Wednesday October 10, 2012
Nicol gets off to a flying start, Wee Wern falters
PETALING JAYA: World No. 1 Nicol David showed no signs of weakness as she brushed aside Camille Serme 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 in the first round of the US Open on Monday to set up a mouth-watering clash with Alison Waters in the last eight.
Nicol lost to Egypt’s Raneem El Weleily and Englishwoman Waters in her last two tournaments. This led to some thinking that Nicol will be easy pickings in Philadelphia.
But six-time world champion Nicol was in no mood to prove them right as she came flying out of the blocks to take the first set 11-6.
World No. 13 Serme, who came through the qualifiers, showed more fight in the next two sets but Nicol was in inspired mood and wrapped up the match in 42 minutes.
It was the perfect tonic for the Penangite, who only last month suffered rare back-to-back defeats in the Malaysian Open and Carol Weymuller Open.
“It’s quite strange to think that Camille had to go through the qualifiers for the main draw because she’s such a good player and was really hitting some good backhand volley drops,” said Nicol, who is aiming for her first US title.
“But I knew that to play my game and win, I had to be very focused. So I’m pleased to get through in three sets.”
However, Nicol’s return to her usual dominance can only be rubber-stamped if she can overcome Waters in the last eight.
The 28-year-old Waters, who defeated Nicol at the same stage at the Carol Weymuller Open in New York, booked her place after grinding out a 12-10, 5-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7 win over veteran Natalie Grinham.
National No. 2 Low Wee Wern failed to join Nicol in the quarter-finals after falling to second seed Weleily.
World No. 9 Wee Wern gave the Egyptian a real fright before going down 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 5-11.
“I actually played quite well and it was a close fight in all four sets. Raneem was simply too sharp and too confident in the fourth set,” said Wee Wern, 22.
“I thought I had a chance after the second set but she is on fire as seen from her recent run of results.
“I’m a little disappointed but I’m rather pleased with the way I’ve been playing lately.”
Second round: Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt Cameron Pilley (Aus) 10-12, 11-8, 12-10, 10-12, 11-4; James Wilstrop (Eng) bt Daryl Selby (Eng) 9-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-5; Gregory Gaultier (Fra) bt Borja Golan (Spa) 11-7, 11-4, 11-7; Karim Darwish (Egy) bt Christopher Gordon (US) 11-4, 11-3, 11-8; Nick Matthew (Eng) bt Adrian Grant (Eng) 11-2, 11-5, 15-13; Ramy Ashour (Egy) bt Tarek Momen (Egy) 13-11, 11-7, 11-8; Amr Shabana (Egy) bt Laurens Jan Anjema (Hol) 9-11, 11-7, 11-1, 11-5; Peter Barker (Eng) bt Tom Richards (Eng) 11-5, 11-7, 11-8.
First round: Nicol David (Mas) bt Camille Serme (Fra) 11-6, 11-8, 11-8; Alison Waters (Eng) bt Natalie Grinham (Hol) 12-10, 5-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7; Jenny Duncalf (Eng) bt Rachael Grinham (Aus) 11-5, 11-8, 11-4; Joelle King (Nzl) bt Nour El Sherbini (Egy) 12-10, 11-6, 11-5; Madeline Perry (Irl) bt Donna Urquhart (Aus) 11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 11-2; Laura Massro (Eng) bt Kristen Lange (US) 11-0, 11-3, 11-4; Kasey Brown (Aus) bt Annie Au (Hkg) 12-10, 11-8, 11-9; Raneem El Weleily (Egy) bt Low Wee Wern (Mas) 11-8, 5-11, 11-8, 11-5.