Dipika Pallikal Karthik is an Indian professional squash player, model, and entrepreneur. She became the first Indian woman squash player to enter the top 10 in the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Women’s rankings in December 2012 and was the first female squash player to receive the Arjuna Award, India’s second-highest sporting award, in the same year.
Dipika Rebecca Pallikal List of Padma Awardees was born on Saturday, 21 September 1991 (age 32 years; as of 2023) in Kottayam, Kerala, India. Her zodiac sign is Virgo. She did her schooling at Good Shepherd Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chennai. In 2013, she attained a Bachelor’s degree in Arts (English Honours) at Ethiraj College for Women in Chennai. She began playing squash at the age of ten.
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Weight (approx.): 70 kg
Hair Colour: Brown
Eye Colour: Black
Figure Measurements (approx.): 36-26-36
Dipika Pallikal belongs to a Malayali Christian family of ‘Syrian’ origin.
Parents & Siblings
Her father, Sanjiv Pallikal, is an entrepreneur.
Her mother, Susan Itticheria, is a former Indian Cricketer.
She has two sisters named Divya Pallikal and Dia Pallikal. Divya Pallikal is a chartered accountant, and Dia Pallikal is a graphic designer.
Husband & Children
On 18 August 2015, as per Christian rituals, Dipika Pallikal got married to Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik at the Leela Palace Hotel in Chennai. On 20 August 2015, they again got married as per Hindu rituals at ITC Grand Chola in Chennai.
The couple has twin boys named Kabir and Zian, who were born on 18 October 2021.
She met her husband, Dinesh Karthik, in 2008 at ‘The Chennai Marathon,’ but they became friends in 2013 when they trained together under the guidance of Shankar Basu at Chennai’s ‘Maverick Gym.’ They fell in love when Dipika was in Leeds, England, for physical training, and Dinesh reportedly went there just to see her.
In 2006, Dipika Pallikal became a professional squash player and faced some challenges at the start of her career. However, after a brief training in Egypt in early 2011, she became more consistent and started winning titles. At the end of the year, she won three WISPA titles, with her first victory being at the Orange County Open in Irvine, California. Her second title was in the United States, and her third was in Hong Kong, which helped her achieve a world ranking of 17. Thereafter, her performance in the World Open gained her recognition after she finished in the top eight. This led to her achieving a world ranking of 14 in February 2012, surpassing the previous best ranking by the Indian squash player Misha Grewal in 1995. In January 2012, Dipika Pallikal made history by becoming the first Indian to reach the final of a silver event during the Tournament of Champions squash meet in New York.
Later that year, Dipika Pallikal reached the semi-finals of a gold event during the 2012 Australian Open, another first for an Indian. She also played an important role in the Indian squash team that finished fifth in the 2012 Women’s World Team Squash Championships, defeating higher-ranked Netherlands and Ireland.
Dipika Pallikal won her sixth WSA title in February 2013. In 2014, she and Joshna Chinappa won the squash women’s doubles gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, marking India’s first-ever medal in the sport at the event.
In the same year, Dipika Pallikal earned a silver medal in a team event and a bronze medal in the singles event during the Asian Games organised in Incheon, South Korea. Dipika Pallikal picked up her 10th Tour title in January 2015 by winning the Winter Club Open. In 2016, she won a silver medal in a mixed doubles event and a bronze medal in a doubles event during the World Doubles Championships held in Darwin. In 2017, she clinched a bronze medal in a doubles event during the World Doubles Championships held in Manchester. During the same year, Dipika Pallikal won a silver medal in a singles event during the Asian Individual Championships organised in Chennai. In 2018, she won a silver medal in doubles and a silver medal in a mixed doubles event during the Commonwealth Games held in Gold Coast. During the same year, Dipika Pallikal won a bronze medal in a singles event during the Asian Games organised in Jakarta.
Dipika Pallikal then won a bronze medal in a team event and a gold medal in a mixed doubles event in the 2022 Asian Games organised in Hangzhou. In 2022, she won a gold medal in a doubles event and a gold medal in a mixed doubles event during the World Doubles Championships organised in Glasgow. In August 2022, Dipika Pallikal won a bronze medal in a mixed doubles event during the Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
In October 2023, Dipika Pallikal won a gold medal in a mixed doubles event with Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu by beating Malaysia in the final during the Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China.
National Squash Championship: Dipika Pallikal’s Stand and Victory
Despite her successes, Dipika Pallikal refused to participate in the National Championship Squash between 2012 and 2015 due to the inequality in prize money. Earlier, the women’s championship winner was awarded only 40% of the prize money of the men’s championship winner. Equal prize money was finally agreed upon for the 2016 championships, where Dipika Pallikal upset Joshna Chinappa to win the title for the second time.
2012 Consumer Court Victory: Dipika Pallikal vs. Axis Bank
In 2012, Dipika Pallikal filed a complaint against Axis Bank Limited in the consumer court in Chennai, seeking Rs. 10 lakh compensation for an embarrassing incident that she faced during her trip to Rotterdam in 2011. Despite having enough balance in her account, her debit card was declined when she tried to make a transaction at a hotel. In 2014, Dipika Pallikal won the case, and the consumer court directed Axis Bank to pay her Rs. 5 lakh in compensation for their deficient service. The Hindu
Dinesh Karthik’s Listicle Controversy
Dipika Pallikal’s husband, Dinesh Karthik, was featured on MensXP’s listicle on why “attractive women date unattractive men” in 2015. Soon after reading the article, she got furious and tweeted a reply:
High Court Arbitration Victory
In 2017, Pallikal Karthik went to the Madras High Court under the ‘Arbitration and Conciliation Act’ to appoint an arbitrator for a payment dispute with Borg Energy India Private Limited. The dispute was regarding a ‘Brand Endorsement Agreement’ for which they had not paid her Rs. 10 lakh for their brand endorsement for 2015-16. After winning the case, the Madras High Court Arbitration Centre awarded Dipika Pallikal Rs. 19.48 lakh with 12% interest. The Times of India
Awards and Honours
- In 2013, Pallikal Karthik was honoured with the Arjuna Award.
- In 2015, Pallikal Karthik was awarded Padma Shri.
- She uses the Technifibre brand racquet to play squash.
- Dipika Pallikal is a certified baker.
- Sarah Fitz-Gerald, an Australian former professional squash player, coaches Dipika Pallikal.
- Pallikal Karthik is an avid dog lover. She has a pet dog named Coco. She often shares pictures of her pet on social media.
- She has also walked the ramps at various events. She walked the ramp for ‘Lakme Fashion Week’ for the designer ‘Arpita Mehta’ in 2014.
- Dipika Pallikal has been featured in many renowned magazines and tabloids such as ‘Femina Tamil Magazine’ and ‘Verve India Magazine.’
- She is the brand ambassador of ‘Sports365’ and ‘Caratlane.’
- As a model, Dipika Pallikal often endorses commercial products on social media.
- Pallikal Karthik is a fitness enthusiast and goes to the gym regularly. She often shares pictures of her gym sessions on social media.
- She enjoys drinking alcoholic beverages occasionally.
- In her leisure time, Dipika Pallikal likes travelling to distant places, swimming, and dancing.