Wednesday, 3 September 2014 | MYT 9:45 PM
Delia improves to qualify for main draw in China
Delia Arnold was in good form to beat Egypt’s Heba El Torky to qualify for the main draw in China. — filepic
PETALING JAYA: Asian Games-bound Delia Arnold continued her recent improvements after checking into the main draw of the US$50,000 (RM157,800) China Open in Shanghai.
Delia, the national No. 3, had to play a very patient game before eventually pulling through as she secured an upset over world No. 28 Heba El Torky of Egypt in the qualifying finals.
The 28-year-old Delia, who is ranked 33rd in the world, won 11-7, 12-10, 9-11, 13-11.
It was a tremendous boost for Delia, who has endured a poor start to the year but has now secured back-to-back qualifications to the main draws of a top event after the Hong Kong Open last week.
But the KL-born player, who notched her biggest career win by beating England’s world No. 6 Alison Waters at the Malaysian Open two weeks ago, has drawn the short stick and will face top seed and world No. 5 Camille Serme of France in the first round of the main draw.
“It was a challenging match and there were a lot of lets in the game,” said Delia.
“But I just stayed calm and played my game and I’m quite relieved to have gotten through because it will be good for my rankings.”
It was, however, the end of the road for Delia’s younger sister Rachel and fellow youngster Vanessa Raj.
World No. 68 Rachel, who had beaten world No. 51 Milou van der Heijden of Holland in the first round, was a spent force against 16-year-old World Junior Championship runner-up Nouran Gohar of Egypt, losing 7-11, 8-11, 7-11.
World No. 65 Vanessa went down fighting 8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 9-11 to world No. 27 Tesni Evans of Wales.
In the men’s event, top Malaysian player Ong Beng Hee’s wretched run of form continued as he lost 1-11, 7-11, 12-10, 6-11 to world No. 36 Henrik Mustonen of Finland.