Thursday, 20 March 2014 | MYT 10:12 PM
Wee Wern faces Massaro, Nicol meets Serme in last eight
Low Wee Wern (left) in action against Canada’s Samantha Cornett during their second round match of the 29th Penang-CIMB Women World Championship at the Subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition Centre (SPICE) on Thursday. — CHAN BOON KAI / The Star
GEORGE TOWN: Malaysia’s top two players – Nicol David and Low Wee Wern – marched into the Penang-CIMB 29th Women’s World Squash Championship 2013 quarter-finals with straight set wins at the SPICE Arena.
Top seed and defending champion Nicol defeated Egypt’s Heba El Torky 11 -6, 11-3, 11-4 in 24 minutes.
Malaysian No. 2 Wee Wern put on a solid display to end Canadian qualifier Samantha Cornett’s dream run with an 11-8, 11-3, 11-9 win in 42 minutes.
Nicol, who is seeking her eighth world title in Penang, takes on France’s eighth seed Camille Serme in Friday’s quarter-finals.
“I’m happy with the way I played today (Thursday) and, hopefully, I can put on the same, or even better, performance in the quarter-finals,” said Nicol.
“The home crowd were fantastic today, and I’m glad with their full support, which kept me going to the very end.
“I was more comfortable with the playing conditions compared to Heba as I had several training sessions in the glass court here.”
The world No. 1 also congratulated fellow Penangite Wee Wern for making her fourth world meet quarter-final in a row.
“It’s great that both of us won convincingly and Wee Wern is also in the quarter-finals in our home championship.”
Sixth seed Wee Wern faces a bigger challenge in the quarters as she will be up against second seed Laura Massaro of England.
It is a rematch of the 2012 World Open quarter-finals, which the English player won in four sets.
The Malaysian No. 2 made a fantastic start to race away to an 8-3 lead in the first set on Thursday. But Cornett came back strongly to cut the deficit to 8-9, before Wee Wern stepped up a gear to take it 11-8.
The Malaysian only dropped three points in the second set, but struggled to pull away in the third before eventually overcoming her opponent 11-9.
“I’m the underdog against Laura, so I have nothing to lose. There is not much pressure on me to perform and I intend to make it as hard as possible for Laura on the court tomorrow (Friday),” said Wee Wern.
“I have only beaten Laura once in my career (in the second round of the Qatar Open 2011). I hope the advantage of playing at home can spur me to a surprise result.”
Second seed Massaro is the last British player left in the draw after she eliminated her England Commonwealth Games doubles partner Jenny Duncalf 11-9, 11-6, 11-4.
Ninth seed Duncalf, who reached the semi-finals of the 2012 world meet, lost her cool several times during the third set.
“She was feeling frustrated because I was so far ahead. I kept my emotions inside because it was important that I kept my focus and concentrated on my game,” said Massaro.
The Star is the official media of the event.