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Monday October 7, 2013 MYT 7:14:00 PM
Monday October 7, 2013 MYT 7:17:24 PM
by loganath velloo
GEORGE TOWN: Australia’s Rachael Grinham will be the favourite to win the US$10,000 (RM31,894) IJM Penang Open squash tournament at the Nicol David International Squash Centre this week.
The former world champion, who is ranked 16th in the world, is the top seed in the 16-player tournament.
She will open her campaign against a qualifier in the first round and is expected to meet world No. 24 Joshna Chinappa of India, the defending champion, in the final on Saturday.
The Malaysian challenge will be led by national No. 3 Delia Arnold, who will play compatriot Celine Yeap in tomorrow’s opening round.
The tournament’s qualifying rounds began on Monday with five Malaysian players staying alive in the fight for four spots in the main draw.
One local player is already assured of a berth in the tournament proper as Zulhijjah Azan will take on Teh Min Jie in an all-Malaysian affair in Tuesday’s final qualifying round.
Zulhijjah defeated teenager S. Sivasangari 12-10, 12-10, 11-8 while Min Jie overcame Zetty Zawanah 11-6, 11-7, 11-8.
Jadeleen Lee and Pushppa Devi also won their opening matches convincingly but will have their work cut out today against Egyptian opponents Nouran El Torky and Farah Abdel Meguid respectively.
Asian Youth Games individual champion Vanessa Raj will also face a tough hurdle, in the form of India’s Aparajitha Balamurukan.
“I have not played Aparajitha before, but I know she is a formidable player. Although I will start as the underdog, I hope to create an upset and feature in the main draw,” said 17-year-old Vanessa, who was stretched by Aika Azman yesterday before winning 7-11, 11-1, 11-2, 12-10.
Tags / Keywords:
Rachel Grinham, Delia Arnold, Penang Open, squash, Nicol David
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