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Nicol David Back In Charge With 'A Great Feeling' At The Malaysian Open

CIMB Malaysian Open 2013
10-15 Sep, Kuala Lumpur, $70k
Round One
11 Sep
Round Two
12 Sep
13 Sep
14 Sep
15 Sep
[1] Nicol David (Mas)
11/4, 11/6, 11/7 (35m)
[Q] Lisa Aitken (Eng)
Nicol David
11/5, 12/10, 11/6 (38m)
  Omneya Abdel Kawy
Nicol David
11-4, 11-6, 3-11, 11-5 (56m)
Low Wee Wern
Nicol David
12-10, 11-7, 11-6 (42m)
Camille Serme 
Nicol David
11-8, 11-7, 11-6 (34m)
Raneem El Weleily
[11] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
6/11, 11/8, 6/11, 13/11, 11/4 (63m)
Nour El Tayeb (Egy)
[9] Kasey Brown (Aus)
11/9, 13/11, 11/9 (50m)
[Q] Delia Arnold (Mas)
Kasey Brown
9/11, 11/4, 11/3, 11/3 (73m)
Low Wee Wern
[6] Low Wee Wern (Mas)
11/6, 11/6, 11/4 (45m)
Emily Whitlock (Eng)
[4] Alison Waters (Eng)
11/3, 11/9, 11/4 (27m)
[Q] Heba El Torky (Egy)
Alison Waters
11/9, 11/5, 11/9 (48m)
Camille Serme
Camille Serme
11-8, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9 (50m)
Sarah-Jane Perry
[10] Camille Serme (Fra)
6/11, 11/6, 11/8, 11/13, 11/5 (63m)
[Q] Emma Beddoes (Eng)
[16] Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng)
11/9, 11/9, 4/11, 11/6 (35m
[Q] Misaki Kobayashi (Jpn)
Sarah-Jane Perry
11/9, 11/6, 5/11, 11/8 (50m)
Joey Chan
[8] Madeline Perry (Irl)
11/9, 11/6, 9/11, 11/5 (52m)
Joey Chan (Hkg)
Line Hansen (Den)
11/4, 9/11, 11/0, 11/4 (35m)
[7] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
Jenny Duncalf
11/7, 3/11, 11/7, 11/5 (35m)
Rachael Grinham
Jenny Duncalf
4-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 (39m)
Raneem El Weleily

Raneem El Weleily
8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 10-12, 11-9 (78m)
Laura Massaro

Sarah Kippax (Eng)
7/11, 16/14, 9/11, 11/8, 11/7 (57m)
[14] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
Aisling Blake (Irl)
11/6, 3/11, 13/11, 11/9 (47m)
[13] Dipika Pallikal (Ind)
Dipika Pallikal
11/4, 9/11, 11/7, 11/2 (41m)
Raneem El Weleily
Joshana Chinappa (Ind)
 11/5, 11/5, 11/8 (24m)
[3] Raneem El Weleily (Egy)
[Q] Siyoli Waters (Rsa)
11/5, 11/4, 11/8 (24m)
[5] Joelle King (Nzl)
Joelle King
13/11, 11/8, 11/9 (36m)
Annie Au
Joelle King
12-14, 11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-3 (69m)
 Laura Massaro
Rachel Arnold (Mas)
11/3, 11/7, 11/4 (25m)
[12] Annie Au (Hkg)
[Q] Nicolette Fernandes (Guy)
11/3, 11/7, 11/8 (31m)
[15] Donna Urquhart (Aus)
Nicolette Fernandes
11/5, 11/5, 11/7 (40m)
Laura Massaro
[Q] Latasha Khan (Usa)
11/5, 11/5, 11/6 (21m)
[2] Laura Massaro (Eng)
Women's CIMB Malaysian Open, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Qualifying finals:
Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt Teh Min Jie (MAS) 11-9, 11-7, 7-11, 11-0 (34m)
Lisa Aitken (ENG) bt Melody Francis (AUS) 11-6, 11-6, 11-2 (22m)
Delia Arnold (MAS) bt Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 11-6, 10-12, 11-5, 11-4 (42m)
Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) bt Nazihah Hanis (MAS) 11-2, 11-7, 11-3 (18m)
Heba El Torky (EGY) bt Megan Craig (NZL) 11-2, 12-10, 4-11, 11-7 (49m)
Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) 11-9, 11-3, 11-7 (35m)
Siyoli Waters (RSA) bt Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 11-9, 11-4, 11-7 (26m)
Latasha Khan (USA) bt Zulhijjah Binti Azan (MAS) 11-9, 11-2, 11-7 (25m)

