Low Wee Wern
maintained Malaysian ownership of the Women's China Open - Squash
Stars On The Bund title for the fourth year in a row - and
claimed the title for herself a third time when she upset top seed
Camille Serme in the final of the WSA Gold 50 event in
was a marathon climax to the biggest ever Tour event staged in
mainland China - the action taking place on an all-glass showcourt
on the 11th floor of The Peninsula Hotel overlooking the
spectacular Shanghai skyline on the city's famous Bund waterfront.
Third seed Low, the world No7 from Penang, took a two-game lead in
the final before French number one Serme, ranked five in the world,
reclaimed the initiative to draw level.
"It seemed now that the momentum might be with Serme," reported
respected English coach Malcolm Willstrop. "But oddly enough
it was Low (pictured above in Shanghai action with Serme) who
led 3-0, and later 7-3 before the tenacious Serme hit back after Low
had taken a blow in the face at 7-5.
"Low served for the match at 10-8, but a serious error by Serme at
10-all gave Low another match ball, which she gratefully excepted."
Low clinched her 11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 8-11, 12-10 victory in 102
minutes - marking the 24-year-old's longest
ever match win on the WSA World Tour!
The triumph marked the seventh WSA Tour title of Low's career - but
her first since being struck down with Dengue fever in July.
"I'm absolutely delighted to win the China Open," said the jubilant
Malaysian, also winner of the title in 2011 and 2012. "It's been a
great week for me.
"This year hasn't been great - I lost my dad earlier this year when
I was competing in Chicago, down with Dengue and all.
"But overall, the atmosphere is amazing here in China. The hotel,
the court, the area, the crowd. It's been great! I'm looking forward
to coming back again next year!"
Serme & Low To Challenge For China Open Glory
French favourite Camille Serme and third-seeded Malaysian
Low Wee Wern will contest the final of the Women's China Open
- Squash Stars On The Bund after ending the impressive runs of
Egyptian teenagers Nouran Gohar and Salma Hany Ibrahim,
respectively, in the semi-finals of the WSA Gold 50 event in
China's largest city Shanghai.
The final stages of this breakthrough squash event in China are
taking place on an all-glass showcourt on the 11th floor of The
Peninsula Hotel overlooking the spectacular Shanghai skyline on
the city's famous Bund waterfront.
"The supremely-gifted Gohar made world No5 Serme fight every inch of
the way for her place in the final," reported respected English
coach Malcolm Willstrop.
"When Gohar led 1/0 & 6-3, another shock result looked on the cards.
But the French girl is resolute and recovered to level at one all.
She ran away with the third to lead 2/1.
wasn't finished with and led again in the fourth before Serme's
experience told," added Willstrop. "Serme was very happy to make the
final and Gohar's future looks assured."
The 11-13, 11-8, 11-1, 11-7 victory in 60 minute takes the
25-year-old from Creteil into the 15th WSA World Tour final of her
career - but her first this year.
Wee Wern clearly feels at home in Shanghai - and made it a hat-trick
of China Open finals since 2011 when she defeated 18-year-old
Ibrahim 11-8, 11-2, 11-9 in 35 minutes.
The triumph puts the 24-year-old world No7 from Penang into her
second Tour final of the year and the 17th of her career. Wee Wern
will be looking for her first title since winning the second of her
China Open trophies two years ago.
The Tour head-to-head record between the two finalists is finely
poised on four wins apiece over eight meetings since August 2009 -
with Wee Wern the straight games winner in their most recent
encounter in the USA in the Greenwich Open semi-finals in
Egyptian Youngsters Continue Giant-Killing Shanghai
Young Egyptian qualifiers Salma Hany Ibrahim and Nouran
Gohar continued their giant-killing run in the Women's China
Open - Squash Stars On The Bund after despatching two further
seeds in the quarter-finals of the WSA Gold 50 event in
China's largest city Shanghai.
Action in the event moved onto an all-glass showcourt on the 11th
floor of The Peninsula Hotel, which offers breath-taking
views of Shanghai and its famous waterfront, The Bund.
"It is hard to imagine a more spectacular setting than this court at
The Peninsula Hotel - acclaimed by the players as the best hotel
they have ever stayed in," said noted English coach Malcolm
Willstrop. "It's a setting to match the very best."
Gohar, a 16-year-old from Cairo who ousted experienced Australian
Rachael Grinham in the first round, faced left-hander Annie
Au, the No4 seed from Hong Kong.
"They traded winners before Gohar won the game 11-9," reported event
spokesman Graham Miao. "She began the second game
aggressively, increasing the pace - but it was Au who took the
"Rallies lengthened in the third and Gohar began to force errors
from Au, winning it 11-6. It was the pace and accuracy of the
Egyptian that clinched the fourth 11-8."
World No26 Gohar now faces top seed Camille Serme, the world
No5 from France who beat England's Sarah Kippax 11-6, 11-5,
was on the glass showcourt that 18-year-old Salma Hany Ibrahim
gained revenge for her four-game defeat by world No12 Dipika
Pallikal in the Macau Open late last year by defeating the fifth
seed and Indian number one 11-8, 11-7, 11-5.
Alexandria-based Ibrahim, ranked 40 in the world, had secured her
surprise place in the last eight after upsetting England's world No6
Alison Waters in the opening round.
Ibrahim (pictured above in action with Pallikal) will now
line up against Malaysian Low Wee Wern, the No3 seed who
edged out England's sixth seed Jenny Duncalf 11-7, 11-6,
Ibrahim & Gohar Strike Out Tour Veterans In China Opener
Egyptian teenagers Salma Hany Ibrahim and Nouran Gohar
- both qualifiers - pulled off mighty upsets over experienced WSA
World Tour opponents in today's opening round of the Women's
China Open - Squash Stars On The Bund, the WSA Gold 50
event being staged at The Peninsula Shanghai in China's
largest city Shanghai.
Ibrahim, the 18-year-old world No40 from Alexandria, claimed the
biggest scalp - despatching England's No2 seed Alison Waters,
the world No6 from London, 11-7, 3-11, 11-8, 11-3.
Gohar, just 16, took on 37-year-old Rachael Grinham - and
produced a performance beyond her years to beat the former world
champion and four-time British Open champion from Australia 11-8,
11-9, 11-13, 11-7 in 60 minutes.
Ibrahim now lines up against Dipika Pallikal, the fifth seed
from India who is back on the WSA World Tour for the first time
since striking gold in the Commonwealth Games Women's
Doubles. With Australia's legendary five-time world champion
Sarah Fitz-Gerald in her corner, Pallikal was made to work hard
by unseeded Line Hansen before beating her Danish opponent
9-11, 11-4, 12-10, 5-11, 11-6 in 56 minutes.
Cairo-based Gohar progresses to face Annie Au, the Hong Kong
number one who needed four games to see off England's Emma
Beddoes 11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9.
England's Jenny Duncalf was first into the quarter-finals
with an 11-8, 11-6, 11-4 win over Chinese wildcard Gu Jinyue.
Malaysia's world No7 Low Wee Wern looked as if she is fully
recovered from her recent Dengue fever scare when she defeated
Nicolette Fernandes, the world No22 from Guyana, 11-5, 11-4,
The fourth quarter-final will see top seed Camille Serme take
on England's No8 seed Sarah Kippax - though both were taken
to four games by qualifiers.
Top-ranked French player Serme beat Malaysian Delia Arnold
11-4, 10-12, 11-8, 11-3, while Kippax recovered from a game down to
beat fellow Briton Tesni Evans, the Welsh number one, 8-11,
11-7, 11-9, 11-6.