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Malaysian Open 2012
10-15 Sep, Kuala Lumpur, $70k+$50k

This is the REPORTS page

MAIN Page with latest reports, Draws & Results


14-Sep, Day Five:
Semi-finals in KL
David joined in finals by Egyptian trio
Hopes were high of an all-Malaysian climax to the women’s CIMB Malaysian Open at the Curve shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, but Raneem El Weleily put an end to those hopes as fellow Egyptians Mohamed El Shorbagy and Tarek Momen advanced to the men’s final. It wasn’t all bad news for the home crowd though as Malaysia’s own Nicol David won through to an eighth Malaysian Open final and a shot at breaking the all-time record for women’s tour record won …

Shorbagy 3-2 Mueller

After a tight opening Shorbagy moves from 7-all to 10/7 in the first, Mueller levels, then takes the lead 13/11.

Annoyed at losing the first on a stroke, Shorbagy races to a 5-0 lead in the second, extending it to 8-2. Mueller pulled a few points back but Shorbagy held on to the lead this time to level 11/7.

The third was tight all the way with the Swiss taking the last three points for 12/10 and a 2/1 lead.

A 3/0 start in the fourth for Shorbagy but Mueller closed it down again. The Egyptian pulled clear to 10/6, taking it 11/8 on a Swiss tin.

Another quick start for Shorbagy in the decider, 5/1, staying ahead at 8/4, 9/7, and 11/8 for a place in the final.

"I am just really glad I got through .. it wasn't easy at all .. I'm putting too much pressure on myself these days to win and which I shouldn't! I can't believe that was our 1st meeting on PSA ./. We played only once which was at the semi final of the WJ which I won in 5 also..

"I was 10/7 up in the 1st and 8/6 up in the 3rd and lost both.. It's just frustrating how I lose my concentration ... If I did get any of these 2 games I don't think we would have went to a 5th game but the way he came back was just very strong!

"It was a great match .. I think we both played well and I think we both realise after this match that we will create a great rivalry together hopefully like the Nick and Ramy's one in the future."

El Weleily 3-2 Low

Short sharp rallies to start with El Weleily maintaining a cushion, but three errors bring Low level at 7-all. At 9-8 a long rally finished off with a volley drop by Raneem, and a clinging drive for 11/8.

Some tough rallies in the second, neck and neck to 7-all, 8-all, 9-all, a back wall nick for Low for 10-9 and a deep volley to level the match 11/9.

Some lovely touch shots from Raneem as she goes 5/2 up in the third, maintaining the pressure for 8/4 before errors bring Wee Wern back into it at 8/6 then 9/8. Long rallies, then a stroke to finish with Low trapped on the side wall as Raneem regains the lead 11/9.

Winners and tins from Raneem to start the fourth for 4/3. Wee Wern hung in well though, levelling at 5-all then 7-all and going ahead 9/7 to threaten a decider. Raneem upped her pace to level at 9-all, but a popular (with the crowd) no let and a tin for 11/9 and a decider it would be.

An early lead in the fifth seemed to settle any Egyptian nerves, 4/1, 5/2, but Low levelled at 5-all. Raneem goes ahead again 9/4 then 10/7. Wee Wern pulls two back before agonisingly clipping the tin for 11/9 to Raneem.

"Gutted not being able to play on the glass court again tmr but it was a good effort and great week!"
Low Wee Wern

Golan 3-1 Momen

An even opening as they feel each other out, Golan leads 5/3, then 8/5 with the pace increasing. Momen levels 8-all, but Golan leads again 10/8, 11/10, 12/11. Tarek goes 13/12, but three in a row for Borja and it's 15/13.

Nothing between them in the second, 5-all, but Momen moves ahead 9/5 helped by a couple of errors from Golan and take it 11/7 to level.
Again even as the third starts, 3-all, but with Borja getting a little frustrated with some decisions Tarek goes 8/4 up, taking the lead 11/6.

Borja comes out more composed in the fourth but Tarek pulls away again to lead 9/6, closing out the match 11/6 to set up an all-Egyptian men's final.

"What really helped me today - and made a big difference - was that I was really calm. And this helped me keep my focus. I kept my error count to a minimum and that really helped.

"It's good for Egypt that we have two players in the final. And I wish Mohamed the best of luck!"