Images courtesy of squashstars.com

Nicol David Back In Charge With 'A Great Feeling' At The Malaysian Open

Malaysian squash star Nicol David admitted today that it was 'a great feeling' to regain the Women's CIMB Malaysian Open title - avenging her final defeat last year by beating defending champion Raneem El Weleily to claim the trophy for the eighth time since 2005.

The world number one from Penang was celebrating her 11th successive appearance in the final - and was arguably more determined than ever before to secure her country's prized title after the shock 2012 victory by Egyptian El Weleily.

David dropped just one game en-route to the final of the WSA World Series event - beating her semi-final opponent Camille Serme in straight games in 42 minutes at the Curve Shopping Mall in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

But El Weleily, the third seed from Cairo, was taken the full distance in the other semi before finally overcoming England's higher-ranked Laura Massaro in a 78-minute marathon.

"In last year's final, Raneem probably played the match of her life," reported event spokesman Andrew Cross. "Could she repeat that performance in this year's final? Nicol looked determined today and a very large vocal crowd had turned up to watch her play the final - it was the busiest I have seen the venue with lots of people wanting to get a glimpse of Nicol.

"Nicol (pictured above, right, in the final) started better with Raneem almost playing catch up throughout the whole opening game. Raneem was hitting more tins than winners and that was the story throughout most of the match. Nicol won the opening two games and in the third Nicol started well taking a lead to 8-3 then converting this to 10-3.

"Raneem wasn't quite finished as she started to fight back - but it wasn't enough as Nicol won the game to clinch the match."

An overjoyed David was thrilled with her 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 triumph in 34 minutes. "It's great to win it this time around, in the Malaysian Open - and finally got a good win in Malaysia after a year," the new champion told squashstars.com later.

"It's such a great feeling! And I think it's one of the biggest crowds ever at the Malaysian Open.

"With Raneem having a big match yesterday, I think she felt it a little bit today. I just had to take advantage and come out firing. I'm just happy to win it three love!"

The win, David's first ranking title of the year, takes the 30-year-old's career Tour tally to 67 titles - 35 more than her nearest rival!

Nicol David Makes It An 11th Successive Malaysian Open Final

Malaysian squash star Nicol David delighted the packed and partisan crowd surrounding the all-glass court in the Curve Shopping Mall in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, today when she beat French rival Camille Serme to reach the final of the Women's CIMB Malaysian Open for the 11th year in a row!.

It was back in 2003 that the 19-year-old qualifier reached the event's final in her home country's capital city for the first time - three years later taking over the world number one ranking and retaining it until this day!

In today's semi-finals, the 30-year-old top seed faced outsider Serme, the No10 seed from Creteil near Paris who upset fourth seed Alison Waters en-route to the last four.

After coming through a close first game, David (pictured above, right, with Serme) took control and closed out the match 12-10, 11-7, 11-6 in 42 minutes.

"The first game was really close," David said later. "I was really happy to get through the second - and got a lot more control in the third.

"Camille is a fighter and is coming on strong so I needed to be sharp and alert," added David, now in the 86th Tour final of her career. "I'm pleased to be in the final and I'll give it my best tomorrow."

David will meet defending champion Raneem El Weleily in a repeat of the 2012 final which ended the Malaysian star's seven-year grip on the title.

The third-seeded Egyptian upset England's world No2 Laura Massaro - but needed five games and 78 minutes to prevail 8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 10-12, 11-9.

Massaro, the reigning British Open champion, saved a match-ball in the fourth to force the decider - and saved two further match-balls in the fifth before former world number two El Weleily clinched victory.

"That was a very, very, very long match," said the relieved 24-year-old from Cairo later. "I think I played OK, and she played really well as well. It could have gone either way.

