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CIMB Malaysian Open 2011
18-23 Jul, Kuala Lumpur

23-Jul-2011 - Finals:

[1] Grégory Gaultier (Fra) bt Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak)
                         11/8, 11/3, 11/3 (43m)

[1] Nicol David (Mas) bt [2] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
                         11/6, 12/10, 11/5 (42m)

     Alex Wan reports on the finals


Maiden title for Gregory

[1] Grégory Gaultier (Fra) bt Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak)
                        11/8, 11/3, 11/3 (43m)

Grégory’s intensity proving too much for giant killer Aamir

In the first game, Aamir was leading at the start but let Gregory back in close up the match 10-8.

Aamir survives with several lets and had a golden chance to clinch a due only to see the ball hits the top of the tin.

Aamir settled into the game better and found his rhythm and took an early lead before Gaultier came back into it.

In the first game Aamir hit 7 tins and most of them came from easy shots such was the intensity that Greg was playing at.
Greg finished off the first game with another error from Khan.

Greg started off the second the same as he has done all week playing much faster and Aamir couldn’t handle him struggling to keep up. Aamir tried his best to get back into it but he was unable to handle it. Greg closed out the second game 11-3.

The third was the same as the second as Greg raced away from a 4-0 to a 9-1 winning position, Aamir gave it one last push before losing out 11-3 and on his debut appearance to Malaysia Greg came here and took home the title.

I'm rather satisfied with my week, as I win the tournament, although I didn't play a super squash. Still, I felt a real improvement on the last match, both from a technical and tactical point of view. Physically I felt great, it was hard though, very humid and warm conditions.

I still have two more weeks to keep on preparing Australia and tune my game.

I would like to thank the organisation that did a great job, the sponsors of this event, along with my coaches, my training partners and my own sponsors for their support.

On a personal note, I would like to dedicate this victory to Michčle Lecomte, and all my thoughts are for Fred and Alex.

Grégory Gaultier

Nicol in seventh heaven

[1] Nicol David (Mas) bt [2] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
                                              11/6, 12/10, 11/5 (42m)

3-0 but that doesn’t tell the whole story as Jenny had chances.

Unlike yesterday Nicol came with her ‘A’ game and was the first to settle into her game. There was a large and vocal crowd looking to support their local hero and she delivered but Jenny will be taking some positives away from this final and she will be looking to do a little bit better next week in Singapore.

Nicol started the first 6-0 in similar fashion to when she played Laura a couple of nights ago and looked to have the game in the bag. Jenny looking slightly nervous to begin with not timing the ball as she usually does.

However as the game progressed she got more and more into it, it became a tight affair and Jenny now looking slightly the better player. Nicol just had a big enough lead though to close out the opening game but the sign was Jenny was now into the math.

The second game Jenny started better and matched Nicol point for point and at 7.7 she broke away to take a 10.7 lead. Nicol is so good when she is behind and she proved it again today producing some brilliant pick ups and great shots. The last three points just got away from Jenny and finished the game poorly when her return of serve hit the floor.

In the third game Nicol got away and was well ahead and dominated the game to close out the match 11-4 to win her 7th Malaysian Open title.

Andrew Cross reports on the semis
Alex Wan Report

French Page


Press Cuts
CIMB Malaysian Open 2011
18-23 Jul, Kuala Lumpur, $60k
Round One
20 Jul
21 Jul
22 Jul
23 Jul
[1] Nicol David (Mas)
Donna Urquhart (Aus)
[1] Nicol David
11/7, 9/11, 11/1, 11/6 (57m)
[6] Laura Massaro
[1] Nicol David

11/9, 12/10, 11/4 (45m)

[7] Omneya Abdel Kawy

[1] Nicol David

 11/6, 12/10, 11/5 (42m)

[2] Jenny Duncalf

[6] Laura Massaro (Eng)
11/9, 12/10, 11/7 (44m)
[Q] Sarah Kippax (Eng)
[3] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
11/8, 7/11, 11/6, 11/9 (39m)
Annie Au (Hkg)
[3] Rachael Grinham 11/7, 4/11, 11/9, 2/11, 11/9 (60m)
[7] Omneya Abdel Kawy
[7] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
10/12, 9/11, 14/12, 11/9, 11/3 (75m)
Delia Arnold (Mas)
Raneem El Weleily (Egy)
 11/9, 8/11, 11/8, 8/11, 11/9 (66m)
[8] Camille Serme (Fra)
[8] Camille Serme
 11/6, 11/8, 11/8 (40m)[Q] Joelle King
[8] Camille Serme

 14/12, 11/5, 11/8 (39m)

[2] Jenny Duncalf
[Q] Joelle King
11/9, 11/2, 11/6 (40m)
[4] Madeline Perry (Irl)
[Q] Dipika Pallikal (Ind)
6/11, 11/4, 13/11, 7/11, 11/3 (76m)[5] Kasey Brown (Aus)
[5] Kasey Brown
 9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 12-10,  11-4 (76m)
[2] Jenny Duncalf
[Q] Low Wee Wern (Mas)
11-5, 11-9, 12-10 (39m)
[2] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)

CIMB Malaysian Open 2011
18-23 Jul, Kuala Lumpur, $50k
Round One
20 Jul
21 Jul
22 Jul
23 Jul
[1] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
11/3, 11/3, 11/2 (27m)
[Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
[1] Gregory Gaultier
12/10, 11/2, 11/7 (54m)
Ong Beng Hee
[1] Gregory Gaultier

11/5, 11/5, 11/1 (41m)

[Q] Alan Clyne

[1] Gregory Gaultier

  11/8, 11/3, 11/3 (43m)

