LOW Wee Wern edged a thrilling five-game battle against Delia Arnold in an all-Malaysian first round encounter at the British Open in Hull yesterday.Wee Wern's 11-6, 7-11, 11-2, 11-3, 11-7 victory in 64 minutes set up a clash with Emma Beddoes in tomorrow's second round after the unseeded English player stunned World Championship runner-up Nour El Sherbini of Egypt 11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9.
World No 7 Wee Wern and 40th-ranked Delia were unlucky to be drawn against each other in the first round though it guaranteed at least one Malaysian would clear the opening hurdle at the tournament for the first time.
Neither Wee Wern nor Delia, playing in just her second WSA Tour event of 2014, had previously gone further than the first round at the British Open.
Delia reached the main draw after an 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 win over American Latasha Khan in Monday's qualifying finals but lost her last two meetings with Wee Wern.
They last met in competition at the 2012 National Championship final with Wee Wern also winning the 2011 China Open final before that.
That left the two players even at four wins apiece since their first competitive clash at the 2004 Malaysia Games though Wee Wern now leads 3-1 in their WSA Tour head-to-head record.
World No 1 Nicol David, seeking to bounce back after a disappointing home World Championship in March, was playing Egyptian qualifier Heba El Torky late yesterday.
On Monday, Ong Beng Hee suffered his sixth consecutive PSA Tour main draw defeat despite a battling display against Egyptian eighth seed Karim Darwish.
Darwish ground out a 14-12, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8 first round win in 69 minutes to improve to 5-3 against Beng Hee, whose last win in a main draw match was at the World Championship last November.
Read more: SQUASH: Wee Wern gets better of Delia - Other - New Straits Times