Nicol David & Amr Shabana Shine In KL
Top seeds Nicol David and Amr Shabana, from Malaysia
and Egypt, respectively, secured the titles in the CIMB Malaysian
Open after scoring four-game victories over English opponents in
finals of the established international squash event at The Curve
Shopping Mall at Mutiara Damansara in Kuala Lumpur.
It was the fifth title triumph in a row for Nicol David in the
climax of the $53,500 WISPA World Tour Gold event in front of
an adoring local crowd in her country's capital. But her surprise
opponent Alison Waters, the fourth seed from London who
gate-crashed the final after beating second-seeded Australian
Rachael Grinham in straight games in the semis, extended the
three-year-long world number one further than before in their tenth
David, 25, from Penang, recovered after dropping the third game -
her first of the tournament - to win 11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7 in
exactly one hour.
"I knew that Alison had made it to the final playing well, and as I
had played her in Seoul I knew that it would be hard," said the new
champion after clinching her fourth WISPA Tour title this year, and
the 38th of her career.
When asked about her fifth Malaysian Open crown in a row, David
responded: "It is always a challenge, but I am really helped by the
crowd cheering me on."
Though disappointed by her defeat, 25-year-old world No6 Waters was
pleased with her performance: "I was delighted to have reached the
final and I played well yesterday to beat Rachael - which gave me
confidence going into today's final with Nicol.
"This was my first gold final and I was really looking forward to
it. It was a question of sticking in there and I had my chances in
all the games. I just got my slot selection wrong at the end of a
couple of them. But I was generally pleased with my performance and
that I got closer to her.
"I think we played a good match and felt this was the closest that I
have got to Nicol - so overall it was a good tournament and looking
forward to Singapore next week."
Amr Shabana, the three-time world champion from Cairo, was competing
in KL for the first time since 2000 - and looking for his first Tour
title of the year.
In the climax of the men's $52,500 PSA World Tour event, the
30-year-old was facing England's Nick Matthew, the second
seed who last week won the gold medal in the World Games in
With too many errors from the Egyptian in the first game, world No5
Matthew soon opened up a one-game lead. But Shabana cut down the
errors in the second and drew level before increasing his dominance
over Matthew to forge a 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-4 title-winning victory
after 51 minutes.
"I have no complaints," said Shabana after clinching the 23rd PSA
Tour title of his career. "It is good to win a tournament after
such a long time. It has taken hard work and patience along with the
realisation that I am still a good player."
Matthew admitted that his opponent deserved the win: "I kept
fighting but he was too good, even though I was throwing everything
at him," explained the 29-year-old from Sheffield.
"He got the balance between defence and attack better than I did.
Nothing changes really; I am trying to get into the top four and
Shabana showed that he is too!"
Waters Wipes Out Grinham In Malaysian Open Upset
England's Alison Waters recorded one of the most decisive
wins of her career when she upset Australia's No2 seed Rachael
Grinham in straight games in the semi-finals of the
CIMB Malaysian Open to reach the final of the $53,500
WISPA World Tour Gold squash event at The Curve Shopping Mall
at Mutiara Damansara in the Malaysian capital Kuala
Ranked six in the world, the 25-year-old Londoner marked her fourth
win in six meetings over world No4 Grinham in an 11-1, 11-4, 11-4
victory in 44 minutes.
Waters, now in her third Tour final of the year and the eighth of
her career, will face event favourite Nicol David, the world
number one from Malaysia who is now one match away from her fifth
David reached her seventh final in a row when she despatched third
seed Natalie Grinham, the world No3 from the Netherlands,
11-6, 15-13, 12-10.
The two finalists will be meeting for the tenth time on the WISPA
Tour since 2004 - with Waters looking for her first win.
The top two seeds will line up in the final of the men's $52,500
PSA World Tour event.
Favourite Amr Shabana, the three-time world champion
competing in KL for the first time since 2000, dropped his first
game of the tournament in overcoming England's fourth seed James
The 30-year-old from Cairo overwhelmed the Yorkshireman in the first
two games - then Willstrop struck back to take the third. But
Shabana battled on to overcome the tiring Willstrop, ultimately
winning 11-3, 11-4, 12-14, 11-9 in 59 minutes to reach his first PSA
final of the year - but the 34th of his career.
