Sunday, 2 February 2014 | MYT 5:26 PM
Nicol sails through as Wee Wern crashes out in Cleveland
Low Wee Wern (right) lost to Omneya Abdel Kawy of Egypt in four sets in the first round of the Cleveland Classic squash championships in Ohio, US on Feb 1, 2014. — SquashSite.co.uk
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.