Aamir Atlas Khan

Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
11/6, 11/9, 11/5 (31m)
[Q] Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
[Q] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)
9/11, 11/6, 18/16, 9/11, 11/9 (100m)
Farhan Mehboob (Pak)
[Q] Karim Abdel Gawad
11/6, 11/6, 11/4 (39m)
[Q] Alan Clyne
[Q] Alan Clyne (Sco)
11/7, 5/11, 7/11, 11/9, 15/13 (64m)
[4] Hisham Ashour (Egy)
[3] Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
11/5, 12/10, 11/7 (47m)    
Kamran Khan (Mas)
[3] Azlan Iskandar
11/5, 10/12, 11/9, 11/6 (56m)
Aamir Atlas Khan
Aamir Atlas Khan

10/12, 11/6, 11/4, 11/9 (54m)

Cameron Pilley

Chris Ryder (Eng)
11/7, 3/11, 11/7, 3/11, 11/7 (60m)
Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak)
Tarek Momen (Egy)
 11/7, 11/9, 11/8 (65m)
Cameron Pilley (Aus)
Cameron Pilley
11/6, 11/6, 14/12 (55m)
[2] Mohamed El Shorbagy
Aaron Frankcomb (Aus)
11/6, 11/5, 11/9 (39m)
[2] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy)


[1] Grégory Gaultier (Fra) v [Q] Alan Clyne (Sco)
                        11/5, 11/5, 11/1 (41m)

In this game the World number 6 was too good for Clyne who although he gave everything didn't quite have the game to match the Frenchman today.

Gaultier built up large leads at the beginning of each game by leading 7-0, 8-0 and 8-1 in each game. Clyne fought back towards the end of each game before he was closed out 11-5,11-5, 11-1.

Gaultier stood on the T for the entire match dictating the play and the tempo at which the match was played.

Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak) bt Cameron Pilley (Aus)
                         10/12, 11/6, 11/4, 11/9 (54m)

Aamir causes another upset
to reach the final

Pilley seemed slow to settle into his work today giving Aamir a lead at the beginning of the first game before he eventually found his range and closed out the first game 12.10.

In the second it was close all the way until at 6.6 Aamir boke clear to take the next few points and win the second 11.6.

Again in the third Khan got off to the better start and Pilley now began to look increasingly slow to cover the front of the court found the pace tough. Khan won the third 11.4.

In the fourth again Khan got away before towards the end of the game Pilley staged one last comeback and he almost got back into it. However it was to be Khan who would close out the match.


[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [8] Camille Serme (FRA)
                         14/12, 11/5, 11/8 (39m)

A much better performance from the second best player in the world as she progressed to the semi finals.

Jenny and Camille were locked point for point at the beginning of the game and this continued all the way until Camille broke clear to 10.7.

Then a little bit more experience from Jenny allowed her back into the match at 10.10. A couple more points were traded before Jenny closed it out 14.12.

In the second Jenny got out to an early lead before Camille roped her back in and we were level at 4.4.

Jenny again playing the right shots at the right time managed to close out the game 11.5.

In the third it was going to be hard for Camille to get back into it and as Jenny again got a lead it made it harder.

Jenny got to 10.5 match ball before a couple more points from Camille but Jenny finished it off 11.7.

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [7] Omneya Abdel kawy (EGY)
                         11/9, 12/10, 11/4 (45m)

A little bit hit and miss from Nicol today as she struggled to get herself fully into the match but lets not take anything away from Omneya she threw everything at Nicol.

Nicol started by hitting a lot of tins and didnt really get going properly until it got tight at 9.9. Nicol usually plays better toward the business end of games and today was no different as she managed to keep it out of the tin long enough to win the first.

The second again was the same problem until Omneya led 8-5 but again Nicol produced her best squash when behind to win the game 12.10.

In the third Nicol won a string of points early and from this point she never looked back as she ran out an easy winner in this game.
A win for Nicol but the first few games were a bit concerning until she eventually found her stride.

Alex Wan Report
s #2

  Men's Draw 

Women's Draw

Previous Rounds

French Page

21-Jul-2011 - Quarters:

Mens Quarters

Cameron Pilley (Aus) bt [2] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy)
                    11/6, 11/6, 14/12 (55m)
Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak) bt [3] Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
                    11/5, 10/12, 11/9, 11/6 (56m)
[1] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) v Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
                     12/10, 11/2, 11/7 (54m)
[Q] Alan Clyne (Sco) bt [Q] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)
                      11/6, 11/6, 11/4 (39m)

Ladies Quarters

[2] Jenny Duncalf (Eng) bst [5] Kasey Brown (Aus)
                      9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-4 (76m)
[8] Camille Serme (Fra) v [Q] Joelle King (Nzl)
                     11/6, 11/8, 11/8 (40m)
[1] Nicol David (Mas) bt [6] Laura Massaro (Eng)
                     11/7, 9/11, 11/1, 11/6 (57m)
[7] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) bt [3] Rachael Grinham (Aus)             11/7, 4/11, 11/9, 2/11, 11/9 (60m)

Press Cuts       






Cameron Pilley bt [2] Mohamed El Shorbagy
                    11/6, 11/6, 14/12 (55m)

Pilley creates the first upset

Cameron Pilley played brilliant today to beat number 2 seed Mohammed El Shorbagy in straight games. Playing in straight lines to limit the amount of angles he gave Shorbagy to play with he played exceptionally well.

In the first he got off to a good start with the Egyptian struggling to find his range, Pilley raced off to a 6.2 lead which then turned into 7.4. Shorbagy looked to have got back into it at 6.7 but a tin from Shorbagy followed by another one off a short boast gave Pilley a 9-6 lead. A beautiful tight forehand drive from Pilley which Shorbagy couldn’t squeeze off the wall and one more tin from Shorbagy gave Pilley the first game.

In the second Pilley started with more variation especially on the backhand side and off Shorbagy’s boast to the front, generally he would play a straight drop but he would then hold and cross or hold and straight drive causing Shorbagy a few problems.

