Laura Massaro had no problems beating Hong Kong’s Joey Chan in the first round of the British Open. She won the 26-minute match in straight sets. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: There were no major concerns for top seed Nicol David and defending champion Laura Massaro of England who both cruised into the second round of the British Open.
But there were upsets in the first round of the main draw, most notably World Championship runner-up Nour El Sherbini of Egypt, ranked seventh in the world, who bit the dust against world No.20 Emma Beddoes.
Malaysian squash queen Nicol, who has not featured in a tournament since the heartbreaking semi-final defeat in the world meet to Nour back in March, was in an uncompromising mood as she broke down Egyptian qualifier Heba El Torky in straight sets.
The 30-year-old Nicol won 11-8, 12-10, 11-8 and she will go on to face 16th seed Sarah-Jane Perry of England, who defeated Denmark’s Line Hansen 11-6, 13-11, 10-12, 11-8, in the second round.
World No.2 and recently crowned world champion Massaro was also in fine form as she swept Hong Kong’s Joey Chan aside.
Massaro won 11-3, 11-4, 11-7 in 26 minutes and will go on to face another Hong Kong player - ninth seed Annie Au in the second round.
The 25-year-old Annie who scored a win over Massaro in the Cleveland Classic back February, defeated another southpaw, Australia’s Donna Urquhart 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-3.
Meanwhile, Nour’s early exit also spelt good news for national No.2 and world No.8 Low Wee Wern who edged past national No.3 Delia Arnold in five sets to set up a second round clash with Beddoes.
Other upsets of the day saw eighth seed Madeline Perry of Ireland gave a limp performance en route to losing 8-11, 4-11, 4-11 to Guyana’s Nicolette Fernandes.
Also out were four-time winner Rachael Grinham of Australia, 10th seed Jenny Duncalf of England and 12th seed Dipika Pallikal of India.
In the men’s event, the only significant upset came courtesy of world No.33 Gregoire Marche of France, who toppled world No.17 Australian Cameron Pilley.
Malaysia’s challenge in the men’s draw came to an end on Monday with Ong Beng Hee crashing out to eighth seed Karim Darwish of Egypt.