BRITISH OPEN: Nicol sole challenger as other Malaysians crash outNICOL David is again left to shoulder the Malaysian challenge as three compatriots bit the dust in the British Open first round on Tuesday.
It is not an unfamiliar situation for Nicol, who defeated qualifier Joshna Chinappa of India 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 in Pontefract to set up a second round meeting with England's Sarah Kippax at the KC Stadium in Hull late yesterday.
The top-seeded Nicol is chasing her fifth British Open title and her first WSA Tour win this year but her cause was not helped by the tame exits of Low Wee Wern and Delia Arnold.
Much was expected of Wee Wern who has risen to No 7 in the world rankings but the 2012 national champion admitted she struggles against physical players as England's Sarah-Jane Perry proved in an 11-7, 13-11, 7-11, 11-9 win.
After dropping the first two games, Wee Wern looked like getting back into the match at 6-2 up but World No 18 Sarah-Jane recovered to post her first win over a top-10 player.
Nicol, in the meantime, was quick out of the blocks in her title defence despite having to play 70km away from the main venue.
"It would be better if everyone started straight away on the glass court," Nicol told AFP. "Or to do it half and half with the men, to give us a better chance. It's a shame. But I'm used to having to adapt.
"I tried not to give her (Joshna) time to play her game because she can be dangerous. And I'm really pleased with the way I did that.
"Especially this year I do more with the ball. Of course it's difficult to do that all the time, but I knew I had to work her and not let her game flow."
Later, national No 3 Delia snatched the first game from third seed Raneem El Weleily but the Egyptian recovered to win 8-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-4.
National men's champion Ong Beng Hee was also shown the exit in the first round after conceding the first nine points of the match in an 11-1, 11-8, 14-12 defeat by Australian Cameron Pilley in Hull.
Two other seeded women players fell in the opening round with 10th seed Natalie Grinham of the Netherlands beaten 9-11, 13-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 by Sarah while French ninth seed Camille Serme was ousted 10-12, 11-6, 11-7, 11-5 by Egypt's Nour El Tayeb.
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