The Egyptian still struggling to work his way into the match.
Shorbagy got a lead at the beginning of the game but Pilley cancelled it out and never looked back.

In the third game Pilley was playing the same way and he was so effective today. He raced away to a 9.3 lead before Shorbagy mounted a comeback and with more and more lets occurring Shorbagy was back in it at 9.9 where one long rally ended with Pilley diving into the back left corner where he just retrieved the ball to hit the front wall in the far right from corner.

Shorbagy was onto it fast and played a straight drop but somehow Pilley had got up and covered the drop at the front of the court and hit a winning cross court. Shorbagy responded with a cross court nick return, Pilley then won the next rally with a tight drive before again Shorbagy hit a cross court nick.

Now it was 12.12 and a few lets and a stroke to Pilley handed him match ball where he hit a tight drive on the backhand side and won the match 3.0.

Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak) bt [3] Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
                    11/5, 10/12, 11/9, 11/6 (56m)

Azlan started the match a bit sluggish and made a lot of errors in the first game handing the confidence to Khan who was never going to turn down the invitation of easy points. Azlan struggled to find the back of the court and eventually lost the game 11-5.

The second was a game of two halves where Azlan really asserted himself on the match taking an 8-1 lead before throwing it all away by making numerous unforced errors as he looked to close out the game quickly.

Soon he found himself back in a dog fight as Khan caught up to 10.10. At 10.10 it looked like the momentum had shifted to Khan and he was going to close out the game but Azlan steadied himself at the right time to take the game 12.10.

In the third, Azlan still not looking fully comfortable gave away early leads and towards the end of the game was 9.6 down a wonderful cross court flick brought him back to 9.7 but another winner form Khan gave him game ball at 10.7.

A long rally followed which Azlan won and a stroke at the front made it 9.10. Another long rally ending with a loose ball in the middle was deemed to be a let not once but three times. A loose ball in the middle of the court and a simple cross court for Azlan but he hit the tin and gave the game to Khan 11.9.

Fourth game Khan raced away to a 5-1 lead and this quickly tuned to 7-3 as Azlan continued to clip the top of the tin. These tins were not bottom of the tin they were constantly just clipping the top of the tin. Three more points apiece made the score 10.6 and at this point Khan finished the match to set up a game with Cameron Pilley tomorrow.

[1] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) v Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
                     12/10, 11/2, 11/7 (54m)

First game was extremely tough with both players playing high intensity squash and Beng Hee led most of the opening game and held a lead at 8-5 before hitting three quick tins. To try and combat this he started chipping the ball up and down the walls a bit more and Gaultier took a little bit more control. A 10.9 lead to Gaultier and Beng Hee levelled it up at 10.10 but Gaultier took the last 2 points to take a 1.0 lead.

In the second Gaultier came out at a blistering speed and raced away to an 8.0 lead before Beng Hee hit a good backhand drive and one more but ended up losing the game 11.2.

The third started the same as the second with Gaultier looking to get off court as fast as he could hitting the ball with some real venom.

He shot to 4-0 before Beng Hee came back into giving one more push to save his championship got back to 7-4 before a few long rallies followed and Gaultier extended his lead to 9-4. Beng Hee won a couple more rallies to get back into in at 7-9.

A beautiful straight backhand low drive from Gaultier gave him his first match ball and that was all that was required for a straight sets win. Two French in the semis.
Gaultier looks like he means business in the second half of the year and he came here to Malaysia to prepare himself for Australia next month.

[Q] Alan Clyne (Sco) bt [Q] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)
                      11/6, 11/6, 11/4 (39m)

Both players in their 4th match of the competition looking a bit tired having both had tough five set matches as well yesterday. However Clyne is a physical animal and was never going to allow the talented Egyptian into the match. Clyne won the first due to his persistence to run down every ball he deserved the first 11.6.

In the second with Gawad looking increasingly more and more tired Clyne repeated the first game score and there didn’t look like anyway back for Gawad.

In the third Gawad was completely drained and couldn’t put up much resistance and lost 11- but he will be happy with his weeks work as he could have lost first round of qualifying.


[2] Jenny Duncalf (Eng) bst [5] Kasey Brown (Aus)
                      9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 12-10. 11-4 (76m)

It was a tight first game that was level all the way with both girls playing good squash working the ball to all corners of the court. They were neck and neck all the way until 7.7 where Brown won 3 points in a row to lead 10.7. Duncalf came back into the game winning the next few points before a controversial stroke at game ball to Brown gave her a 1.0 lead.

In the second game Brown started the better being aided by the fact that Duncalf was unable to get the ball to the back of the court. Brown got in front by playing some nice volley drops to the front of the court as Duncalf sprayed loose balls to the middle of the court. It was 9-3 in the second before Duncalf put together a good couple of rallies to get back into it at 9-5 but then a few too many shots at the front got Duncalf into trouble as Brown progressed to a 2-0 lead.

Duncalf started the third a lot better finding a much better length and now rarely playing to the front she found herself much more in the rallies. A couple of rallies into the match and Jenny was going short again a little too much.

Let’s not take anything away from Brown she was playing well hitting the ball into good areas and generally not hitting to the same corner twice in a row.

Duncalf just had her nose in front in this game though leading 6-4 and 8-5. Jenny then extended this lead to 10-5 before Brown took one point back and finally Jenny finished it off 11.6.

The fourth was a tough game and another high quality game from both girls, Brown took early leads in the middle of each game to lead 7-4 before we were level at 8-8. What followed was two long rallies that previously Brown had been winning but this time she missed and easy forehand volley drop followed by a half- volley on the backhand side that was a little bit risky at 9-8. Game ball to Duncalf on the first one Brown finished it was a good low cross court, on the second Duncalf missed an easy backhand drop off a boast. A couple more long rallies followed with Duncalf winning both of them and levelling the match at two games all.