Tarek Momen

David 3-1 Massaro

A close game throughout this opening, with long rallies and a lot of nice deceptions from both ladies. At 10/7, Nicol seems to have the game won, but Laura digs in, and Nicol becomes a bit tentative, making a few uncharacteristic errors. The Malaysian will lose 5points in a row... Laura, 1/0, 12/10...

In the second, a bit of the reverse really, as in Laura dominating 5/3, and Nicol scoring 5 points in a row to reach 8/5, then taking the game with much more poise and authority, 11/6. Game is on... 1/1..

The third was so close, with the two ladies having to scratch the wall off to get those stunning drives.. 4/4, 5/5, 6/6, but suddenly, Laura seems a bit off her rhythm, Nicols builds on it... Nicol 11/7, leading 2/1...

The fourth is as close and gruelling as the rest of the match, with Laura never giving in and keeping all her chances open up to 8/8. Decisive lets at that point, but it's Nicol that flies away to her 8th Malaysian Open final, 11/8....

Disappointing to lose but I played ok! Home tomorrow :)
Laura Massmart

In the Crossfire
Andrew Cross reports

A fantastic day’s squash at the Curve saw some amazing matches taking place in the warm heat in Kuala Lumpur. The opening match between Mohammed El Shorbagy and Nicolas Mueller was a match that went the full distance.

Mueller began well taking the opening game on extra points, Shorbagy constantly playing to the backhand side which for me was the wrong way to go and Mueller was reading him beautifully. In the second Shorbagy raced off to 5.0 but Mueller was fighting back to try and get himself into the match for the crucial third. Mueller again was now playing better and Shorbagy was under pressure and it looked visible as he was getting more and more frustrated. Mueller again won on the tie break.

A bad start at the beginning of the fourth let Shorbagy in and it was on the cards to have a fifth. In the middle of the games Cameron Pilley was talking to Mueller to which they seemed to be looking at the watch and I'm sure they were discussing if they could still make the last tee off time for today but that time was almost gone already.
Back to the squash and onto a fifth again Shorbagy gets the better start but Mueller was trying to fight back but he had given too big a start at the beginning of the game. I'm sure he will be very happy with his week here in Malaysia though.

Borja Golan and Tarek Momen put on a very good game of squash but Tarek just used a little bit too much variation at the front of the court to catch Golan out. The opening game was tight but Golan just got it on extra points. Tarek was now in the ascendancy and gradually grew more and more confident as he was reading Golans game more and more. Tarek was now getting onto the straight drop as quickly as possible and he won this match by being slightly more creative.

Low Wee Wern put on a superb performance against current World number 2 Raneem El Weleily that delighted the home crowd. Wee Wern held on for as long as possible as but Raneem just held on for the win. It was 64 minutes of great squash as both players showed how far the women’s game has progressed in the last few years.

Many rallies saw Raneem controlling the T but Wee Wern came out with some shots of her own to catch the Egyptian off guard. A thoroughly enjoyable match to watch and both should be happy with their performances.

Dato Nicol David was the last match of the evening as she took to the court against an expectant home crowd against Laura Massaro. I think Laura is one of the most improved women on the tour and today’s match was another fine example of how far she has come. The crowd seemed shocked as she won the opening game and in the middle of the second we were discussing if she could lead by two games.

Nicol however just held on to win the next three games but Laura contributed to an excellent match that was very free flowing. Laura used her deception to great effect often drawing Nicol in before pushing her deep and then using the same deception to play a drop which caught Nicol off guard.

Finals tomorrow should be great as Nicol goes for the record.

Women's Draw

Men's Draw

Photo Gallery
from M Roslan

Semis and Finals LIVE

13-Sep, Day Four:
Quarter-finals in KL

It was a good day for Malaysia in the WSA $70k World Series CIMB Malaysian Open as top seed Nicol David continued her quest for an eighth title and Low Wee Wern produced another stunning upset on the first day's play at The Curve Shopping Mall in Kuala Lumpur.

No joy for the hosts in the PSA $50k Men's draw though as the last home hope Nafiizwan Adnan went out, as did top seeded Egyptian Karim Darwish who retired injured when two games down to Spain's Borja Golan, leaving Mohamed El Shorbagy, who survived a fierce five-game encounter with Olli Tuominen, the only men's seed to make the semi-finals.

Andrew Cross reports

Shorbagy survives opener

The CIMB quarter final matches got underway at the Curve today with an opening match that was very good between Olli Tuominen and the second seed Mohammed El Shorbagy.