"I had to give it everything I had - but I am so happy to be in the final," said El Weleily, celebrating her 15th Tour final.

Massaro added: "Raneem played really well. I'm obviously disappointed to lose but she is so talented and if you don't play the right tactic you get punished."

Massaro Stretched In Malaysian Open Quarters

England's world No2 Laura Massaro acknowledged that Joelle King 'made it really hard for me' as she battled for five games to overcome the New Zealander in today's longest quarter-final of the Women's CIMB Malaysian Open Squash Championship at the Curve Shopping Mall in Petaling Jaya in Selangor.

The second seed from Preston, who had reached the last eight without dropping a game, was pushed from the off by fifth seed King, the 24-year-old world No5 eager to make the semi-finals for the first time.

Massaro (pictured above, right, with King) lost the opener after a tie-break - but fought back to take a 2/1 lead. But again King countered to draw level. England's recently-crowned British Open champion had the upper hand in the decider, however, finally closing out the match 12-14, 11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-3 in 69 minutes.

"I managed to play really well in the fifth game and won that fairly comfortably," Massaro told squashstars.com later. "The other four games were quite tight.

"Joelle played great - the match was really tough the whole way through. She made it really hard for me - and that's what these matches are all about."

Massaro, in the semis for the second year in a row, now meets No3 seed Raneem El Weleily, the defending champion from Egypt.

England's former world No2 Jenny Duncalf boasts a 5/3 head-to-head Tour record over El Weleily - and duly took the opening game. But the 24-year-old from Cairo, who won the pair's last encounter at the British Open in May, began to take control of the match and after 39 minutes wrapped up a 4-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 victory.

"It was a really tough match today against Jenny," said the title-holder (pictured above, foreground, with Duncalf). "I had a really, really, really slow start - but luckily I managed to get back into it.

"You never know how it's going to go against Jenny - I think we have similar games and tactics. I think I'm very lucky to be through today and look forward to tomorrow."

Second round giant-killer Camille Serme continued her fine form in the event by beating England's 16th seed Sarah-Jane Perry 11-8, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9 in 50 minutes. The 10th seed from France caused a mighty upset 24 hours earlier by ousting fourth seed Alison Waters.

"I thought my game was a bit less good than yesterday - but I still managed to win 3/1 and am very happy to be in the semi-finals," said the 24-year-old European champion from Creteil.

"In the second game, she played really good shots and I lost a bit of my length and made a few mistakes. The fourth was really important and I was so happy to win the last game."

Before a packed crowd at the end of the evening, event favourite Nicol David survived an all-Malaysian clash with fellow Penangite Low Wee Wern (both pictured above), beating the sixth seed 11-4, 11-6, 3-11, 11-5 in 56 minutes.

It was world number one David's fifth Tour win over Wern - but the first in which the Malaysian No2 had taken a game. David is now one match away from a remarkable 11th successive appearance in the final.

Serme Sinks Waters In Malaysian Open Upset

Alison Waters, the world No4 from England who has reached at least the quarter-finals in her last 12 WSA World Tour events, today crashed out of the second round of the Women's CIMB Malaysian Open Squash Championship in Kuala Lumpur after an impressive performance from Camille Serme, the world No12 from France.

It was after an injury-affected 2010 and 2011 that Londoner Waters slumped to 44 in the world - but bounced back stronger than ever at the beginning of last year, winning five Tour titles in six months and soaring back to a world ranking just one position short of her career-high world No3.

But today belonged to European champion Serme, whose effective use of lobs and drop shots in the last 16 round of the third WSA World Series event of the year at the Bukit Jalil National Squash Centre saw the 10th seed clinch a shock 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 win in 48 minutes - her career-first victory over 29-year-old Waters.

"I thought I could win this match and I knew I had to show her I could win the match," explained the French number one from Creteil afterwards. "I wanted to try and get inside her head a bit by reducing my errors."

"I feel very happy with my win today and with the way I played. I had never beaten her before so I knew it was going to be tough!

"But I managed to play the right tactic plan and I was feeling good physically. I was pushing hard so I'm glad I won at the end."

Serme will now play her third English opponent in the event after Sarah-Jane Perry, the Birmingham-born 16th seed ended Joey Chan's run by beating the unseeded 25-year-old from Hong Kong 11-9, 11-6, 5-11, 11-8.