In the fifth Brown got off to a better start leading 3-1 before Duncalf stormed back to lead 8-3 playing some beautiful shots to the front of the court that caught Brown slightly on her heels.
The last few points got away from Brown and Duncalf won the fifth 11-4 to advance to the semi finals.

Well done to both games on a highly entertaining match.

[8] Camille Serme (Fra) v [Q] Joelle King (Nzl)
                     11/6, 11/8, 11/8 (40m)

Joelle playing her 4th match of the tournament so far this week looked to be feeling the effects as she hit just a few too many tins.

Camille played well and will be extremely happy to have made the semis where she will play Jenny Duncalf tomorrow.

These girls have only met once before on the Wispa circuit in Qatar last year where Camille won 11.9 in the fifth, however this was not to be a repeat of that match as Camille was always in front and never allowed Joelle into the match.

Camille having looked slightly more comfortable on the glass court having had that little bit more experience hit better lengths than Joelle who will be very happy with her tournament and will look to repeat it next week in Singapore.

[1] Nicol David (Mas) bt [6] Laura Massaro (Eng)
                     11/7, 9/11, 11/1, 11/6 (57m)

As squash queen Nicol David took to the court the crowd breathed in anticipation as the last surviving Malaysian in the competition. Nicol started on a mission playing error free squash and moving superbly around the court started the game winning the first 7 points. At this point she made her first tin before hitting a low straight backhand to 8.1.

Laura though gradually began to work her way in and found herself back at 8.5 and then 9.7. Laura never looked flustered and continued to work hard putting pressure on Nicol. After some long rallies Nicol closed it out 11.7 if Laura hadn’t given her such a big lead it might have been different.

In the second Laura started slightly better having taken a 3-0 lead. It was point for point as both girls traded shots to 6-6 until Laura got in front at 8-6. A nice straight backhand drive got it to 7-8 but a forehand boast into the tin made it 9-7 to Laura.

Laura won the next point to make it 10.7 and looked to have it won when she made Nicol hit a back wall boast but made a mess of the back hand drop. A winner from Nicol made it 9-10. A long rally and a good cross court from Laura as Nicol failed to get it out of the forehand back corner, game to Laura 11.9.

The third was similar to the first with Nicol flying off to a start and she never looked back taking the game 11.1.

In the fourth again Nicol got in front leading 8.1 before Laura got a couple of points back but not enough to stop the Nicol train that was in full motion. Final game score was 11.6 but both girls play the game in the right way always looking to play the ball and there were hardly any lets as Nicol progresses to the semis.

[7] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) bt [3] Rachael Grinham (Aus)             11/7, 4/11, 11/9, 2/11, 11/9 (60m)

Kawy looking at lot more comfortable than yesterday playing with no pressure today played an error free first game taking it 11.7. Kawy has amazing racket skills and she used them well to take the ball to the front of the court with some deft drop shots.

In the second game Grinham was a lot more dominant moving Kawy from corner to corner and this had the desired effect as Grinham won the second game 11-4.

The third was close going point for point all the way until Kawy broke clear to take it 11.9. In the fourth it was Grinham that was totally dominant as Kawy looked to prepare herself for the fifth.
The fifth was close all the way until at 4-4 Kawy got a mini lead to 8-4. However at 6-4 Grinham had been awarded a stroke at which point Grinham also felt Kawy was hard done by and offered to play a let. From this mini lead Kawy got to 10-5 match ball and then Grinham gave everything to get back into it before eventually losing 11.9.

20-Jul: Round One:
Andrew Cross reports
on the First Round:

The first round matches on the men's side saw two Egyptians taking on two Australians with it ending one match a piece to both countries.

[2] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt
Aaron Frankcomb (Aus)         11/6, 11/5, 11/9 (39m)

Mohamed El Shorbagy who recently won the Reunion Island open tournament started well against Aaron Frankcomb opening up leads at the beginning of each game.

In the middle of the second there was a little discussion between the players that kept going and added that little bit of an edge to the match.

In the third game Shorbagy seemed very eager to finish the match as fast as he could and hit four return of serves into the tin. He was leading 7-5 where he hit some more tins and was then trailing 9-7. At this point he steadied himself again before finishing off the required points to book his place in the quarter finals.

Cameron Pilley (Aus) bt Tarek Momen (Egy)
                                   11/7, 11/9, 11/8 (65m)

On the next court there was a big match between world number 17 Cameron Pilley and world number 22 Tarek Momen.

Last year, Tarek played brilliantly here to make the final where he eventually lost to Azlan and he was looking for the same again. Pilley having struggled on his last few visits to Malaysia was looking to make amends having bowed out in the first round in his last two visits.

Pilley looking determined played well today and covered Momen's shots to the front of the court. Any shot that landed half court to 3/4 court on the backhand side Momen was going to play a straight drop at which point Pilley would just come in and counter drop. Another situation that caused plenty of lets. Pilley came prepared with a game plan and he stuck to it perfectly to see off the Egyptian 3-0.

Last year Momen played a lot of boasts but this year he hardly played any and his main attacking weapon didn't quite have the desired effect on the hot courts.

[3] Azlan Iskandar (Mas) bt Kamran Khan (Mas)
                             11/5, 12/10, 11/7 (47m)  

Next on was local hero Azlan Iskandar taking on wildcard entrant Kamran Khan, both having played in the Nationals a couple of weeks ago where Azlan won comfortably 3-0.

That day it was on the glass court and Kamran was sluggish after a tough match the day before. Kamran looking to do better here was not able to get in front of Azlan or remove Azlan from the T area in the first.