World No4 Shabana will face another Englishman in the final when he
takes on Nick Matthew. Buoyed by last week's gold medal
success in the World Games in Chinese Taipei, Matthew beat
Egypt's third seed Wael El Hindi 11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8 - and
is now in his 27th career Tour final.
Hee Bombs Out After Malaysian Open Marathon
Local hero Ong Beng Hee, the title-holder from Penang, took
higher-ranked Egyptian Wael El Hindi the full distance in the
quarter-finals of the CIMB Malaysian Open - but ultimately
crashed out after 108 minutes to leave the country's premier annual
international squash championships in Kuala Lumpur without
Malaysian interest in the men's semi-finals for the first time in
the men's $52,500 PSA World Tour event, sixth seed Beng Hee -
three times winner of the title since 2000 - moved ahead of the
world No9 from Cairo after three games. But El Hindi, the third
seed who lost to the Malaysian in the 2005 final, reclaimed the
advantage to record a 11-9, 12-14, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9 victory – much
to the disappointment of the local fans surrounding the all-glass
court at The Curve Shopping Mall at Mutiara Damansara.
one of two Anglo/Egyptian men's semi-finals, El Hindi will face
second seed Nick Matthew, the recently-crowned World Games
champion who took less than a third of the Egyptian's match time to
defeat Pakistan's Aamir Atlas Khan 11-5, 11-8, 11-9 in 35
minutes. The result was hardly the best present for the world No19
from Peshawar, who was celebrating his 19th birthday!
seed Amr Shabana, the three-time world champion competing in
KL for the first time since 2000, kept his straight games run intact
with an 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 win over Pakistan's Farhan Mehboob.
former world number one will now take on James Willstrop, the
fourth seed from England who beat unseeded Egyptian Omar Mosaad
11-6, 11-4, 11-6.
Malaysian superstar Nicol David moved one step closer to her
seventh successive appearance in the women's final after despatching
Australia's Kasey Brown 11-4, 11-8, 11-3 in the $53,500
WISPA World Tour Gold event.
25-year-old world number one from Penang will now face long-time
Tour rival Natalie Grinham for a place in the final. The
third-seeded Dutch star earned a repeat of last year's final – and
last week's World Games gold medal play-off – after beating
Ireland's Madeline Perry, the eighth seed, 11-5, 11-7, 10-12,
Natalie's sister Rachael Grinham also earned a place in the
last four – but the second seed from Australia had to fight off a
courageous comeback by Jenny Duncalf before finally beating
her fifth-seeded English opponent 11-9, 11-7, 6-11, 4-11, 11-9 in 80
Grinham senior now has another English opponent to deal with:
Alison Waters, the fourth seed from London, had to recover from
a game down before overcoming England team-mate Laura
Lengthorn-Massaro, the No7 seed, 2-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4.
Mixed Fortunes For Egyptians In Malaysian Open
Egyptians Omar Mosaad and Omneya Abdel Kawy enjoyed
mixed fortunes in the first round of the CIMB Malaysian Open,
the premier annual international squash championships in the
Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.
local players failed at the first hurdle in the men's $52,500 PSA
World Tour event – and Omar Mosaad caused the
downfall of the bigger of the two when he upset two times champion
Mohd Azlan Iskandar. The fifth seed from Kuala Lumpur took
the opening game, but was unable to extend his advantage as
21-year-old Mosaad took the upper hand before going on to beat the
world No13 and local hero 10-12, 11-5, 11-1, 11-9 in 56 minutes.
is the first time that Iskandar, the champion in 2004 and 2007, has
failed to make at least the semi-finals in six successive
appearances in the event since 2004.
Mosaad, the world No26 from Cairo, goes on to meet England's
James Willstrop for a place in the semi-finals. Fourth seed
Willstrop, who won the silver medal in last week's World Games
in his first competitive appearance since undergoing ankle surgery
in April, made a shaky start to his maiden KL campaign when he
dropped the first two games.
the former world No2 from Leeds in Yorkshire re-established his
authority on the match by beating Egypt's unseeded Hisham Mohd
Ashour 10-12, 8-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-3 in 56 minutes.
Local interest in the men's event is now carried single-handedly by
sixth seed Ong Beng Hee, the defending champion from Penang.