In the opening game the players are not giving an inch as they try to feel their way into the glass court. In the opening exchanges Olli was onto the ball very fast and when Shorbagy hit a boast he got onto it and hit a straight drive which caught Shorbagy off guard as he was looking for the cross court. The game was tied at 6-6 before Shorbagy got to 8-6 and then he maintained the advantage to win the game on a stroke after a loose ball down the middle from Olli.

In the second Olli moved his T position up the court and got his reward as he got to 4-2, and then he got to 5-3 maintaining his advantage. Shorbagy is not the world number 8 for nothing though and he came back to lead 7-5 and then 8-6 as both shared a tin each. At 8-6 a great boast from Shorbagy gave him 9-6 but a cross court nick return of serve moved Olli to 7-9. A stroke got Olli even closer at 8.9 but a stroke to Shorbagy got him to 10.8 game ball, a long rally followed and Shorbagy hit the tin on a drop, Olli close now at 9.10 but a good low backhand from Shorbagy got him a two game advantage.

In the third again Olli moved up the court taking as much as he could at the top of the bounce and volleying in front of the half court line and he shot off to 7.1. This is good play from Olli now and he continues to hit winner after winner and now Shorbagy is resigned to losing this game and Olli wraps it up 11.1.

In the fourth again Olli gets a good start to 4.1 continuing with the same tactics as before and now Shorbagy is beginning to look a little rattled. Shorbagy though lifted the pace and started striking the ball with more power and he got back to 4.4 but an unnecessary backhand boast gave Olli the lead back at 5.4. Olli dug in and got back to a 9.5 lead back to his volleying in front of the line and he went on to win the game 11.5.

At the beginning of the fifth the rallies have now got longer both not wanting to give away any cheap points. It was level at 2.2 but Shorbagy got the next four points as he carved out some openings and placed some very nice volley drops. It was the Egyptian now with the upper hand as he had a bounce in his step and leading 8.2. Olli wasn’t done though and got a second wind to get himself back to 7.9.

The momentum is now with Olli as he cuts out the flicks at the front and starts attacking straight short. Shorbagy hits a good forehand to 10.7 and he closed it out 11.8 to enter the semis.

Glad I got through .. Wasn't easy at all but happy I was strong in the 5th game...1st time playing on a glass court in 4 months so wasn't easy.

Mohamed El Shorbagy

Raneem makes it two for Egypt

Alison Waters and Raneem El Weleily
took to the court next and the opening exchanges were a bit mixed with both girls creating chances but not being really able to finish them off as both found the tin on regular occasions.

It was now 4.6 when a cross court lob from Alison caught the back wall nick and then Raneem hit the tin to move Alison to 6.6. Raneem played some great backhand volleys the first cross, the second straight followed by a tin from Alison as it was now 9.6 to Raneem. Alison came back though a good drop and then a couple of tins from Raneem levelled the score at 9.9. Alison now controlling the T hit a low backhand off a boast to move to game ball but Raneem won the next point with a good drop of her own, and then a stroke followed before Raneem played another fantastic backhand drop to win a tight opening game.

Alison began the second more positively getting to 7.2 with Raneems shots not quite as fluid as they were in the opening game and it was more comfortable for Alison as Raneem served out at game ball down to lose the game 11.5.

In the third Raneem was back in control moving Alison to all four corners holding the ball and controlling the pace of the play. Raneem was off to 8.2 but Alison stemmed the flow of points going against her to get back to within two points. However Raneem seemed determined to win this game and she got back in control to win the remaining three points she needed for a two one lead.

Raneem was now in the ascendancy striking the ball crisply around the court hitting some low short cross courts that stayed up the court. Accompany that with some volley straight drops, a couple of errors from Alison, a Raneem serve that landed straight in the nick and then a stroke and all of a sudden it was 10.2 to Raneem match ball. Raneem got the winning point that she required to make it two Egyptians in the semis.

Mueller ends Abdullah run

After yesterdays inspiring performances from Nicolas Mueller and Abdullah Al Mezayen both boys this promised to be one interesting match. Abdullah looked one of the most relaxed people I have seen before a quarter final just sitting their enjoying the match before his.

Disaster struck for the organisers though as just as they had finished the warm up the power went off.

