The first round of the women’s tournament began today with 16 matches taking place at the National Centre, Bukit Jalil. Natalie Grinham wasted no time advancing to the last 16 when she defeated local and qualifier Zulhijjah Azan who found it difficult to cope with the variation in pace that Natalie was effectively using.
Tomorrow Natalie will face Raneem El Weleily after she needed four games to see off wildcard Delia Arnold. In the opening game, Raneem always had a couple of points advantage, and managed to surpass a good challenge from Delia in the opening two games. Delia came out strong in the third taking a big lead at 9/4 eventually closing out the game 11/5. If the Malaysian crowd had any hope that Delia was going to square it at two games, that quickly disintegrated as Raneem eased through the gears for an 11/1 win.
Joelle King was extremely dominant in her match against Joshna Chinappa, never really allowing the ball to get past her and it was very similar next door as Camille Serme used very good variation of pace to see off Nicolette Fernandes.
If the opening games were rather short, the next set of matches were much more evenly contested. Nour El Tayeb almost created a huge upset when she held five match balls to beat last year’s semi finalist Nour El Sherbini. Sherbini only needed one match ball of her own to progress to the second round, when El Tayeb who had an ample amount of time to hit the ball anywhere clipped the top of the tin whilst trying to play a cross court drop. Sherbini who had held a two game advantage found herself pegged back to two games all by a very determined El Tayeb. In the fifth game, Sherbini was hitting a lot of tins, handing the advantage to El Tayeb who had a 10/7 lead. El Tayeb had created a great opportunity to win the point when she had moved Sherbini all over the court however on the last shot, she seemed to change her mind and hit a cross court drop which changed the outcome of the match. From this point on, she seemed to lose a bit of momentum losing the next two points rather cheaply. She held a further two match points but Sherbini was deadly on the backhand side hitting low and tight very impressively. On paper, it looked a tough draw and surely Sherbini will be happy to have survived a tough match.
Dipika Pallikal will be happy to see off a very spirited performance from Lisa Aitken. Lisa led 7/3 in the second game but Dipika reeled off the next 8 points to take a two game advantage and from there, she was in control. Lisa, however, did not give up on any point and continued to fight to the death. Jenny Duncalf used lots of holds and deception to keep Kylie Lindsay guessing where the ball was going as she progressed with relative ease in three games.
Low Wee Wern was made to work very hard in the opening game against Lauren Briggs before taking the next two games more comfortably. Briggs held a few game balls in the opening game but couldn’t quite finish it off and Wee Wern capitalised on it. She plays Madeline Perry tomorrow, who defeated qualifier Lucie Fialova.
Line Hansen was the only non-seeded player to make it into the second round when she defeated Rachael Grinham. Line has been here the last few weeks winning the NSC Series One title and sparring with the locals in preparation for this event. All three games were closely contested but Line progresses to take on Laura Massaro. Laura seemed to get through the opening two games fairly well but Latasha Khan made her work hard in the third holding a few game balls before succumbing 19/17. Laura held a fantastic clinic with the juniors yesterday discussing how life is on the tour.
Alison Waters needed five games to see of Joey Chan to set up a match with Kasey Brown. Kasey had three very tough games with Emily Whitlock; Kasey having to recover from 6/0 down in the second to win 11/9 and move on in three games.
Nicol David delighted the home crowd with a 3-0 win over Siyoli Waters. Camera crews, reporters and supporters filled the stands to get a glimpse of this amazing superstar. Siyoli was not put off by the crowd and played really well. Nicol moves on to play long time rival Omneya Abdel Kawy after she needed all five games to see off newly crowned Irish National Champion Aisling Blake.
Natalie Grinham (Ned) bt Zulhijjah Azan (Mas) 11/3,11/3,11/2 (19 mins)
Camille Serme (Fra) bt Nicolette Fernandes (Guy) 11/4,11/3,11/7 (30 mins)
Raneem El Weleily (Egy) bt Delia Arnold (Mas) 11/8,11/7,5/11,11/1 (28 mins)
Joelle King (Nzl) bt Joshna Chinappa (Ind) 11/5,11/4,11/5 (35 mins)
Annie Au (Hkg) bt Emma Beddoes (Eng) 11/9,11/5,12/10 (40 mins).
Kasey Brown (Aus) bt Emily Whitlock (Eng) 12/10,11/9,11/5 (50 mins)
Alison Waters (Eng) bt Joey Chan (Hkg) 6/11,11/3,8/11,11/8,11/7 45 mins)
Nour El Sherbini (Egy) bt Nour El Tayeb (Egy) 11/4,11/5,7/11,9/11,14/12 (63 mins)
Low Wee Wern (Mas) bt Lauren Briggs (Eng) 16/14,11/4,11/3 (39 mins)
Medeline Perry (IrL) bt Lucie Fialova (Cze) 11/2,11/5,11/3 (28 mins)
Laura Massaro (Eng) bt Latasha Khan (Usa) 11/7,11/4,19/17 (30 mins)
Line Hansen (Den) bt Rachael Grinham (Aus) 12/10,11/8,11/7 (32 mins)
Jenny Duncalf (Eng) bt Kylie Lindsay (Nzl) 11/1,11/3,11/5 (23 mins)
Dipika Pallikal (Ind) vs Lisa Aitken (Sco) 11/7,11/7,11/7 (34 mins)
Nicol David (Mas) vs Siyoli Waters (Rsa) 11/6,11/8,11/6 (31 mins)
Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) bt Aisling Blake (Irl) 11/7,11/8,8/11,10/12,11/9 (72 mins)