The second was close but Azlan just has that little bit more experience and played the right shots at the right time. When it was 10-10 he hit two good lengths to the back corner to win the game 12-10. The third was again close with Azlan always just a few points in front and won the game 11-7.

It was a good match and Azlan will be ready for his match tomorrow with Aamir Atlas Khan who defeated Chris Ryder 3-2 in a game that was mixed.

Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak) bt Chris Ryder (Eng)
                            11/7, 3/11, 11/7, 3/11, 11/7 (60m)

Aamir won the first 11-7 before losing the second 11-3, Aamir won the third 11-7 ending with a return of serve into the tin from Ryder.

In the fourth game Ryder began playing everything to the front of the court and got a lead and Aamir gave it to him 11-3. In the fifth Aamir got the better start and won again 11-7.

[Q] Alan Clyne (Sco) bt [4] Hisham Ashour (Egy)
                             11/7, 5/11, 7/11, 11/9, 15/13 (64m)

Hisham Ashour began his campaign against Alan Clyne in a match that saw contrasting styles.

Hisham who has unbelievable racket skills against Clyne who is not the most orthodox player in the world but is a physical animal. On these courts which are bouncy Hisham needed to find his range and work Clyne into a position where he could attack from.

Alan took the first game by hitting less tins than Hisham. In fact it was a match where I don't remember Alan hitting too many tins.

The next two games were won by Hisham as he began to use the racket to its full abilities. The next game was tight all the way but Clyne just took it 11-9 when at 10-9 game ball he hit a cross court through the middle that flew off the floor and by the time Hisham had swung the ball had already hit the backwall.

So we were into a fifth and Clyne got the better start and worked himself into a 10-4 match ball postion before Hisham made a huge comeback. From 4-10 he fought his way back to 10-10. Clyne got himself back in front from a stroke, Hisham levelled with a boast that hit the top of the tin from Clyne.

Another point to Clyne and its match ball again when a huge rally followed which ended in Hishamhitting a dead cross court nick. So we were level again and yet again Clyne got himself back in front and this time he closed it out 14/12 to book himself a match against Karim Abdel Gawad who upset Farhan Mehboob of Pakistan 3-1.

[Q] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) bt Farhan Mehboob (Pak)
                        9/11, 11/6, 18/16, 9/11, 11/9 (100m)

Farhan Mehboob playing Karim Abdel Gawad was another match where both boys look to attack to the front of the court as often as possible.

Farhan was slightly more fresher going into the match with Gawad having had two tough matches already but the Egyptian was never going to give up and fought for every point.

The pattern of the day in most matches seemed to be lots of lets especially in the front two corners as most players either didn't clear the ball properly and no body did anything to encourage players to get out of the way.

This match was in there with both having trouble getting out of the way and there were lots of lets. The Egyptian progresses for a match with another qualifier Alan Clyne for a spot in the semis up for grabs.

[1] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) bt
[Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)         11/3, 11/3, 11/2 (27m)

Last match of the night saw Gregory Gaultier playing Nafizwan Adnan with the Frenchmen dominating him from start to finish. Wan was working extremely hard but Gaultier was cutting off every ball before it hit the backwall and would then finish Wan off with some nice kills to the front of the court.

Gaultier will take on Ong Beng Hee tomorrow who beat Ryan Cuskelly 3-0. Beng Hee was always in front and Cuskelly got more and more frustrated and any point won by Cuskelly he would normally make an error on the next one.

A good day of squash but there were far too many lets especially at the front as we move to the Glass court and the wonderful venue the curve hopefully things will get better. Tomorrow's matches will be live on TV as Malaysia and Astroarena do their best to promote the game to the world.


Alex Wan Reports

Men's Draw

Women's Draw

Live Draw Updates

French Page

King leads qualifiers
in KL

New Zealand's Joelle King created the biggest upset of the first round in Kuala Lumpur on a day which saw three qualifiers progress to the quarter-finals.

King ousted fourth seed Madeline Perry in straight games  to set up a meeting with France's Camille Serme - who managed to beat Raneem for the first time ever - as all the other seeds progressed in the women's draw.

Scottish qualifier Alan Clyne claimed the biggest upset in today's first round of the CIMB Malaysian Open when he beat fourth seed Hisham Mohd Ashour to earn a surprise place in the quarter-finals.

World No49 Clyne, the lowest-ranked player to qualify, will now face fellow qualifier Karim Abdel Gawad for a place in the last four. The 19-year-old from Egypt, the youngest player in the draw, battled for 100 minutes to see off Pakistan's Farhan Mehboob.

There was better fortune for fellow Pakistani Aamir Atlas Khan, however, when the 20-year-old from Peshawar survived a see-saw game with Chris Ryder.

Leading Malaysian pair Mohd Azlan Iskandar and Ong Beng Hee delighted the home crowd by securing places in the last eight.

Women's Round One

Kasey Brown got a scrappy win against Dipika Pallikal with again a huge amount of lets especially in the front corners in the fifth game Kasey decided not to play to the front too much and it worked as she ran out an easy winner in the fifth game.

Another scrappy match was Delia Arnold against Omneya Abdel Kawy again similar situation lots of lets at the front of the court. Although Kawy won in the fifth Arnold will be unhappy at the leads that she blew. Delia leading 11.10 match ball in the third hit two return of serve into the tin and having led 9-3 in the fourth before losing 11-9. The fifth started with a clear momentum shift and it ran away from Arnold very fast.

Jenny Duncalf got her campaign off to a good start against Low Wee Wern with a 3-0 victory but the last two games were quite close. Jenny needing to be proactive against Wee Wern as she just looks to chip the ball up and down the wall. Most rallies ended with Jenny hitting a tin or a winner and today she hit more winners than tins.