"Good match for me," said Perry. "I've never played Joey before - she is nimble and fast around the court, so I had to be in the best of form to beat her. It's my first time here and I'm enjoying it.

"I've not really been on the tour for long because of studies, so getting into the quarters is a good result for me."

Top seed Nicol David, the Malaysian star whose first round win yesterday was enough to ensure a remarkable 87th successive month at the top of the women's world rankings next month, moved comfortably into the quarter-finals after an 11-5, 12-10, 11-6 win over career-long rival Omneya Abdel Kawy.

The victory over the 11th seed from Egypt sets up an all-Malaysian affair at the Curve Shopping Mall in Petaling Jaya against fellow Penangite Low Wee Wern.

Sixth seed Wern needed 73 minutes to subdue ninth-seeded Australian Kasey Brown 9-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-3.

"The season is really kicking off now at this CIMB Malaysian Open and we'll be moving over to the glass court at The Curve Shopping Mall," said David after today's match.

"I'll be playing Low Wee Wern tomorrow in the quarters. It's been some time since we've played each other in competitions and suddenly I'm playing her for the second time within the last two weeks - at the Nationals and at this tournament. Should be a good match out there tomorrow!"

England team-mates Jenny Duncalf and Laura Massaro also reserved their anticipated places in the last eight - No7 seed Duncalf beating Australian rival Rachael Grinham 11-7, 3-11, 11-7, 11-5 in the pair's 17th Tour clash since 2003, and second seed Massaro ending the run of Guyana qualifier Nicolette Fernandes 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 after 40 minutes.

"Today was the round of last 16 and I was playing Nicolette Fernandes from Guyana," explained world No2 Massaro in a blog from the event. "She had a great win in the first round beating the seeded Donna Urquhart 3/0 so I knew she was in form and playing well.

"I respect Nicolette a lot as she is over in Harrogate a lot where we both train with David Pearson. Although I haven't been on court with her I see her professionalism and this made me take the challenge of playing her very seriously.

"Tomorrow I'm up against world number 5 Joelle King from New Zealand at 2pm on the glass court at the Curve Mall."

King, the fifth seed beat Hong Kong's Annie Au 13-11, 11-8, 11-9 - while third seed Raneem El Weleily single-handedly carried Egyptian intertest into the last eight by beating India's Dipika Pallikal 11-4, 9-11, 11-7, 11-2.

Fiery Fernandes Makes Malaysian Open Last 16

Guyana qualifier Nicolette Fernandes produced the biggest upset in today's opening day of main draw action in the Women's CIMB Malaysian Open Squash Championship in Kuala Lumpur when she dismissed Australia's 15th seed Donna Urquhart to secure an unexpected place in the last 16 of the third WSA World Series event of the year at the Bukit Jalil National Squash Centre.

The Toronto-born 30-year-old - who celebrated a career-high world No23 ranking this month - beat left-hander Urquhart (pictured above, right, with Fernandes), currently ranked only five places higher, 11-3, 11-7, 11-8 in 31 minutes.

"I've had a great few months at home training with my coach, Carl Ince," said the jubilant Fernandes after one of the best wins of her career. "It was nice to end the summer with the Caribbean Championships being held at home and the team doing so well!

"Since then I've been in England working with David Pearson. Carl and David complement each other so all in all it's been a great off season. This is my first tournament back so I'm just really excited to play tournaments now!

"Today I played three solid games - it was good to get back into it after at the start of the season."

Fernandes, making her maiden appearance in the Malaysian Open, now plays Laura Massaro, the world No2 from England. Massaro, playing in her first Tour event since May when she became the first English winner of the British Open since 1991, defeated US qualifier Latasha Khan 11-5, 11-5, 11-6.

"The last time I lost to Laura - so this time I want to do better and we will see what happens tomorrow," added Fernandes.

Another upset took place later in the day when two-time quarter-finalist Madeline Perry, the No8 seed from Ireland, lost out to unseeded Hong Kong opponent Joey Chan.

"Joey took the opening game and then continued this in the second, working the court using her boast effectively," said event spokesman Andrew Cross. "In the third, Madeline changed her game and this won her the game - but Joey came back to win the fourth for a place in the second round."

