Wednesday September 12, 2012
An early cruise for top two
REPORTS by KNG ZHENG GUAN and ASHREENA PILLAI PIX: S.S. KANESAN
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian squash queen Nicol David and national No. 2 Low Wee Wern got off to a flying start in the CIMB Malaysian Open at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
World No. 1 and top seed Nicol, who is going for her eighth straight Malaysian Open title, was hardly tested by Indian qualifier Joshna Chinappa, winning 11-3, 12-10, 11-9.
After an easy first-set win, Joshna gave a better fight in the second, saving four game points to level the scores at 10-10.
But Nicol simply stepped up a gear to take the set 12-10 before comfortably wrapping up the win 11-9 in the third set.
“I was just playing my game in the first set while Joshna made quite a few errors and that made it a little easy for me,” said Nicol.
“We’ve had some close matches in the past and I knew she would come back strongly and she did exactly that in second set, despite trailing 6-10.
“Overall, my focus was a little up and down ... what with this being the first round and all the excitement of late.
“I’m just glad I pulled through.”
The 29-year-old Penangite faces Australian 16th seed Donna Urquhart for a place in the quarter-finals.
Urquhart overcame fellow left-hander Lucie Fialova of the Czech Republic 11-4, 11-6, 11-4.
Wee Wern, who is competing in her first tournament since her elevation to No. 10 in the world, had an easier time en route to disposing of Egyptian qualifier Salma Hany 11-5, 11-3, 11-7 in 22 minutes.
“It was a good first match as I’ve never played against her before. She’s a young up-and-coming Egyptian ... they’re all so talented, so I had to be really careful,” said Wee Wern.
“I’m looking forward to my next match against Madeline (Perry) ... hopefully I’ll get the better of her this time.
“I’ve never beaten her in our two previous meetings.”
Veteran Irishwoman Perry was simply too strong for national No. 3 Delia Arnold, winning 11-2, 11-5, 11-4 in 26 minutes.
The other Malaysian women in the fray – Siti Munirah Jusoh and national junior Vanessa Raj – also fell by the wayside.
MEN n Qualifying round
Finals: Max Lee (Hkg) bt Campbell Grayson (Nzl) 6-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6; Abdullah Al Muzayen (Kuw) bt Mohd Asyraf Azan (Mas) 13-15, 11-7, 11-5, 11-6;
Siddharth Suchde (Ind) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy) 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7; Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) bt Ivan Yuen (Mas) 11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 9-11, 14-12.
n Main draw
First round: Nicol David (Mas) bt Joshna Chinappa (Ind) 11-3, 12-10, 11-9; Donna Urquhart (Aus) bt Lucie Fialova (Cze) 11-4, 11-6, 11-4; Annie Au (Hkg) bt Milou Van Der Heijden (Hol) 11-2, 11-0, 11-4; Kasey Brown (Aus) bt Heba El Torky (Egy) 4-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6; Laura Massaro (Eng) bt Tong Tsz Wing (Hkg) 11-7, 11-5, 11-1; Dipika Pallikal (Ind) bt Kylie Lindsay (Nzl) 11-6, 11-6, 12-10; Nour El Sherbini (Egy) bt Gaby Huber (Sui) 11-7, 11-1, 11-4; Emily Whitlock (Eng) bt Samantha Teran (Mex) 11-3, 11-4, 9-11, 12-10; Low Wee Wern (Mas) bt Salma Hany (Egy) 11-5, 11-3, 11-7; Madeline Perry (Irl) bt Delia Arnold (Mas) 11-2, 11-5, 11-4; Camille Serme (Fra) bt Siti Munirah Jusoh (Mas) 11-8, 11-4, 11-4; Jenny Duncalf (Eng) bt Line Hansen (Den) 11-4, 11-4, 11-8; Alison Waters (Eng) bt Liu Tsz Ling (Hkg) 11-6, 11-4, 11-2; Natalie Grinham (Hol) bt Lisa Aitken (Sco) 11-5, 11-6, 11-3; Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) bt Rachael Grinham (Aus) 11-7, 11-7, 14-12; Raneem El Weleily (Egy) bt Vanessa Raj (Mas) 11-4, 11-5, 11-3.