CIMB Malaysian Open 2010: Quarter final highlights
English Dominated Semi-Finals tomorrow. Can they be stopped?
It’s impressive how the English have dominated squash. With a total of 4 players in the main draw; 3 being the top seeds in the tournament—2 managed to fight their way up to the semi final of this tournament! It is safe to say that they are looking at hoarding a pile of medals in the upcoming Commonwealth Games, October this year. How many English girls did you predict would make it through to the semi final, here?
Jenny Duncalf bt. Low Wee Wern 11/5, 11/6, 11/3 (36 mins)
Jenny Duncalf stamped her mark of authority on court today. She definitely looked more comfortable on the court from the beginning of the match, leading 6-0 in the first set. The second set saw Wee Wern equalizing it at 5-5 but Jenny carried a good momentum right through the match. It’s definitely a great experience for Wee Wern being on the glass court and the quarter final of a tournament for the first time. Jenny faces, Raneem El Weleily, tomorrow.
Alison Waters bt. Omneya Abdel Kawy 11/4, 11/3, 3/11, 11/4 (38 mins)
Omneya seemed a little out of sorts today, possibly a little shaky from her 5-setter game yesterday—looking to find her rhythm in the first and second sets. Alison was consistent and was leading strongly throughout with Omneya making some unforced errors.
The third set saw a more familiar Omneya Abdel Kawy on court—taking charge from the first point to the last and sealing it with a beautiful backhand drop shot to the front corner. Then came the fourth set where Alison stepped up 2-notches. She was just too fast and it was already too late for Omneya as Alison took a strong lead at 6-3, dropping only 1 point before calling it a day at 11-4. A very convincing win, for Alison.
Raneem’s at it again!
Raneem El Weleily bt. Laura Massaro 11/6, 7/11, 7/11, 11/4, 13/11 (51 mins)
The first surprise of the day came from Raneem El Weleily who performed superbly against a higher seeded, Laura Massaro. Despite Laura’s best efforts in the 2nd and 3rd sets, the fourth set saw Raneem racing ahead and winning it with a breathtaking dropshot to the front. The fifth game was a nail biter where Raneem seemed to be taking more risks and playing winning shots every chance she got. At 5-5, Laura made a costly mistake which allowed Raneem to lead ahead, 8-5 before she fought back. At 11-11, Raneem was scrambling up and down the court—winning rallies and finishing the game at 13-11 as Laura hit the last point into the tin. It was a wonderful game of squash, where the better player came out on top.
A jubilated Raneem spoke personally to SquashStars later, “I’m really happy to have won today. It’s my first time to make it to the semis in a big tournament. I’ve played Laura 3 times this year. Two of it was 3-2, very close. This was a tough match even mentally. Once you get to the point of winning you start thinking if you’re going to win, and lose focus, then you have to reboot all over again. Really close today but I made it.”
Nicol for the home stretch
Nicol David bt. Camille Serme 11/4, 11/4, 11/8 (29m)
The last game of the day started at 9.20pm with Nicol literally stretching the new WISPA top 10 entrant—Camille Serme—to the hilt. The first set saw Nicol taking an early lead with relentless assaults while Camille tried to find her rhythm. Camille then led the second set with a fantastic (and long) rally, taking a short lead at 3-4 when Nicol tinned it. However, an undeterred Nicol, picked it up without dropping anymore points to finish it at 11/4…again!
The third set saw a very determined Camille leading the scoreboard with some of those wonderful long lunges of hers. It was quite an even play, up till 6-6 when Nicol took charge to finish the game. A very happy Nicol commented, “Was fired up to play on the glass court and felt focussed throughout the match. It’s her first time playing the quarters in Malaysia and I knew she’d go for it if she had a chance. Glad to win it in 3 games, but it wasn’t easy.”
No it wasn’t, Nicol—but the challenge from Camille really showcased some beautiful squash to complete the quarter final! Till tomorrow—await our LIVE BLOG!