Both men got straight into it showing us their full array of shots in the opening game, lots of short, sharp rallies as they try to work an opening to show the crowd something special. Mueller got to 10.8 in the opening game but a couple of tins saw Abdullah draw level and get to game ball and that was all he needed as he won the opening game.

There is such creativity on court from both players with Abdullah having mastered a boast that pulls you so far up the court it is unbelievable how he can change a defensive position to an attacking one.

Mueller began the second trying to avoid playing to the front with Abdullah anything short from Abdullah he would send it to the back of the court and anything that Abdullah left short he would be first to play to the front. Mueller is now dominating this phase of the game but with Abdullah’s ability to hit some winning shots form impossible positions he always has a chance. A big rally at 6-4 where Mueller was on the ropes, scrambling to pick up points seemed to be the changing point as he won the next four points. One of Abdullah’s amazing boasts got him one point back but in the next rally he hit the tin and it was game to Mueller for one all.

Abdullah begins the third by hitting lots of tins and that amazing boast that I have been talking about is now not coming off anymore as he hits three tins. Mueller gets to 7-0 before Abdullah registers a point with a cross court nick return of serve. Mueller converts this to a 9.4 lead but Abdullah is still doing a lot with the ball holding and flicking still putting work into Mueller’s legs. Mueller was using the right tactics though and won the crucial third 11.4.

Mueller was now playing with fluidity and an enthusiasm in his squash as Abdullah’s challenge seemed to be fading. Mueller wrapped up the last game 11-0 and this means he will have to put off his golf for another day as he has a semi final match with Mohammed El Shorbagy.

won my quarters 3-1 at malaysian open!!! playing the semis tomorrow against shorbagy (Egy) world nr 8.. looking forward to a great match!
Nicolas Mueller

lost today against n.mueller 3/1 and happy with my perfomance in this tournament :)
Abdullah Al Mezayen

Wee Wern dumps Duncalf

Jenny Duncalf and Low Wee Wern
were next onto the court for their quarter final. The squash is a lot different to the frantic pace of the men just now both girls looking to work the ball down the walls and create chances.

Jenny knowing that she will have to be the more proactive of the players is creating chances but just not finding her range at the minute as she is creating the chances and hitting the tins. Wern is edging the first 8-5 by just keeping it simple and avoiding hitting the tin. Wern reaches game ball at 10-6 as Jenny crunches in a backhand nick to pull one point back but Wern wrong foots her on the next one to win the opening game 11.7.

Wern began the second with a few rather fortunate bounces that saw her get to 4.0 before progressing to 6.1. The rallies were going along the same pattern not much really happening with Wern holding onto her lead as Jenny is now the one that needs to make something happen. Wern moves to 9.5 and a good cross court gets her within a point of the game. Wern serves from the left box and Jenny puts it straight in the tin off the return looking to get off court and regroup ready for the third.

The third didn’t begin as Jenny wouldn’t have liked as Wern gets off to a great start at 5.1, Jenny though seemed to just throw caution to the wind for the next points and get back into it a bit. From 5.1 down she is now only two points behind at 4.6 but one more tin off a backhand boast didn’t help and a very fortunate one from Wern moved her to 8.4. Wern now looking to move into the semis for the first time got to 10.6 match ball, she went for it, hit the tin, the second Jenny hit a great tight drive. Wern was not to be denied though as Jenny hit a boast into the tin.

Managed to win 3 close games against Jenny Duncalf today. Really happy to be in the Semifinals tomorrow here in front of the home crowd!
Low Wee Wern

Momen ends men's home hopes

Wan took to the court looking to continue the Malaysian success and stop the Egyptians claiming their third semi finalist but Momen the higher ranked of the two got off to a slightly better lead usually holding a slender two point advantage. However he was snatching at a few balls and this kept Wan in the game but Wan closed it out with a backhand drop that rolled out of the nick.

Tarek again began the second well changing the angles at the front of the court aided by some errors from Wan and things weren’t quite falling into place for the Malaysian as his experience on this stage was going by all too fast.

Wan needed something now and could he come back from two games behind for the second day in a row?

