Rachel exacts revenge on Watanabe to seal her second Tour victory


  • Squash
  • Sunday, 14 May 2017

Pure delight: Rachel Arnold posing with the trophy after defeating Satomi Watanabe in the final of the Malaysian Tour Squash Circuit No. 2 at the Royal Lake Club yesterday. Rachel won 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 2-11, 11-9. — AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Rachel Arnold finally came good to win the Malaysian Tour Squash Circuit (SSJM) No. 2 at the Royal Lake Club.

The world No. 55, competing in her 10th career final, fended off a fierce challenge from Japanese rising star Satomi Watanabe to win 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 2-11, 11-9 in the final yesterday.

Top seed Rachel started brightly to take the first two sets as the 18-year-old Watanabe struggled for form and making too many errors.

But world No. 194 Watanabe, who trains in Penang under Aaron Soyza, stormed back to take the next two sets.

Luckily for Rachel, she managed to regain her composure when it mattered most in the fifth set to seal her second Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tour title.

It was also sweet revenge for the 21-year-old Rachel as she was beaten by Watanabe in the second round of the Asian Individual Championships in India last month.

“Finally! I was struggling and I was tired both physically and mentally,” said Rachel.

“I couldn’t control the mid-court in the third and fourth sets. But my coach Andrew (Cross) and my sister Delia told me to hang in there and I’m so glad I managed to finish it off.

“It’s not my best performance by far but it’s still a great feeling to win. It’s also very satisfying to get a win back after losing to her last month,” added Rachel who pocketed US$902 (RM3,920).

In the men’s event, second seed Harinderpal Sandhu emerged victorious after thumping Hong Kong’s Henry Leung 11-0, 11-6, 11-7.

Meanwhile, there were good news for Malaysia as both Ng Eain Yow and Mohd Addeen Idrakie made the semi-finals of the NT Open in Darwin, Australia.

Eain Yow was on song as he thumped homester Matthew Hopkin 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 while Addeen stunned second seed Evan Williams of New Zealand 8-11, 16-14, 12-10, 11-8.

Eain Yow meets Hong Kong’s Lau Tsz Kwan next while Addeen is up against Australian Joshua Larkin.

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