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Monday December 2, 2013 MYT 8:42:00 PM
Monday December 2, 2013 MYT 9:00:09 PM
by kng zheng guan
Malaysian Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (left) will take on world no.1 Ramy Ashour of Egypt in the first round of the Hong Kong Open after qualifying for the main draw on Monday. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: Men’s national No. 2 squash player Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan fought hard to make the main draw of the Hong Kong Open but there was only agony for women’s national No. 3 Delia Arnold once again.
The 27-year-old Nafiizwan, who had an easy first qualifying match on Sunday, had to come from behind twice to beat New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson 5-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7 on Monday.
It was a typical workman-like performance from the Terengganu-born player, despite his lapses of concentration.
But he managed to get a grip on himself when it mattered most to charge into the main draw after 67 minutes.
“It was a tough draw and a tough match because Campbell is one of my best buddies on Tour ... someone had to win,” said Nafiizwan.
“I keep playing five setters because I have a problem with my concentration. I tend to take the leads only to lose focus and make things difficult for myself.
“My plan initially was to stick to the rallies and not give away cheap points but it ended up a very close match.
“Still, a win is a win and that is a good win for me and I’ll take it.”
The world No. 36, however, will not enjoy the luck of the draw as he has been pitted against world No. 1 Ramy Ashour in the first round of the main draw today.
But while Nafiizwan at least made it one step further, Delia’s nightmare against Egyptian teenagers continued as she was beaten in the final qualifying round by 17-year-old Salma Hany in four sets.
The 27-year-old Delia was never comfortable going up against Salma and, despite playing well in patches, she ultimately lost 5-11, 11-2, 6-11, 7-11 in 43 minutes.
Delia lost to 14-year-old Egyptian Habiba Mohamed in the semi-finals of the Malaysian Tour squash circuit (SSJM) last month.
Salma will go on to meet Aussie veteran Rachael Grinham in the main draw.
Meanwhile, world No.1 Nicol David and national No. 2 Low Wee Wern will face qualifiers in their first round matches.
While Nicol should face an easier time against Canada’s Samatha Cornett, Wee Wern has been pitted against England’s Emma Beddoes - the qualifying top seed.
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