Hansen Completes Twelfth Title Against Surprise Qualifier

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Line defeated local up-and-coming squash star Rachel Arnold; 11-6, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9. Photo with thanks to Glenn Guan/The Star

Line Hansen clinched her 12th WSA World Tour title today as the Danish player won the NSC Series No1 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Seeded first for the event at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil, Hansen dispatched Australian Taylor Flavell in straight games in the first round of the WSA Tour 5 competition, before making similar work of Salma Nassar of Egypt in the quarter-finals.

Elsewhere in the opening rounds, local qualifier Rachel Arnold stunned onlookers by defeating compatriot and No.2 seed Siti Munriah Jusoh in three games.  The 16-year-old from Ampang, Malaysia won two tiebreak games against the world No.44, to propel the teen into a quarter-final clash with sixth seed Zulhijjah Binti Azan.

The surprises kept coming for Arnold however, who again dismissed the higher ranked player in four games to set up an incredible semi-final with third seed Lisa Camilleri of Australia.

Whilst Hansen continued her run of straight games victories by dismissing Nouran El Torky in 33-minutes, Arnold incredibly followed suit by dispatching her opponent, the former world No.28 in a similar fashion to reach her first ever WSA World Tour final.

Hansen, in contrast, playing her 20th career final, used her experience to establish a quick lead over the teenager. The Dane claimed the first game by a comfortable five-point margin, perhaps a sign of early nerves from her young opponent, but a closer second game showed the Malaysian quickly acclimatising to the situation.

Arnold just missed out on the second game, but stormed back to make her mark on the final with a efficient display to put Hansen on the back foot.  An 11-5 win put the world No.115 back into the contest and set up for a nervy fourth game for the pair.  Another narrow game ensued, but Hansen’s experience ultimately proved too much for the qualifying teenager, and the Danish international finished off the contest to claim her 12th WSA World Tour title, her first since winning back-to-back titles in Australia in 2012.

[1] Line Hansen (DEN) bt [Q] Rachel Arnold (MAS)         11-6, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9 (36m)

[1] Line Hansen (DEN) bt [7] Nouran El Torky (EGY)     11-6, 11-3, 13-11 (33m)
[Q] Rachel Arnold (MAS) bt [3] Lisa Camilleri (AUS)        11-9, 11-3, 11-6 (22m)

[1] Line Hansen (DEN) bt Salma Nassar (EGY)     11-4, 11-8, 11-8 (34m)
[7] Nouran El Torky (EGY) bt [4] Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) 11-7, 12-10, 11-9 (40m)
[3] Lisa Camilleri (AUS) bt [8] Vanessa Raj (MAS)            11-6, 11-7, 11-5 (36m)
[Q] Rachel Arnold (MAS) bt [6] Zulhijjah Binti Azan (MAS)         11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8 (35m)

1st round:
[1] Line Hansen (DEN) bt Taylor Flavell (AUS)     11-5, 11-4, 11-1
Salma Nassar (EGY) bt [5] Carmen Lee (HKG)     11-9, 11-7, 15-13
[4] Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) bt [Q] Teh Min Jie (MAS)         11-5, 11-0, 11-4
[7] Nouran El Torky (EGY) bt [Q] Nadine Ayman Mohamed Shahin (EGY)      11-9, 11-8, 10-12, 11-9
[8] Vanessa Raj (MAS) bt Jessica Turnbull (AUS) 11-6, 11-4, 11-3
[3] Lisa Camilleri (AUS) bt [Q] Aparajitha Balamurukan (IND)  11-6, 11-3, 11-9
[6] Zulhijjah Binti Azan (MAS) bt Pushppa Devi (MAS)   15-13, 11-3, 11-0
[Q] Rachel Arnold (MAS) bt [2] Siti Munirah Jusoh (MAS)          12-10, 11-5, 12-10


Nicol David, Founder
Squash Stars is a social media effort designed to support women squash with the ultimate aim of promoting the sport for the Olympics.Nicol David, Founder

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