Wednesday, October 15, 2014

All-Malaysian quarterfinal clash in Philly

Malaysia's Nicol David (right) will take on compatriot Low Wee Wern share a light moment during the 2014 Asian Games last month. - AFP
Malaysia's Nicol David (right) will take on compatriot Low Wee Wern share a light moment during the 2014 Asian Games last month. - AFP

ODENSE: It will be a thrilling all-Malaysian quarter-final in the US Open squash championships after world No. 1 Nicol David and world No. 5 Low Wee Wern cleared their second round matches in Philadelphia.

The 31-year-old Nicol was hardly troubled by Rachael Grinham, winning 11-1, 11-8, 11-3 on Monday.

Nicol, who is bidding for a record third straight US Open title, raced into an 8-0 lead in the first set before the 37-year-old Grinham got her first point on board.

“I’ve played against Rachael so many times and knew I would need plans A, B and C against her. So, I was pleased with my performance today,” said Nicol.
Wee Wern showed true grit in her 11-8, 11-7, 5-11, 11-3 win over Guyana’s Nicolette Fernandes.

“Nicolette started very well while I was struggling to see the ball. I only had 20 minutes in the morning to train on this glass court and it took me a while (to get going),” said Wee Wern, who will be making her second successive US Open quarter-final appearance.

“But I’m happy to win the crucial first set ... and with the way I closed off the match in the fourth.

“It will always be an uphill task against Nicol as she is the world No. 1. But I’ve been playing well lately and I’m looking forward to challenging her again.”

Wee Wern lost in four sets to Nicol in the Asian Games final last month.

And Nicol knows it could be just as tough this time.

“It will be difficult against Wee Wern in the quarter-finals. But it’s great for Malaysia to see her move up the rankings,” said Nicol.

“Still, it’s the quarter-finals of the US Open and I’ll be focused.”

In other results, fifth seed Alison Waters of England was pushed to the limit before securing a 12-10, 11-8, 1-11, 15-17, 11-2 win over 16-year-old Egyptian Nouran Gohar.

Waters will meet another Egyptian – world No. 3 Raneem El Welily – in the quarter-finals.


by Kng Zheng Guan - The Star

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