Malaysian Open 2011: An Entertaining Quarter Final

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[8] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [Q] Joelle King (NZL) 11/6, 11/8, 11/8 (40m)

A tired Joelle bowed out 0-3 to Camille.

Joelle King has had an impressive run in this tournament but fatigue seemed to have gotten the better of her this time as Camille seemed to be the stronger contender. The first game was led by Camille all the way. Joelle started out better in the second but begun making unforced errors, and eventually lost her lead to Camille.

Joelle kept fighting in the third but a determined Camille Serme pushed on to book her spot in the semis.

[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [5] Kasey Brown (AUS) 9/11, 6/11, 11/6, 12/10, 11/4 (76m)

Jenny overcomes a toughie with Kasey.

Kasey looked in good stead as the match begun by taking the first two games over World No. 2 Jenny Duncalf. Kasey rocked the courts with some fantastic play while Jenny struggled to manage her frustration.

Jenny was determined to turn things around in the third and she did. Kasey came back in front midway through the fourth game but Jenny played patiently and sealed the game 12/10.

Jenny to seemed to have gathered more confidence by the fifth set and cruised through it with a 11/4 win. Kasey was so close to victory but has to wait for the Singapore Masters next week before she has a chance to change her misfortune.

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [6] Laura Massaro (ENG) 11/7, 9/11, 11/1, 11/6 (57m)

Nicol exacts sweet revenge.

This was probably the most anticipated match of the day as Nicol David prepared to avenge her only defeat this year to Laura Massaro. Having lost her first tournament of 2011 to Laura in Cleveland, Nicol came on court looking very determined to make amends.

The first game saw a flawless squash display by the 5-time World Champion as she forged ahead with a 7/0 lead over Laura! It took a while for Laura to get into her groove and once she did, she came out firing with some good shots especially to the back corners of the court. Nicol however stamped her lead, winning the first game 11/7, heaving a sigh of relief to have one game in her pocket.

Second game turned out differently as Laura called the shots by taking the lead. Unlike the first game with low balls close to the ground, this game saw more lobbing and volleying with the ball high up in the air. Some pretty drop shots by Laura kept her ahead in the game and although Nicol came as far as 9/10, Laura edged her way to victory, taking the second 11/9.

The third game seemed like a harsh revenge plan as Nicol wrapped up a quick game of 11/1, barely giving Laura a chance to start playing her game. Nicol upped the pace and took more risks with her shots and it definitely paid off! The lethal shots from the third left Laura flustered and while she tried coming back in the fourth with some nice cross-court nicks and mixed shots, Nicol was playing with a mission, and she accomplished it with a 11/4 win, avenging her only defeat of the year. She now marches into the semis, on course to win her 7th Malaysian Open title.

[7] Omneya Abdel kawy (EGY) bt [3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 11/7, 4/11, 11/9, 2/11, 11/9 (60m)

Omneya and Rachael go the full distance!

By the time this match started, it was 10pm and majority of the crowd had left. There were some ardent fans who stayed on though, on empty tummies but they were highly entertained throughout this match by two very experienced and talented players.

Although Rachael seemed like the fitter one on court, Omneya was first to put on the power as she took the first game. Rachael anticipated much better in the second game and evened the tally to 1-1. We knew this match was bound to go the full distance but the antiques by both girls kept the match exciting and light at times with smiles between both players and chatter about the indecisiveness of the referees.

The third game was neck-to-neck. Omneya brought out her suave drop shots; Rachael doing multiple splits in each rally scurrying around the court. Omneya took that set only just but the fourth was totally one sided as Rachael wasted no time, taking the game 11/2.

The final game could have gone either way. Omneya had a matchball at 10/5 but Rachael showed that she wasn’t a former World Champion without reason. She fought all the way back to 8/10 but was unlucky to have hit the final ball back at herself, giving a stroke and the win to Omneya.

Still light-hearted about it, Rachael commented on her Facebook fan page, “Grrrrr. Possibly my 5th match of 2011 that I’ve managed to lose by 2 rallies in the deciding set. On the bright side I’m feeling in pretty good shape for the start of the season and I enjoyed the game… was at least worth giving up my tickets for the Chelsea v Malaysia football match in KL tonight. #thatswhatimtellingmyself”.

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