He began better and kept in touch with Momen but Momen again began changing the angles and got himself a two point advantage and then a three point advantage but Wan fought back to 8.8 however Momen played a good volley high drop into the front for a winner. In the next rally Wan played a soft straight drop into the front too tight for Momen. Momen hit the tin to give Wan a game ball but Momen got a fortunate nick at the back. Another error from Momen gave Wan a second chance a straight drive from Momen after an exchange in the backhand front corner levelled at 11.11. Wan hit a crunching nick after Momen gave him too much angle at the back to get to his third game ball and all of a sudden the crowd comes alive. A long rally followed with Wan getting a drop tight enough to force a fourth game. The crowd is now gathering as they hope a second Malaysian can get through.

Momen starts the fourth with more purpose to his play playing three great drop shots catching Wan hanging back a little bit. Momen has played seven drops now and won five rallies the other two hitting the tin for a 5.2 lead. Momen is now playing well and moves to 8.3 again by attacking the front at every possible chance. Wan is still on there though trying to make it as hard as possible but Momen wins the game 11.4 and progresses to the semis.

Massaro keeps English hopes alive

After a short break to wait for the time of the next match to occur, Laura Massaro of England and Nour El Sherbini of Egypt entered the court to begin their Quarter Final.

Laura began the first better using her delay to good effect trying to draw the young Egyptian out of position so that she good hit the ball into the open space. The youngster was not going to go down though without a fight and she stormed back to take the game on extra points.

In the second Laura got back to holding the ball to good effect and kept the Egyptian behind her as much as possible and you can see Sherbini's position around the T area getting further and further back and she was now standing behind the back of the service box. Laura was playing disciplined squash keeping it straight and tight and when she hit cross she made sure that the width was good enough to avoid the dangerous racket of Sherbini.

Laura is now striking the ball well especially on the backhand side hitting some low drives for winners that got her to a 3.0 start. Laura converted this to 7.3 as errors started to come off Sherbini's racket.

It's good solid squash form Laura but as she leaves one at three quarter length and gets punished with a cross court nick she knows she cant lose focus. The next rally sees another nick from Sherbini and now its 5.7. Laura reasserted herself back to 9.6, another hold and cross got her to 10.6 and she closed it out 11.7.

Sherbini took an injury time out before the beginning of the fourth for a cut knee but Laura was not to be distracted as she continued the good form that had seen her gain this 2.1 games lead and now she was winning 5.2.

A couple more great shots and fist pumps and she is progressing towards the semis at 8.2. Laura wins the match on a stroke, 11.3 in the fourth game.

I won against Nour El Sherbini 3-1 and am now in the semi final of the Malaysian Open. Really pleased with the result!  :)
Laura Massaro

Happy with the way I played hope next time I will do better
Nour El Sherbini

Nicol on course for an 8th,
Darwish limps out

Dato Nicol David and Annie Au was the last match on the glass court for Quarter final night with an expectant crowd having grown to see their idol in action.

The crowd was shocked though as Annie won the opening game playing some good squash as Annie was not under pressure here winning the first 11.6.

The second was more what the crowd came to expect from Nicol she got off to a much better start now using the short angles at the front of the court to her advantage catching Annie off guard a few times.

In the third Annie got off to a better start moving up the court looking to volley as much as she could and she led 5-3 before a run of five points in a row took Nicol to 8-5 and then to 9-6. Annie was not going to let her go and played some beautiful forehand cross court volley drops to the front. Annie has such a dangerous racket that if you don’t get the ball past her and with the feel and ability that she possesses you could be in trouble.

With these skills Annie got back to 8.9, Nicol won the next point to get to 10.8 but another wonderful backhand volley drop got Annie to 9.10 and a good backhand length got her level. This time she missed the backhand volley that had been so successful. Game ball to Nicol and a long rally followed before Annie hit a cross court for a winner to tie the scores. Annie got a stroke to reach her first game point but Nicol was awarded a stroke to level it up at 12.12.

A good forehand drop from Annie got her a second game point, Annie got the chance she wanted but she missed it with Nicol scrambling to get it if she hadn’t hit the tin. A slip in the back corner from Annie where Nicol played the ball and hit a winner. This game ball Nicol did enough to convert it as Annie hit another tin.

In the fourth Nicol was in an unforgiving mood as she turned up the pace a shot off to a 6.2 lead and then converted this to 8.2 as she was now so fast onto the ball taking everything at the top of the bounce.

Nicol reached match ball at 10.4 and won the game 11.5 to the delight of the home crowd where she easily achieved the biggest cheer of the night.

Top seed Darwish limps out

In the earlier match Boja Golan was winning two games to love when Karim Darwish retired with an apparent leg injury.

