Line Hansen of Denmark (left) in action against Canada's Samantha Cornett at the Penang-CIMB 29th Women's World Squash Championship. Cornett won 11-5, 11-7, 11-7.
GEORGE TOWN: Samantha Cornett had to reschedule her flight after her unexpected progress to the last 16 of the Penang-CIMB 29th Women’s World Squash Championship 2013 at the SPICE Arena.
The Canadian, who came through the qualifying rounds to earn her right to compete in the main draw, produced a clinical performance to upset 16th seed Line Hansen of Denmark 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 in her first round match on Wednesday.
In her only other world meet appearance in 2012, world No. 38 Cornett also came through the qualifying rounds to reach the main draw. But she then fell in the first round to Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini.
“I am excited to be in the last 16 of the world meet for the first time. I did not expect to reach this far, and will need to change my flight booking,” said a delighted Cornett.
“I felt comfortable on the court against Line and was patient in seeking opportunities to place the ball beyond her reach. I guess the extra matches in the qualifiers helped me get into a winning rhythm.”
Also through to the second round is 37-year-old Madeline Perry of Ireland, who defeated England’s Sarah Kippex 11-8, 13-11, 11-2 in 37 minutes.
In an interesting turn of events, it will be the battle of the Perrys on Thursday when Madeline, the oldest player left in the draw, meets another English opponent, Sarah-Jane Perry.
Sarah-Jane took out Hong Kong’s Joey Chan 11-3, 11-9, 11-5 in 26 minutes.
“We are not related whatsoever,” said the seventh seed Madeline when asked about Thursday’s match against Sarah-Jane.
“I have never played her before this. Sarah-Jane has a long reach and a different playing style, so I need to use my brain on the court to defeat her.
“Everyone keeps asking me when am I going to retire but I have no intention of quitting soon as I feel that I am getting physically better each year.”
Third seed Raneem El Waleily of Egypt overcame a sluggish start to eliminate her compatriot and qualifier Salma Hany Ibrahim 11-9, 11-4, 11-4 in 25 minutes to set up an intriguing clash with 10th seed Dipika Pallikal of India.
“It is always important to take some of the pressure off by winning the first match in a tournament. Salma is one of the talented upcoming young players in Egypt and she put up a good fight, especially in the first game,” said Raneem, who is looking to rediscover her form after two first round exits in competitions in the United States earlier this year.
“Penang is a great place to host the world championship. We had a fantastic opening ceremony (on Tuesday) and there was a big crowd to watch Nicol (David) play. I think Nicol has done a great job in getting squash well accepted here.”
The Star is the official media of the event.