Thursday March 14, 2013
Rachel upsets sixth seed Zulhijjah and moves into the semis
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Teenager Rachel Arnold continue her giant killing act by upsetting sixth seed Zulhijjah Azan to reach the semi-finals of the NSC Series No. 1 tournament at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Rachel, who stunned national No. 4 and world No. 44 Siti Munirah Jusoh in the first round on Tuesday, showed maturity and composure in her game to win 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8 in 35 minutes.
This is the first time Rachel, ranked 115 in the world, has reached the semi-final stage on the professional circuit.
Rachel will face third seed Liza Camilleri of Australia for a place in the final.
The Australian had no problems disposing junior player Vanessa Raj 11-6, 11-7, 11-5.
Rachel, a Form Five student of Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), said it was great to beat two higher ranked players in the tournament.
“I proved my win over Siti was no fluke by beating Zulhijjah (world No. 82) today,” said Rachel, who will turn 17 on April 16.
“It really feels great to create two upsets and reach my first ever semi-finals. I hope to break into the top 100 in the world rankings after this two wins,” said Rachel.
Top seed Line Hansen of Denmark eliminated Egypt’s Salma Nassar 11-4, 11-8, 11-8 and will face another Egyptian, seventh seed Nouran El Torky in the semi-finals.
In the men’s competition, top seed Ivan Yuen staved off a strong challenge from India’s Ravi Dixit before prevailing 11-7, 4-11, 11-8, 11-2 to reach the last four.
Ivan will square off with compatriot and fourth seed Elvinn Keo for a place in the final.
Third seed Mahesh Mangaonkar of India eliminated Christophe Andrew of France 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 to set up a last four clash with Egypt’s Ahmed Atef Abdel-Fattah.
Men: Ivan Yuen (Mas) bt Ravi Dixit (Ind) 11-7, 4- 11, 11-8, 11-2; Elvinn Keo (Mas) bt Thomas Ford (Eng) 7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-5; Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind) bt Jean Pierre Brits (Fra) 11-5, 11-5, 11-8; Ahmed Atef Abdel-Fattah (Egy) bt Christophe Andre (Fra) 11-5, 11-8, 4-11, 11-2.
Women: Line Hansen (Den) bt Salma Nassar (Egy) 11-4, 11-8, 11-8; Nouran El Torky (Egy) bt Tong Tsz Wing (Hkg) 11-7, 12-10, 11-9; Lisa Camilleri (Aus) bt Vanessa Raj (Mas) 11-6, 11-7, 11-5; Rachel Arnold (Mas) bt Zulhijjah Azan (Mas) 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8.