WHAT A DAY! After battling some technical difficulties and some heavy Malaysian traffic, our live blog for round 1 of the maindraw went up in spite of the hurdles. Hopefully it will run more smoothly tomorrow when we cover Squash Star Nicol’s game at 9pm.
Round 1 today saw some excellent matches and an unforeseen upset—an unseeded Kasey Brown upsets Omneya in 3-sets! Congratulations Kasey, but it looks like you’ll be facing the number 1 seed, Nicol David tomorrow who on the other hand, had a rather pleasant game with Vanessa.
Vanessa Atkinson, who had previously dominated many Malaysian Open finals was forced to bow out in 3 sets to Nicol. The first 2 sets in this game went unchallenged to Nicol before Vanessa got her focus in place in the 3rd set and went head-to-head with Nicol until 8-8. She was moving very well and was returning every shot before Nicol broke her pace, ending the game in 38 minutes.
Aisling played compatriot Madeline Perry today after pulling off a very notable upset against Sarah Kippax yesterday. According to Coach Liz, she played a pretty good game and fought a good fight to qualify for the maindraw. Aisling kept Madeline on her feet for 35 minutes on court before bowing out 11-4, 12-10, 11-3.
Our feisty Mexican Star on the other hand also performed pretty well today, taking a set off fourth seed Alison Waters from England before bowing out 8-11 in the 4th set. Alison had to work hard today to earn her place in the quarter finals tomorrow against Laura Lengthorn who beat an up-and-coming Annie Au from Hong Kong. Annie just recently celebrated her highest WISPA ranking (#17) to date by qualifying for this tournament.
Tomorrow’s must-watch matches:
Jenny vs. Rachael. Although Racheal Grinham (#2) is seeded higher than Jenny Duncalf (#5) in this tournament, Jenny has been steadily beating Rachael in their last two meets this year. It would definitely be interesting to watch what Rachael is going to come up with, especially after her grueling 5-setter match against an unseeded Isabelle Stoehr of France today.
Laura vs Alison. Laura and Alison, are both English players and team mates. They haven’t played each other competitively this year, and tomorrow will be their first on-court meeting for 2009. Looks like it’s going to be one exciting quarterfinals!
Nicol vs Kasey. This would be the first time these two would be meeting in a WISPA circuit. It would be good to see how Kasey is going to try to unseat Nicol.
Match recap for today:
Nicol David (MAS) bt. Vanessa Atkinson (NED) 11-4, 11-5, 11-8 (38 mins)
Kasey Brown (AUS) bt. Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 12-10, 11-5, 11-7 (33 mins)
Natalie Grinham (NED) bt. Delia Arnold (MAS) 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (31 mins)
Madeline Perry (IRE) bt. Aisling Blake (IRE) 11-4, 12-14, 11-3 (35 mins)
Laura Lengthorn (ENG) bt. Annie Au (HK) 11-4, 3-11, 11-4, 11-4 (32 mins)
Alison Waters (ENG) bt. Samantha Teran (MEX) 11-2, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8 (45 mins)
Jenny Duncalf (END) bt. Camile Serme (FRA) 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 (34 mins)
Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt. Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) 11-13, 6-11, 11-2, 11-5, 11-5 (53 mins)