Chan, the world No20, later recalled how she was determined not to repeat a previous mistake in KL when she was leading by two games: "I was a bit more patient this time and at 2/0 up I relaxed a bit - but then I remembered what happened last time when I was 2/0 up against Alison (Waters) in the CIMB KL Open, and lost 3/2.

"Usually I've lost to Madeline in three games - so this time it's nice to win," added the 25-year-old after her 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5 victory in 52 minutes.

The match of the day for most of the crowd took place when top seed Nicol David, the Queen of Malaysian squash, took to the court for her first round match against qualifier Lisa Aitken, the former Scottish international making her debut as an English player.

Bidding to reach the final for a remarkable 11th successive year, and win the title for a record eighth time, David brushed Aitken aside 11-4, 11-6, 11-7 in 35 minutes.

The world number one from Penang now renews her career-long rivalry with Egypt's Omneya Abdel Kawy, the 28-year-old from Cairo whom she first met in the British Junior U14 Open final in January 1997! The pair has since met 17 times on the WSA Tour, including three times in the Malaysian Open.

Seasoned campaigner Abdel Kawy faced young compatriot Nour El Tayeb. The unseeded 20-year-old, ranked 19 in the world, twice led Kawy - and held a match-ball in the fourth game.

But 11th seed Kawy, a former world No4, called upon all her experience to force a decider - and went on to win 6-11, 11-8, 6-11, 13-11, 11-4 after 63 minutes.

New English Star Lisa Aitken Draws Malaysian Queen Nicol David In KL

Lisa Aitken celebrated her maiden appearance in English colours today by beating Australian Melody Francis in straight games in the qualifying finals of the CIMB Malaysian Open Squash Championships in Kuala Lumpur.

But the former Scottish international was then drawn to meet Malaysia's 'Queen of Squash' Nicol David - the world number one who is seeded to reach the final of the third WSA World Series event of the year for the 11th year in a row, and win the title for a record eighth time!

Harrogate-based Aitken, the 23-year-old world No43, became the lowest-ranked player to qualify after her 22-minute 11-6, 11-6, 11-2 win over Francis, ranked just five places lower.

David, competing in her first Tour event since reaching her 30th birthday, will be eager to make amends for the shock defeat in her country's biggest tournament in last year's final. The record seven-time world champion from Penang is expected to meet Laura Massaro, the second seed from England, in Sunday's final at the Curve Shopping Mall in Petaling Jaya in Selangor.

Massaro opens her 2013 campaign against US qualifier Latasha Khan, the indefatigable 40-year-old world No30 from Seattle who ousted local hope Zulhijjah Binti Azan 11-9, 11-2, 11-7 in 25 minutes.

Egypt's reigning champion Raneem El Weleily is the event's third seed - positioned in Massaro's half of the draw - and takes on Indian number two Joshana Chinappa in the first round.

Guyana's Nicolette Fernandes will make her debut in the championship after despatching Malaysian Teh Min Jie 11-9, 11-7, 7-11, 11-0 in today's qualifying finals. Now celebrating a career-high world No23 ranking, Fernandes faces Australia's 15th seed Donna Urquhart.

Local hopes in the main draw were boosted when Delia Arnold survived the qualifiers in an 11-6, 10-12, 11-5, 11-4 defeat of Hong Kong's Liu Tsz-Ling. The KL-born 27-year-old, celebrating her fifth appearance in the main draw since 2008, will take on Australia's No9 seed Kasey Brown.

Qualifiers also emerged from Japan, South Africa and Egypt - in addition to a second from England in the shape of Emma Beddoes, who beat Hong Kong's Tong Tsz-Wing 11-9, 11-3, 11-7.

Misaki Kobayashi became the sole Japanese representative in the main draw after defeating local junior Nazihah Hanis 11-2, 11-7, 11-3 - while Siyoli Waters also carried a lone flag for South Africa after seeing off Malaysia's Sivasangari Subramaniam 11-9, 11-4, 11-7.

And Heba El Torky boosted the Egyptian count in the event to four when she overcame New Zealander Megan Craig 11-2, 12-10, 4-11, 11-7.