"I knew I had to play at my very best to win tonight. My game plan was to attack him all the time especially at the front and be very aggressive. It was working well at the start so I kept playing like that.

"In the second it was similar but he reached back more balls than in the first. At the end of the second he told me that his ankle was not good and he had to retire. I hope it is a small injury and he can play in the next tournament."
Borja Golan


Semis and Finals LIVE

Women's Draw

Men's Draw

Photo Gallery
from M Roslan

Mobbing to
the Cause in KL

Semis and Finals LIVE

12-Sep, Day Three:
Last 16 in KL

With quarter-final places on the all-glass court at the Curve shopping mall the prize, the last day's play at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil saw some fierce battles.

Notable upsets were from Abdullah Al Mezayen and Nafiizwan Adnan in the men's draw as they took out the third and fourth seeds, and a first win for Low Wee Wern over fifth seed Madeline Perry to boost home representation in the women's draw.

Andrew Cross reports

Wee Wern powers past Perry

In the Women’s draw Raneem El Weleily started the better against Omneya abdel Kawy in what was a shoot out between the two Egyptians. Omneya has held a highest World Ranking of number 4 back in October 2010 and Raneem currently stands as the World number 2.

Omneya started better getting to 6.0 before Raneem got on the board. Omneya then got to 10.3 before Raneem got three points back but it was not enough. Omneya again started the second well leading 4.2 before Raneem got back to 6.6, Raneem got to 10.9 and she really needed that game if she was going to keep her championship hopes alive.

The third was very close where Raneem got to 7.5 and then 8.6 and onto 10.7 and she closed it out 11.7. Raneem was now in control and she was off to 9.1 in the fourth and then 11.2.

Raneem will play Alison Waters after she defeated Natalie Grinham. Alison is a former world number 3 and Natalie is a former World number 2. This was a good match between two girls that moved each other around the court very well.

Alison raced off to 8.1 in the first game. Alison was moving well and when out of position she played some perfect lobs to relieve the pressure. Natalie got back to 6.10 but Alison continued her dominance in the first game.

Alison was off to 3.0 in second game and then 5.1 using good variation at the front but. Natalie fought back in the second to lead 7.6 and then onto 9.6. Alison now struggling for length and width. A low forehand return for Alison got her to 7.10 and then a good forehand drop got her back within two points.

A well held forehand cross had her within a point of drawing level but Natalie played a good forehand drop of her own to level it a one game all. The third was close all the way Alison to 8.6 before Natalie got back to 8.8 and now the match is in the balance as the winner of this game could be in the driving seat. Alison got to 10.8, Natalie got one back and Alison had a chance to win off a boast but missed the drop to level the scores.

A tight drop got Alison to 11.10 and a good backhand volley drop gave her the game 12.10. Alison was off again to 7.2 in the fourth and then led 9.3 before closing out the match 11.5.

Low Wee Wern made in into the quarter finals and recorded her first win over Madeline Perry in four close games.

Wee Wern got off to a good start (as so many seem to have done) winning the opening game 11.3. Madeline though was never going to let her have it easy and won the second 11.9, the third was more comfortable were Wee Wern winning 11.4 and now we were into the fourth its close all the way and every point Wee Wern won was being cheered by the local crowd.

Wern got to match point but wasted a couple of chances and eventually she got the winning point to the delight of the crowd.

Nour El Sherbini won the battle of the two juniors with Emily Whitlock but it was very tight. Sherbini took the opening game 11.7 but Emily moved up the court and controlled the second to win it 11.5. The third and fourth were again very close but Sherbini just maintained a slight advantage to get into the quarters.

Laura Massaro and Dipika Pallikal were up next and it should be a good game with the last one having gone all the way in Australia a few weeks ago. Laura started the better leading 9.4 with Dipika clipping the tin a lot.

In the second its close with Laura just edging ahead, Dipika had game balls at 12.11 but two great drops from Laura got her to 13.12, a long rally followed both girls playing with fine margins, scrambling to pick up balls put Laura got the chance held it and played a low cross court for a two game advantage.

Dipika begins the third better going for a lot more shots and they are coming off as she gets to 9.3. Laura has a better start in the fourth as she got a well constructed six love lead.

She then converted this lead to 8.3 and then onto 10.5 match ball and she finished it off with a beautifully weighted backhand straight drive that died in the back corner.

