Fiery Fernandes Makes Malaysian Open Last 16

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LIVE BLOG: CIMB Malaysian Squash Open Championships

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
RESULTS: Women’s CIMB Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

1st round:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [Q] Lisa Aitken (ENG) 11-4, 11-6, 11-7 (35m)
[11] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 6-11, 11-8, 6-11, 13-11, 11-4 (63m)
[9] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt [Q] Delia Arnold (MAS) 11-9, 13-11, 11-9 (50m)
[6] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt Emily Whitlock (ENG) 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 (45m)
[4] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [Q] Heba El Torky (EGY) 11-3, 11-9, 11-4 (27m)
[10] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG) 6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-13, 11-5 (63m)
[16] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [Q] Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) 11-9, 11-9, 4-11, 11-6 (35m)
Joey Chan (HKG) bt [8] Madeline Perry (IRL) 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5 (52m)
[7] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt Line Hansen (DEN) 11-4, 9-11, 11-0, 11-4 (35m)
[14] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Sarah Kippax (ENG) 7-11, 16-14, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7 (57m)
[13] Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt Aisling Blake (IRL) 11-6, 3-11, 13-11, 11-9 (47m)
[3] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt Joshana Chinappa (IND) 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 (24m)
[5] Joelle King (NZL) bt [Q] Siyoli Waters (RSA) 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (24m)
[12] Annie Au (HKG) bt [WC] Rachel Arnold (MAS) 11-3, 11-7, 11-4 (25m)
[Q] Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt [15] Donna Urquhart (AUS) 11-7, 11-3, 11-8 (31m)
[2] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [Q] Latasha Khan (USA) 11-5, 11-5, 11-6 (21m)

Guyana qualifier Nicolette Fernandes produced the biggest upset in today’s opening day of main draw action in the Women’s CIMB Malaysian Open Squash Championship in Kuala Lumpur when she dismissed Australia’s 15th seed Donna Urquhart to secure an unexpected place in the last 16 of the third WSA World Series event of the year at the Bukit Jalil National Squash Centre.

600_Fernandes_Urquhart_MalaysianOp13a

The Toronto-born 30-year-old – who celebrated a career-high world No23 ranking this month – beat left-hander Urquhart (pictured above, right, with Fernandes), currently ranked only five places higher, 11-3, 11-7, 11-8 in 31 minutes.

“I’ve had a great few months at home training with my coach, Carl Ince,” said the jubilant Fernandes after one of the best wins of her career. “It was nice to end the summer with the Caribbean Championships being held at home and the team doing so well!

“Since then I’ve been in England working with David Pearson. Carl and David complement each other so all in all it’s been a great off season. This is my first tournament back so I’m just really excited to play tournaments now!

“Today I played three solid games – it was good to get back into it after at the start of the season.”

Fernandes, making her maiden appearance in the Malaysian Open, now plays Laura Massaro, the world No2 from England. Massaro, playing in her first Tour event since May when she became the first English winner of the British Open since 1991, defeated US qualifier Latasha Khan 11-5, 11-5, 11-6.

“The last time I lost to Laura – so this time I want to do better and we will see what happens tomorrow,” added Fernandes.

A SquashStars.com Exclusive with Nicolette Fernandes:

Another upset took place later in the day when two-time quarter-finalist Madeline Perry, the No8 seed from Ireland, lost out to unseeded Hong Kong opponent Joey Chan.

“Joey took the opening game and then continued this in the second, working the court using her boast effectively,” said event spokesman Andrew Cross. “In the third, Madeline changed her game and this won her the game – but Joey came back to win the fourth for a place in the second round.”

Chan, the world No20, later recalled how she was determined not to repeat a previous mistake in KL when she was leading by two games: “I was a bit more patient this time and at 2/0 up I relaxed a bit – but then I remembered what happened last time when I was 2/0 up against Alison (Waters) in the CIMB KL Open, and lost 3/2.

“Usually I’ve lost to Madeline in three games – so this time it’s nice to win,” added the 25-year-old after her 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5 victory in 52 minutes.

The match of the day for most of the crowd took place when top seed Nicol David, the Queen of Malaysian squash, took to the court for her first round match against qualifier Lisa Aitken, the former Scottish international making her debut as an English player.

Bidding to reach the final for a remarkable 11th successive year, and win the title for a record eighth time, David brushed Aitken aside 11-4, 11-6, 11-7 in 35 minutes.

The world number one from Penang now renews her career-long rivalry with Egypt’s Omneya Abdel Kawy, the 28-year-old from Cairo whom she first met in the British Junior U14 Open final in January 1997! The pair has since met 17 times on the WSA Tour, including three times in the Malaysian Open.

Seasoned campaigner Abdel Kawy faced young compatriot Nour El Tayeb. The unseeded 20-year-old, ranked 19 in the world, twice led Kawy – and held a match-ball in the fourth game.

But 11th seed Kawy, a former world No4, called upon all her experience to force a decider – and went on to win 6-11, 11-8, 6-11, 13-11, 11-4 after 63 minutes.

2nd round line-up:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) v [11] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)
[6] Low Wee Wern (MAS) v [9] Kasey Brown (AUS)
[4] Alison Waters (ENG) v [10] Camille Serme (FRA)
Joey Chan (HKG) v [16] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
[7] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v [14] Rachael Grinham (AUS)
[3] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) v [13] Dipika Pallikal (IND)
[5] Joelle King (NZL) v [12] Annie Au (HKG)
[2] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [Q] Nicolette Fernandes (GUY)

Events

Nicol David, Founder
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