Egyptian Raneem El Weleily in a file photo. She will go up against Malaysia's Low Wee Wern in the British Open quarter-finals.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Low Wee Wern is one optimistic squash player.
Although the Penangite lost to world No. 3 Raneem El Weleily of Egypt in straight sets in the quarter-finals of the Windy City Open in Chicago, she is hell bent on getting the better of the Egyptian in the last eight of the British Open on Thursday.
The former three-time Asian junior champion and world No. 8 upset Raneem in five sets to reach the semi-finals of the US Open in Philadelphia last October.
“I have beaten her before and I can do it again. The pressure will be on her as she is the favourite.
“Although I was pushed to the limit (five sets) in the first two rounds of the tournament, it has made me stronger mentally and physically,” said 23-year-old Wee Wern, who is based in Penang under coach Aaron Soyza.
“It is the first time I have reached the quarter-finals but I believe I can go further in the tournament.
“I just need to stay focused and have faith in myself,” said Wee Wern, who was shown the exit in the first round in the last two editions of the British Open.
Meanwhile, in a second round match on Wednesday, defending champion and second seed Laura Massaro of England needed just 31 minutes to dispose of Hong Kong’s Annie Au 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 to set up a date with compatriot Sarah Kippax in the quarter-finals.
Kippax, who upset another Englishwoman, 10th seed Jenny Duncalf, in the first round, was made to slog for 84 minutes by Nicolette Fernandes of Guyana before prevailing 15-17, 11-7, 13-15, 11-3, 12-10.
In the men’s category, teen qualifier Fares Dessouki of Egypt continued his giant killing act.
The 19-year-old Fares, ranked 55th in the world, upset world No. 18 and fellow Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad in the first round and then stunned world No. 9 and compatriot Karim Darwish 12-10, 11-6, 2-11, 2-11, 11-9 in the second round.
The Alexandria-born Fares will face three-time champion and top seed Nick Matthew of England in the last eight.