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Friday March 29, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday April 24, 2013 MYT 2:14:20 PM
KUALA LUMPUR: It was a bittersweet day for Malaysia in the women’s event of the CIMB KL Open squash championships as world No. 1 Nicol David marched on while world No. 6 Low Wee Wern limped out.
Nicol kept alive her bid for a ninth KL Open title by edging past Egypt’s Omneya Abdel Kawy in the second round at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Wee Wern, however, suffered cramps en route to losing 10-12, 11-7,11-8, 8-11, 4-11 to Ireland’s Madeline Perry.
Seven-time world champion Nicol gave a polished display to dispose of Omneya 11-9, 11-7, 11-8.
The former world No. 4 did pose some problems to Nicol in the early stages with her powerful and accurate shots.
The Penangite, however, was stepped up a gear to seal her second straight win in straight sets.
“Omneya is a really tough opponent and every point against her counts,” said Nicol.
“Although this was only the second round, it actually felt like I was playing in the final and I had to keep it really close.
“I eventually managed to work my game and I’m happy to go through,” added Nicol, who will take on England’s Jenny Duncalf in the quarter-finals.
The quarter-finals will be held at the Berjaya Times Square but the glass court this year will have a different view due to a shift in position.
“It’s the same court but in a different position ... so it feels like a brand new venue. That’ll give me a boost too because I like playing in different environments,” said Nicol. “Hopefully, the crowd will come and support the match – and squash’s bid for the Olympics.”
National No. 2 Wee Wern, who suffered cramps whilst trailing 4-6 in the fifth set, admitted that the 36-year-old Perry’s experience made the difference.
“She’s a former world No. 3 and still has that quality even though her ranking has dropped a little,” said Wee Wern.
“Her experience counted because she knew what to do at the crucial stages ... and she got the big points when it mattered most.
“It’s unfortunate that I suffered cramps ... it’s disappointing to lose but I learned my lesson and I’ll be better prepared next time.”
In other matches, former world No. 2 Natalie Grinham of Holland created the biggest upset of the day by sending world No. 2 Raneem El Weleily packing 11-6,12-14, 11-8, 11-6.
Grinham will face New Zealand’s Joelle King, who defeated France’s Camille Serme in a 90-minute five-setter marathon.
Third seed Laura Massaro of England and fifth seed Nour El Sherbini of Egypt, however, made light work of their opponents – Denmark’s Line Hansen and Hong Kong’s Annie Au respectively – to book their spots in the last eight.
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