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Tuesday October 8, 2013 MYT 8:45:00 PM
Tuesday October 8, 2013 MYT 8:47:13 PM
by loganath velloo
Zulhijjah Azan playing against Low Wee Wern in the TC Malaysian National Squash Championships semi-finals in August. Zulhijjah booked her spot in the main draw of the IJM Penang Women's Open after a four-set victory over compatriot Teh Min Jie 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6.
GEORGE TOWN: National squash player Zulhijjah Azan knows that it will be a tall order for her to get past the opening round of the IJM Penang Women’s Open squash tournament at the Nicol David International Squash Centre on Wednesday.
But the 23-year-old from Kuala Lumpur is still excited at taking on third seed Emma Beddoes of England in the Women’s Squash Association (WSA)-sanctioned Tour 10 tournament.
Zulhijjah, who booked her place in the main draw following a four-set victory over compatriot Teh Min Jie 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6 in the qualifying second round on Tuesday, is 66th in the WSA world ranking list while Beddoes is No. 30.
“After (top seed and world No. 16) Rachael Grinham, Emma is the player everybody wanted to avoid in the opening round. But I was looking forward to playing either one of them because it’s not always that we get the chance to compete and learn against such world-class players,” said Zulhijjah.
“I was a quarter-finalist in Penang last year, but the tournament has attracted a more competitive field after being upgraded from a Tour 5 to a Tour 10 meet. I will give my best against Beddoes, but have to admit that I will need a miracle to enter the quarters again.”
Vanessa Raj also made it to the main draw after overcoming her older and more experienced opponent B. Aparajitha of India 12-10, 11-5, 11-3 in the qualifying second round match on Tuesday.
The 17-year-old Asian Youth Games individual champion will face eighth seed Gaby Huber of Switzerland in Wednesday’s opening round.
Two other Malaysian players failed to make it to the main draw after being outclassed by Egyptian opponents.
Jadeleen Lee lost 11-4, 11-4, 11-2 to Nouran El Torky while Pushppa Devi fell 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 to Farah Abdel Meguid.
Former world champion Rachael Grinham of Australia and defending champion Joshana Chinappa of India, the second seed, will start as favourites.
The Malaysian challenge is led by national No. 3 Delia Arnold, who opens her campaign today against compatriot Celine Yeap.
Tags / Keywords:
squash, Zulhijjah Azan, Penang Women’s Open, Emma Beddoes
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