Thursday, May 23, 2013

Only Nicol David left to fly Malaysian flag

PETALING JAYA: It is a familiar sight once again with world No. 1 squash player Nicol David the sole survivor after the first round of the British Open.

Defending champion Nicol, seeking to win her fifth British title, was merciless against India’s Joshna Chinappa, winning 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 in just 30 minutes at Pontefract on Tuesday.

But women’s national No. 3 Delia Arnold and top men’s player Ong Beng Hee both followed world No. 7 Low Wee Wern, who was earlier beaten by rising English player Sarah-Jane Perry, out of the tournament.

World No. 33 Delia had done well to negotiate past the qualifying rounds but was always playing with her back against the wall against world No. 3 Raneem El Weleily.

She did well to take a set off the Egyptian but once again faltered when Weleily stepped up a notch to win 8-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-4 in 39 minutes and will play Irish veteran Madeline Perry for a place in the quarter-finals.

The 33-year-old Beng Hee, who also suffered an early exit in the Asian Individual Championships earlier this month, just did not “turn up” for his match against Australia’s Cameron Pilley, losing 1-11, 8-11, 12-14.

Aussie No. 1 Pilley will face sixth Mohamed El Shorbagy of Egypt in the second round today.
“I had a bad start and I simply couldn’t recover,” said Beng Hee.

“It was really cold and the court felt dead and by the time I got myself into the game, Cameron was already up by two sets and I could not pull back one set.

“Overall it has been a very bad month for me but fortunately it’s the off-season now so I’m going home to rest and not think about squash for awhile,” added Beng Hee.

Meanwhile, in other first round matches, Engand’s Sarah Kippax played her heart out to send 11th seed Natalie Grinham of Holland packing in five sets.

Kippax won 9-11, 13-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 and will face Nicol in the second round.
“I went into the match pretty relaxed and I felt that I expressed myself out there and played well,” said Kippax on

“Natalie’s such an experienced and skilful player and she’s been playing well recently, so to beat her in the British Open definitely feels great!”

A third seeded women’s player — ninth seed Camille Serme of France – also bit the dust in the first round, losing in four sets to former world junior champion Nour El Tayeb of Egypt.


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