Nicol David (right) and Sarah-Jane Perry in their British Open second-round match. Nicol won 11-6, 13-11, 11-4. - SquashSite Photo
PETALING JAYA: National No. 2 Low Wee Wern’s British Open campaign came to a halt after she fell to Egyptian Raneem El Weleily in the quarter-finals.
The 23-year-old Wee Wern, who is only the second Malaysian woman squash player to make the top eight in the world’s oldest tournament after world No. 1 Nicol David, was just no match for world No. 3 Raneem, falling in straight sets.
The world No. 8, who needed five sets each to overcome national No. 3 Delia Arnold and England’s Emma Beddoes in the first and second rounds, was outgunned 5-11, 6-11, 8-11.
In all three sets, Wee Wern started well and held her own against Raneem, but the Egyptian stepped up her game when it mattered most, firing winning shot after winning shot to book her semi-final spot after only 32 minutes.
“Raneem was just too sharp today. It was always 5-5 before she went on and hit outright winners,” said Wee Wern.
“It was literally the crucial moment when she stepped it up with outrageous shots and there was nothing I could do about it.
“While it’s never nice to lose, I’m still pleased to have made the top eight for the first time in a massive event like this.
“Overall, I didn’t play my best squash this week but it’s a good achievement for me nevertheless and a lesson to take home,” added Wee Wern.
Raneem, who will be bidding to make the British meet final for the first time, goes on to meet world No. 2 and defending champion Laura Massaro in the semi-finals.
Massaro, who is also the reigning world champion, wore down the challenge of compatriot Sarah Kippax, winning 11-8, 12-10, 11-8.
Meanwhile, Wee Wern’s defeat means Nicol is the sole Malaysian left in the tournament.
The four-time winner breezed past the challenge of rising English star, Sarah-Jane Perry, with an 11-6, 13-11, 11-4 win on Thursday.
“It was a great match because Sarah-Jane was playing really well ... plus she had the supportive home crowd behind her,” said Nicol.
“It was the first time I played her in a while so I had to get used to her shot selections as she varies her shots a lot and has very quick hands,” added Nicol, who will meet Egypt’s Omneya Abdel Kawy next.
There were no surprises in the men’s event as third seed Ramy Ashour and fifth seed James Willstrop set up a mouth-watering quarter-final clash.