more in patches than for longer points consistently. You have to deal with that and try to come out on top, no matter how you’re playing.
“I think it’s so great that the PSA has come together to really support us. A lot of sports haven’t even started and we have at least played three tournaments. I think it’s amazing that PSA has kept us safe. Initially when I first came, my parents were worried but obviously the feedback from the other girls at Manchester were that it was great and a lot of testing. I’m so glad to be a part of the tour again. You just keep training and when the opportunity comes you fly out.”
Courtice added: “It's a bit of a tricky time, we don't really get the preparation for matches we would like probably, and there are so few tournaments, with a couple of months in between.
“You want to make the best out of it really. You are trying to come on court relaxed, with a clear head, feeling comfortable, but it's not easy.
“It's about trying to make each match a stepping stone, and not worry too much about the gap between each stepping stone.”
 Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt Julianne Courtice (ENG) 3-1: 10-12, 11-6, 11-9, 12-10 (50m)