Dato Nicol David was pushed by Donna Urquhart in a very good match, Nicol won the opening game but Donna levelled at one game all. Nicol went out to 8.0 in the third but Donna moved up the court and started volleying everything as she took the ball very early.

However Nicol held on to win the third 11.8 and then the fourth was very close but again Nicol just held on to win 11.7.

Nicol will face Annie Au in a repeat of the final from earlier this year after the Hong Kong left-hander overcame Kasey Brown in three games.

KL Day Three Tweets

Really happy with my win against Madeline Perry! Also so excited to play on the glass court at The Curve tomorrow!
Low Wee Wern

Won my match today..happy to get through..Now off to the glass court with @RaneemElWelily for a light hit with her :)
Mohamed El Shorbagy

(PS - have you two never heard of direct messaging?)

Won my first match against beng hee (mas) 3/0! very happy with my performance! playing Abdullah Al Muzayen (kuw) for a place in semis tomorrow.
Nicolas Mueller

Kuwaiti dude Abdullah is one of the most naturally gifted players I've ever seen!! Easily one of the smoothest movers on tour!!
Cameron Pilley

Sooo happy 2 beat world no.10 omar mosaad 3/1 looking forward to play well tomorrow against muller swizerland player world no.20.
Abdullah Al Mezayen

Won my match today 3/1. didn't play that good but overall I am happy to reach the quarters of the Malaysian open.
Nour El Sherbini
"Good perfromance from @nafiizwan today at malaysian open...keep on pushing n keep the flag raising ... some people shud learn frm ure match tdy."
Azlan Iskandar

Lost 3-1. Gimme a steak to ease the pain...
Cameron Pilley  

When you're 2-0 up and 8-5 up cruising... The match isn't over till the fat lady sings....I'm still searching for the fat lady.
Adrian Grant 

Playing Jenny Duncalf, 4pm at The Curve tomorrow! @nafiizwan is on at 5 and @NicolDavid is at 8pm! Come watch us! :)
Low Wee Wern 

Lost 3-2 today :( played pretty alright but Olli maybe did a bit more! Got my 1st ever blood blisters which didn't help but no excuses!
Saurav Ghosal 

Abdullah & Adnan take out
third and fourth seeds

The CIMB Malaysian Open saw the Men begin their campaigns in what were some extremely tough opening games.

Mohammed El Shorbagy, second seed here and looking to win this title for the first time, started against Karim Abdel Gawad who had a brutal game yesterday against Ivan Yuen. Shorbagy moved the ball around well exploiting the tiredness that must have been in Gawad's legs. Gawad retired in the middle of the second.

On the court next door Saurav Ghosal was up against Olli Tuominen and this was a very close game - they are next to each other in the world rankings at 22 and 23 respectively. Saurav and Olli were point for point in the opening game until Saurav got ahead 10.8 and a great boast gave him the first game 11.8. Olli got off to a lead 9.3 in the third game and the momentum looked to have swung in the Finn's favour. Saurav though fought back to 10.10 and the momentum had swung in favour of the Indian. The Finn however played a good BackHand drop to get back to 11.10 and he won the next point with a BackHand hold cross.

Saurav got to 9.6 in the fourth lots of short sharp dynamic movements occurring now, Olli got back to 8.9 before clipping the top of the tin to 10.8 Saurav. We were level at 10.10 when Saurav got a rather generous stroke to go to 11.10 and he closed out the game with a nice short cross court forehand drop.

The fifth was close again to 5.4 but Olli won the next few points to book a match with Shorbagy.

Ong Beng Hee had a very tough draw against Nicolas Mueller from Switzerland, the younger of the two having recently gone into the top 20 players in the world for the first time. Beng Hee looked sharp last week in the nationals moving the ball around the court with ease. Mueller raced out of the block in the first game all the way through to 11.2 taking Beng Hee short and being aggressive at every possible opportunity.

Mueller again getting onto the ball sharp and quick and led 7.1 in the second. A huge rally at 7.2 where Beng Hee controlled Mueller but he was on fire and still won the point. He went on to win the game 11.5. The third was very similar to the first, Mueller just firing it in at every possible chance. It was working though as he won the third 11.2.

Last night's disappointment for Mueller of his favourite restaurant being open clearly didn’t affect his game.

Omar Mossad, winner of the CIMB Dato Nicol David KL Open in March this year, was looking for back to back titles in Malaysia. