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Thursday October 17, 2013 MYT 5:17:00 PM
Thursday October 17, 2013 MYT 5:46:03 PM
by aftar singh
Malaysia's Low Wee Wern beat Raneem El Weleily in five sets to book her passage into the US Open semi-finals on Thursday. Filepic.
KUALA LUMPUR: National number two Low Wee Wern created a major upset by coming back from a set down to stun and exact sweet revenge on world No. 3 Raneem El Weleily of Egypt to reach the semi-finals of the US Open squash championships in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
The sixth-seeded Malaysian, who lost to Raneem in the first round of the championships last year, showed nerves of steel to win a thrilling five-setter match 7-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8 in 66 minutes.
World No. 7 Wee Wern was level at 7-7 in the first set before Raneem, last year’s runner-up, took the lead 11-7.
But the 23-year-old Penangite edged ahead from 4-4 in the second set to win 11-8 and level the tie.
It was the same in the third set, with both players tied at 7-7 before the Egyptian stepped up a gear.
Raneem, who stunned world No. 1 Nicol David in the final of the Cleveland Classic in Ohio in February, looked on course for the semis as she led 7-4 in the fourth set.
But Wee Wern persevered with some lengthy exchanges and winning the verdict in a video review to level the score at 2-2.
In the decider, Raneem, 24, made some unforced errors to hit the tin five times with Wee Wern having a 6-1 advantage. But the Egyptian worked her way back and edged ahead at 8-7.
The determined Wee Wern never gave up, successfully appealing a stroke and forcing Raneem to make two more errors before sealing a place in the semis.
“I feel like going back on for another game. The rallies were so hard ... it doesn’t feel like it’s all over,” said the delighted Wee Wern.
“It’s definitely one of my best wins, but there was no pressure on me going into the match, so I just had to stick to it and that seemed to work in my favour today.
“I hope to rise to the occasion again in the semis,” said Wee Wern, who will face second seed and 2011 champions Laura Massaro of England for a place in the final.
World No. 2 Massaro, who won the KL Open title in March, warded off a strong challenge from Kasey Brown of Australia before prevailing 10-12, 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 in 55 minutes.
Wee Wern has never beaten Massaro, who won the British Open title in May, on the professional circuit.
They last met in the Carol Weymuller Open in New York on Oct 4 where Wee Wern lost in straight sets in the second round.
For the first time two Malaysian women are in the US Open semi-finals.
Top seed and defending champion Nicol David will face fifth seed Joelle King of New Zealand in the other semi-final.
In the men’s competition, second seed James Willstrop of England ended the fine run of Simon Rosner of Germany in the quarter-finals.
The German, who upset eighth seed Tarek Momen of Egypt in the second round on Monday, put up a good fight before losing 5-11, 2-11, 11-8, 9-11 in 58 minutes.
Willstrop will face his compatriot and third seed Nick Matthew, 2011 world champion, in the semi-finals.
Tags / Keywords:
Low Wee Wern, Nicol David, US Open squash, Raneem El Weleily
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