Wednesday October 17, 2012
Delia looking to stop a King-sized threat in Macau Open
PETALING JAYA: Joelle King’s excellent showing at the US Open has put national No. 3 Delia Arnold on her toes as she prepares for an assault on the Macau Open, which begins tomorrow.
World No. 12 and Kiwi No. 1 King hit a purple patch in Philadelphia last week as she came through the qualifiers to make the semi-finals of the US Open before losing to Malaysian squash queen Nicol David in five sets.
And the 26-year-old Delia, whose recent form has been nothing short of woeful, is definitely looking to stop the threat posed by King as she seeks to get her season back on track.
Despite starting the year on high by winning the Delaware Open at Wilmington, US, in February, Delia has crashed out in the first round of four other tournaments this year – the most recent being the Malaysian Open where she struggled against veteran Madeline Perry.
“I definitely didn’t do well in the Malaysian Open and that was a really poor performance by my standards,” said Delia.
“The draw (for the Macau Open) is definitely tough, with Joelle in my half of the draw ... she was excellent in the US Open just last week.
“To do well in Macau, I will need to stop her. It won’t be easy but I’m just hoping that everything goes fine.”
World No. 23 Delia will take on a qualifier first before a potential quarter-final date with King.
A win over King will set her up against either third seed Samantha Teran of Mexico or fifth seed Joey Chan of Hong Kong in the last four.
Besides Delia, the other Malaysian woman in the fray is national No. 4 Siti Munirah Jusoh. However, she is not expected to make much progress as she faces King in the first round.
In yesterday’s qualifying matches, Mohd Asyraf Azan cruised past Hong Kong’s Wong Hon Fung 11-4, 11-5, 11-8.