Low Wee Wern defeated world No. 18 Sarah-Jane Perry of England 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7 in the first round of the Texas Open. – ZHAFARAN NASIB/ The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Top seed Low Wee Wern survived a scare before sealing a place in the quarter-finals of the Texas Open in Houston.
The Malaysian world No. 7 was made to slog for 64 minutes by lanky world No. 18 Sarah-Jane Perry of England before prevailing 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7 in the first round on Thursday.
The 23-year-old Wee Wern was delighted to beat Perry after losing to the English woman in the first round of the British Open last year.
“It wasn’t an easy win as the first three sets were pretty close ... it could have gone either way. I had to bring out my best to win the first two sets.
“She fought back to win the third set. In the fourth set, we collided and she hurt herself. I was leading 7-6 then and I never looked back to win it 11-7,” said Wee Wern, who can expect another torrid time in the last eight finals as she will face three-time world junior champion Nour El Sherbini of Egypt.
The 18-year-old Sherbini, who stunned world No. 1 Nicol David in the semi-finals of the Women’s World Championship in Penang last month, continued her giant-killing act in the Texas Open.
World No. 13 Sherbini, who lost in the Penang final, needed just 29 minutes to pack off team-mate and world No. 11 Omneya Abdel Kawy 11-4, 11-4, 12-10.
Asked about her chances against Sherbini, Wee Wern admitted that “it’s going to be another tough encounter”.
“She’s been in top form since beating Nicol in the World Championship. The challenge will be on me to get the better of her,” said Wee Wern, who lost to Sherbini in the final of the Greenwich Open last year.
There were two more upsets in the first round in Texas.
Qualifier Emma Beddoes of England upset sixth seed Kasey Brown of Australia 11-4, 11-5, 4-11 11-8 to set up a date with second seed Madeline Perry of Ireland, while Guyana’s Nicolette Fernandes sent fifth seed Annie Au of Hong Kong packing 12-10, 10-12, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8 in 65 minutes.
Fernandes will face fourth seed Dipika Pallikal of India for a place in the semi-finals.