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Sunday April 28, 2013

Nafiizwan sets up final showdown against Omar in Dublin

KUALA LUMPUR: Second seed Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (pic) is fancied to win the Irish Open in Dublin after producing one of his best squash displays en route to beating Chris Gordon of United States in the semi-finals.

World No. 40 Nafiizwan won 11-7, 5-11, 11-4, 11-4 in 50 minutes on Friday to set up a showdown against third seed and world No. 43 Omar Abdel Meguid of Egypt in the final.

Omar upset world No. 27 and top seed Chris Simpson of England 11-9, 12-10, 4-11 11-6.

The Terengganu-born Nafiizwan, who defeated Shaun Le Roux of South Africa in the quarter-finals, is confident he can win the tournament after playing superbly against Gordon.

“The lanky Gordon gave me a good fight but I played my best game to beat him. The first two sets were tough but I didn’t have much problem winning the next two because he looked exhausted,” said the reigning Asian champion.

“I expect a tough challenge from Omar ... he’s a good player but I’m all fired up to win my first tournament this year.

“A victory here will further boost my confidence ahead of my Asian individual title defence (which begins on Wednesday in Pakistan).”

In the women’s competition, sixth seed Nicolette Fernandes of Guyana continued her giant-killing act to reach the final.

The world No. 31, who stunned world No. 18 Samantha Teran of Mexico in the quarter-finals, packed off world No. 27 Emily Whitlock of England 11-2, 11-9, 11-6 in 40 minutes to set up a final date against top see and local ace Madeline Perry.

World No. 11 Perry, the runner-up last year, warded off a strong challenge from Wales’ Deon Saffery to prevail 12-10, 10-12,11-5, 11-4.

RESULTS

SEMI-FINAL

Men: Omar Abdel Meguid (Egy) bt Chris Simpson (Eng) 11-9, 12-10, 4-11, 11-6; Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas) bt Chris Gordon (US) 11-7, 5-11, 11-4, 11-4.

Women: Madeline Perry (Irl) bt Deon Saffery (Wal) 12- 10, 10-12, 11-5, 11-4; Nicolette Fernandes (Guy) bt Emily Whitlock (Eng) 11-2, 11-9, 11-6.

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