Probably match of the day was between Raneem El Weleily and Camille Serme with Camille just getting through 11-9 in the fifth but it was good just to see two girls who want to play squash not much asking and honesty from both parties made the referees job a lot easier and made for pleasant viewing.

Nicol David, who is treated like a queen here and the amount of media attention that she receives here cannot be compared to any other country in the world. Tonight her match was no different as she delivered to her adoring fans who came to watch in number. As Nicol won 3-0.

Elsewhere there were wins for Laura Massaro, Joelle King and Rachel Grinham.


Men's Draw
Women's Draw

Live Draw Updates

19-Jul-2011 - Qualifying Finals :
Andrew (birthday boy) Cross reports

Despite their only being eight matches being played in KL tonight it was an extremely long night with some extremely brutal matches on the women's side.

Low Wee Wern (Mas) bt Emma Beddoes (Eng)
                 17-15, 11-8, 3-11, 9-11, 11-8 (74m)
                                              plays Jenny Duncalf

First on was Low Wee Wern taking on Emma Beddoes and as predicted it was tight all the way. The official time says 74 mins but im pretty sure it was longer than an hour and a half.

The first game was 17/15 and just to compare this was the longest first game of the four matches that were taking place at the same time. Jacklyn and Dipika had played two games, Elvinn and Karim had played one and a half games with Martin and Alan having already begun the second by the time these two girls had finished one set.

Wee Wern led in the opening game 8-5 before going too defensive as Emma was the aggressor in most of the match. Emma came back to 8-8 and then it was point for point all the way to Wee Wern finally won 17-15.

Wee Wern then doubled her lead before losing Emma started to make her comeback. Emma raced off to a 7-1 lead in the beginning and closed out the game 11-3. In the fourth Wee Wern got herself back into the match but Emma was always just a couple of points in front and squared the match at 2-2 having won the game 11-9.

With both girls becoming more and more tired and the movement getting slightly more sluggish the fifth was a battle but this time it was Wee Wern who was just in front and she got to an 8-5 lead. From this point there was no looking back and she closed out the match 11-8 to set up a match with second seed Jenny Duncalf.

Dipika Pallikal (Ind) bt Jacklyn Hawkes (Eng)
                         11-7 , 9-11, 11-3 , 11-7 (51m)
                                               plays Kasey Brown

Dipika Pallikal was only girl to upset the seedings as she beat Jaclyn Hawkes 3-1. Dipika was always in front of Jaclyn in the first game using good variation from the front of the court but in the second it was the other way around and Jaclyn was assisted by a few tins form Dipika.

In the third game Dipika was totally dominant winning it 11-3 and then went on to win the fourth 11-7. Dipika will play Kasey Brown tomorrow.

Sarah Kippax (Eng) bt Joey Chan (Hkg)                      
                   11-9, 11-6, 11-9 (25m)
                                                plays Laura Massaro

Sarah Kippax played alot better today as she beat Joey Chan 3-0 with Kippax looking comfortable from the off.

Kippax would work the ball nicely into the back corners before finishing the rallies off with drops from either the back of the court or when she was stood in front of Joey and there was nothing that Joey could do.

Her reward for the win will see Kippax taking on England team mate Laura Massaro.


Joelle King (NZL) bt Samantha Teran (MEX)
                      4-11, 11-7, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8 (89m)

                               plays Madeline Perry

Final womens match of the day saw Joelle King playing Samatha Teran with this proving to be another brutal match at a staggering 89 minutes.

In the first game Joelle had no length and Teran used the same tactic as yesterday just waiting for the ball to land on half court and punishing it with a straight drop.

The second Joelle found a bit more length and was rewarded with a 11-7 win. From this point on the match got a bit scrappy with most points having to played at least two or three times, Teran took the third 11-9 and in the fourth King took a 10-8 lead before it was level at 10-10.

At this point there must have been maybe 5 lets before King hit a fortunate nick at the back of the box off a cross court and then she won the next point on a stroke to take it to a fifth.

By the time the fifth came around Jolle had her low flat forehand drives working and this proved to be decisive as she went on to win a closely contested fifth 11-8.

Joelle set up a big match with Madeline Perry tomorrow but she will need to prepare well tonight.

And the boys...


Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) bt Elvinn Keo (Mas)
                        13/11, 8/11, 12/10, 11/9 (58m)
                                               plays Farhan Mehboob

On the mens side of the draw Karim Abdel Gawad is fortunate to be in the draw and more disappointing for the locals Elvinn Keo is out after the two played some very good squash. Elvinn fit again after his knee injury always plays well in the big competitions and today was no different. Elvinn will be kicking himself having blown big leads in the third and the fourth.

The third game Elvinn was leading 9-2 and 10-5 but Gawad played some brilliant squash to get back into it. however the last 5 points Elvinn hit 5 tins and three off return of serve. The fourth again Elvinn raced away to a 6-1 lead before losing the lead and the fourth game 11-9.

Gawad will play Farhan Mehboob tomorrow.

Alan Clyne (Sco) bt Martin Knight (Nzl)
                         11/9, 11/3, 11/8 (56m)
                                                 plays Hisham Ashour

Alan Clyne won the battle with Martin Knight 3-0. The first game was long and hard with both players matching each other point for point before Clyne just took the last two to win 11-9.

In the second Martin kind of gave it away and was well behind losing that 11-3. In the third he started to slow it down slightly and get it a little bit tighter but Clyne was relentless in his retrieving and won the game 11-8.

Tomorrow will be an interesting match against the talented Egyptian Hisham Ashour.

Mohd Nafiizwan Md Adnan (Mas) bt Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas)
                         9/11, 12/10, 11/1, 8/11, 11/9 (82m)
                                               plays Grégory Gaultier

Nafizwan vs Asyraf proved to be an extremely difficult match for all involved and it was a very busy night for the three referees.