In his eighth consecutive appearance in the event since 2000, the
three-time champion despatched local wild card opponent Muhd
Asyraf Azan 11-5, 11-9, 11-5 to reach the quarter-finals.
seed Amr Shabana celebrated his first PSA Tour appearance in
KL since 2000 with an 11-3, 11-1, 11-6 win over Pakistan qualifier
Yasir Butt. The three-time world champion from Egypt will
now face another Pakistani when he takes on Farhan Mehboob,
the No8 seed who battled for exactly one hour to overcome Australian
Cameron Pilley 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-7.
Second seed Nick Matthew, the Englishman who is expected to
line up against Shabana in Saturday's final, beat rising German star
Simon Rosner, a qualifier, 11-5, 11-8, 13-11.
was good to win 3/0," said Matthew, the new World Games
champion. "He's a dangerous player!"
Australia's Kasey Brown stole the headlines in the women's
$53,500 WISPA World Tour Gold event. The unseeded
23-year-old from New South Wales upset sixth-seeded Egyptian
Omneya Abdel Kawy 12-10, 11-5, 11-7 - only days after the world
No7 from Cairo clinched the bronze medal in the World Games in
Brown now faces top seed Nicol David, the world number one
and local heroine who has her sights on a fifth title in a row –
after reaching her seventh successive final! The 25-year-old from
Penang got her 2009 campaign off to a healthy start with an 11-4,
11-5, 11-8 victory over 2004 champion Vanessa Atkinson, the
former world number one from the Netherlands.
the other half of the draw, a trio of English players stand in the
way of Australia's second seed Rachael Grinham reaching the
final for the first time after five semi-final finishes since 2002.
Grinham recovered from a two-game deficit to beat France's
Isabelle Stoehr 11-13, 6-11, 11-2, 11-5, 11-5 – and will now
take on Jenny Duncalf, the fifth seed from England who
defeated French qualifier Camille Serme 11-9, 11-8, 11-7.
adjacent quarter-final will be an all-English affair between seventh
seed Laura Lengthorn-Massaro and fourth seed Alison Waters.
Both needed four games to get the better of their first round
opponents – Lengthorn-Massaro overcoming Hong Kong qualifier
Annie Au 11-4, 3-11, 11-4, 11-4, while Londoner Waters took 48
minutes to defeat Mexican qualifier Samantha Teran 11-2,
7-11, 11-8, 11-8.
Blake & Butt Battle Into Malaysian Open Draws
Pakistan's Yasir Butt and Ireland's Aisling Blake
pulled off notable upsets in the qualifying finals of the CIMB
Malaysian Open to earn places in the main draws of Malaysia's
leading international squash championship in capital Kuala Lumpur.
Blake, the world No31, reached eight places above her in the world
rankings to defeat England's Sarah Kippax 11-5, 11-9, 11-7 in
41 minutes in the women's $53,500 WISPA World Tour Gold
Irish number two from Sligo has been drawn to meet eighth seed
Madeline Perry – the Irish number one and her opponent in six
Irish national championship finals since 2002!
France's Camille Serme also claimed a surprise place in the
first round. The 20-year-old from Creteil beat higher-seeded Dane
Line Hansen 11-9, 11-4, 11-7 and will now line up against
England's fifth seed Jenny Duncalf.
Yasir Butt became the lowest-ranked player to make the main draw of
the $52,500 PSA World Tour event when he beat Egypt's
Tarek Momen, ranked 27 in the world, 11-4, 12-10, 11-5 in 37
world No61 from Lahore was then handed the toughest opponent in the
first round when he was drawn to face top seed Amr Shabana,
the three times world champion from Egypt. The world No4 from
Cairo, who celebrated his 30th birthday a week ago, is competing in
his first PSA Tour event since April.
There was Pakistan disappointment elsewhere in the qualifying finals
when Mansoor Zaman, a former world No11, went down 11-5,
11-3, 11-5 in 25 minutes to promising German Simon Rosner.
21-year-old from Paderborn will now face England's No2 seed Nick
Matthew, the world No5 from Sheffield who arrived in Kuala
Lumpur fresh from his gold medal triumph in last week's World
Games in Chinese Taipei.