Sport

Published: Sunday February 2, 2014 MYT 5:26:00 PM
Updated: Sunday February 2, 2014 MYT 7:16:21 PM

Nicol sails through as Wee Wern crashes out in Cleveland

PETALING JAYA: It was business as usual for women’s world No. 1 squash player Nicol David at the Cleveland Classic.

However, there was no such luck for world No. 6 Low Wee Wern, who suffered an unexpected first round loss at the Cleveland Racquet Club in Pepper Hike, Ohio, on Saturday.

Seven-time world champion Nicol, who has won six straight titles – including the Tournament of Champions (TOC) in New York – secured an emphatic win over reigning world junior champion Nour El Sherbini of Egypt.

The 30-year-old was not as sharp as she was in New York during the TOC but was all business-like en route to defeating Sherbini, who is making a comeback from injury after being out since last July, 11-2, 11-8, 11-3.

Nicol should be looking forward to her quarter-final match against Frenchwoman Camille Serme.

Serme, who has yet to beat Nicol in 12 meetings, recovered from a set down to beat English qualifier Sarah Kippax 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 in 54 minutes.

But while Nicol eased into the last eight, national No. 2 Wee Wern found the burden of playing in three back-to-back tournaments too much to handle as she fell in four sets to Egypt’s Omneya Abdel Kawy.

The 23-year-old Wee Wern, who made the quarter-finals of the TOC a fortnight ago and the final of the Greenwich Open last week, gave a good account of herself despite losing 4-11, 9-11, 11-8, 8-11 in 49 minutes.

“Three tournaments in a row against the world’s top 15 players ... is probably pushing my luck. It was tough,” explained Wee Wern.

“In the past, I hardly got past the first round. So, I didn’t play so many long, tough matches ... it’s a little different now.

“Plus, I don’t have a physio with me ... so, I’m probably a little tired and overworked and I pulled a muscle in my right thigh. In the end, I think my body just needs a rest.

“It’s a good experience for me ... something to take home and learn from. Luckily, my injury is not too bad although I’m wondering if I can make the Windy City Open in Chicago in three weeks’ time (Feb 24-March 3).”

The young Penangite was not the only one to suffer from fatigue as Greenwich Open winner and world No. 5 Joelle King of New Zealand also lost to Egyptian qualifier Nour El Tayeb in the first round.

Tayeb won 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 and will meet compatriot and third seed Raneem El Weleily in the last eight.

Tags / Keywords: squash, Nicol David, Low Wee Wern, Cleveland Classic

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