It is always tough when these two play each other their styles always clash and there is always alot of interference in the middle of the court. The referee was on court numerous times and both players needed 3 minute injury breaks.

Asyraf won the first 11-9 but it was scrappy and the second was the same with Wan getting more and more frustrated with the referees at the amount of winning shots he needed to close out the game.

In the third Asyraf just gave it away losing 11-1 before staging a come back in the fourth and taking it to a deciding fifth. Asyraf was now the one that had the bit between his teeth and led 5-2 and 9-6 but his impatience cost him as the leads were cancelled out very fast. From 9-6 the lead vanished within a couple of minutes and before he could stop it he had lost 11-9.

Wan will take on top seed Gregory Gaultier tomorrow.

Ryan Cuskelly (Aus) bt Choong Kam Hing
                           11/8, 11/5, 11/6 (34m)
                                                plays Ong Beng Hee

The final match of the day saw Ryan Cuskelly take on Choong Kam Hing with Cuskelly winning comfortably 3-0.

Cuskelly will take on Ong Beng Hee tomorrow and although having been in the qualifying Cuskelly will be fresh having had a bye yesterday and a good match today.

The qualifiers will be heading back for food and relaxation now as they prepare for players tomorrow that will be fresh, will we see any upsets in the first round?

18-Jul: Qualifying under way in KL
Andrew Cross reports

Qualifying got under way in KL with a mixture of matches in both the mens and the womens.

The mens draw started off with two difficult matches, on court 5 was Karim Abdel Gawad taking on Matthew Karwalski with the Australian keeping Gawad on court for 80mins. Karwalski won the first on the tie break and was looking to take a 2-0 lead when the game was 9-9 in the second but a return of serve into the tin and a stroke at game ball handed the Egyptian the second game and it was level at 1-1.

Gawad raced away to a 6-0 lead in the third and closed out the game comfortably 11-4.

In the fourth Karwalski was back into the game and managed to take it to a deciding fifth game. Again though at the beginning of the fifth Gawad got away 4-0 before Karwalski came back into it at 4-3. For the rest of the game however the Egyptian always had his nose in front and closed out the fifth 11-6.

On the next court was Elvinn Keo playing long term friend Valentino Bong and they have played each other so many times in the last year. Elvinn managed to win the first two games closely both 11-9. Valentino who is now a coach in his state though had other ideas and decided to give it one more push and he won the third game 11-6. Elvinn though having that little bit more match sharpness won the fourth 11-7 and will play Gawad tomorrow for a place in the main draw.

Next on was an eagerly anticipated match against Alan Clyne and local boy Ivan Yuen, however the match did not go to plan for Yuen in a match which Clyne dominated from start to finish. Clyne was brilliant with his never say die attitude and he ran down every ball. Ivan tried to force the issue getting more and more frustrated at the amount of tins he was hitting. Clyne was a comfortable victor 11/3 11/5 11/5.

Clyne will take on Martin Knight from New Zealand who defeated Addeen Idrakie the Malaysian under 19 number one in 3 games. Martin who is 10 years older than Addeen had the experience at the right time. Addeen was winning the first game 9-7 before two shots at the wrong time handed Knight two points back to 9-9 and Knight never looked back from there. In the second the pressure applied to Addeen in the first took its toll and Knight comfortably won the second 11-4. In the third game it was close again with the Malaysian having got his second wind but Knight closed it out 13-11 to reserve some energy for tomorrows match with Clyne.

Tomorrow there will be an all Malaysian clash between Nafizwan Adnan and Muhd Asyraf Azan with both boys having played some long hard matches over the last few years. Today Asyraf was taken the full distance by Harinder Pal Sandhu from India and Nafizwan beat Yasir Butt of Pakistan in four games.

Asyraf made alot of tins in the game and Harinder took advantage to lead 1-0. In the second and third Asyraf was onto the ball alot faster moving Harinder around the court and took a 2-1 lead. The fourth game was back to alot of tins from Asyraf and Harinder levelled at 2-2. In the fifth however Asyraf was totally dominant taking it 11-2.

Nafizwan who has made significant improvement over the last 12 months did well to win this 3-1. He took a 2-0 lead before losing the third 11-9. In the fourth it was close until the middle of the game when Nafizwan broke clear with a string of points and he closed out the fourth 11-7.

The final mens match of the night saw Chong Kam Hing beat fellow Malaysian Affeeq Abedeen 3-0 in 23 minutes.

Some interesting matches tomorrow as the men battle it out for a place in the main draw.

On the womens side Low Wee Wern of Malaysia and Emma Beddoes of England set up a clash tomorrow with 3-0 wins over their opponents. Emma beat National Junior Rachel Arnold 3-0 but was made to work in each game. All three games were close up to the mid point of each game where from 5-5 or 6-6 Emma broke clear to win the games. Wee Wern will be happy to have won 3-0 as she looks to make the main draw with the support of the local crowd. Today she over came Latasha Khan of the USA in three games. The first was quite close but in the second Wee Wern Stretched out to a 6-0 lead and eventually finished it off 11-4. In the thrid Latasha came back into it but Wee Wern had enough to see her off 11-7. An interesting match awaits tomorrow.

Jacklyn Hawkes was made to work for 78 minutes to beat Aisling Blake and I'm sure Aisling will be unhappy to have lost the third when she had two game balls at 10-8 but today Aisling played very well indeed. In contrasting styles to this Dipika Pallikal who will take on Hawkes tomorrow had a comfortable win over Siti Munirah of Malaysia. Dipika is a player who loves to attack and it is always hard to find a rhythm against these players. Hawkes might be in for a tough time tomorrow if she cannot get into strides early. It will be interesting to see the effects on her after today's long match.

Joey Chan the talented left handed player from Hong Kong who I really enjoy to watch however I didnt get chance to see her play today beat Lisa Camilleri of Australia 3-2 and tomorrow she will play Sarah Kippax who didnt look that comfortable today on court. Sarah was given quite a tough time by Zulhijjah Azan who put up a really good fight for four games but could not sustain the pace when she really needed to.

Samantha Teran played well today against Line Hansen and although I missed the first game what I saw from Teran was a good game. In the second and the third anything loose she would punish with a straight drop or a straight volley drop and Hansen had no answer to it. At the end of the third Hansen just found her length in the last few points and looked right she had worked her way in for the fourth but it didn't quite happen and Teran slammed the door in her face as Hansen got more and more frustrated.

Joelle King the recently crowned National Champion for New Zealand had a comfortable game against Pushppa Devi and will take on Teran tomorrow.

For those that have won today they will fight it out for a place in the main draw and for those that have lost they will be busy preparing for the Singapore open next week.


2010 and earlier

Live on TV

AstroArena will again be broadcasting the matches live to Malaysian TV something that we are extremely grateful for as squash looks to become part of the 2020 Olympics.

AstroArena have been great supporters of Malaysian squash providing us with extensive coverage of both Junior and senior tournaments in the last few months.

2010 event

Malaysian Open kicks off new season
Andrew Cross reports

The new season for both the men and the women kicks off in Kuala Lumpur next week with some of the best players in the world on show.

Qualifying matches and the first round will be played on the traditional courts at the national centre in Bukit Jalil and from the quarter finals onward we will be at one of the best shopping malls Malaysia has to offer.


With the recent introduction of a super series Malaysia is proud to hosts of the first ever tournament.

As ever Nicol David, the Queen of squash in Malaysia will be looking for her 7th Malaysian Open title but knows that she will face stiff competition from a field that includes the best women players in the world. From the top 21 players in the world only five will be missing, Alison Waters, Vanessa Atkinson and Natalie Grinham. The other two players missing will be Nour El Tayeb and Amanda Sobhy as they prepare for an assault on the World Juniors in Boston, America.

Nicol will open her campaign against Donna Urquart who finished the first half of the season well with a strong run in the Cayman Isalnds Open where Nicol ended her run.

Awaiting the winner of this match could be Laura Massaro should Massaro get past a qualifier in the opening round.

In the same half there could be a very interesting match between Rachel Grinham and Annie Au. Both players love to lob and take the ball to the front of the court with wonderful drop shots. It will depend on who masters the conditions of the courts first.

Completing the top half of the draw will see Omneya Abdel Kawy who has an unbelievable racket taking on wildcard entrant Delia Arnold who was runner up in the Malaysian Nationals last week. Delia will be looking to build on her good form that saw her beat Low Wee Wern 3-0 last week.

In the bottom half of the draw it will see Camille Serme from France taking on long time rival Raneem El Weleily of Egypt. These two contested the World Junior final in Hong Kong in 2007 and both have made a successful transition from Junior to Senior.

Madeline Perr
y and Kasey Brown will both start the competition with matches against qualifiers and completing the bottom half of the draw will be Jenny Duncalf the World Number two who was unlucky not to win here last year having gone the full distance with Nicol. Duncalf who suffered an injury in the first half of the year will be looking for a good second half of the year and she also starts against a qualifier.

For those that think qualifying will be easy they should have other ideas. This year qualifying has a good blend of experience and youth. Joelle King the recently crowned New Zealand national champion will be looking to make the first round as will the runner up in those nationals Jacklyn Hawkes. Malaysia's Low Wee Wern will look to make full use of her experience on the courts and a vocal home crowd to progress to the first round.

The other locals in the qualifying draw may find the going tough but it will be a good experience for them especially Rachel Arnold who is the youngest in the field but that im sure she wont let that bother her as she looks to build her own path in the game.


World Number 6 Gregory Gaultier is top seed for the men’s event making his debut in Malaysia. Gregory has been here for the last two weeks doing some training with the national team in preparation for this year’s event. He will start the championship against a qualifier and could take on local boy Ong Beng Hee in the quarter finals. Beng Hee who played well last week in the nationals will also begin against a qualifier.

Completing the top half of the draw will be last year’s semi finalist Farhan Mehboob and all round entertainer Hisham Ashour. Both players will start against qualifiers and should they make it through it could make for an interesting quarter final.

The bottom half of the draw is full with all the qualifying spots being in the top half of the draw. Last years champion Azlan Iskandar will be looking to retain his title but knows that it will be tough. Azlan who has been in good form this year reaching a career high of World number 10 and last week having retained his national title. Azlan will begin against wildcard entrant Kamran Khan who he defeated last week in the nationals semi final 3-0.

The winner of this match will take on Chris Ryder of England or Aamir Atlas Khan of Pakistan.

Last year’s runner up Tarek Momen will start against Cameron Pilley. Pilley who has struggled the last few times he has been here will be looking to do better. Last year and in the KL Open this year he bowed out in the first round. This will be an interesting match between the world number 17 and the world number 22.

Second Seed Mohammed El Shorbagy who loves Malaysia will be opening his campaign against another regular to Malaysia Aaron Frankcomb. This will be a repeat of the opening match of the KL Open where Shorbagy won 3-0.

Qualifying will be tough with seven locals looking to make some progress through some matches. Newly crowned Asian Senior Champion Nafizwan Adnan will look to progress to the main draw as will Ivan Yuen and Asyraf Azan. The others could find the going hard but they have chances. There is a nice mix of countries in qualifying and a vast contrast in styles.

Live Draw Updates

2010 and earlier

Live on TV

AstroArena will again be broadcasting the matches live to Malaysian TV something that we are extremely grateful for as squash looks to become part of the 2020 Olympics.

AstroArena have been great supporters of Malaysian squash providing us with extensive coverage of both Junior and senior tournaments in the last few months.

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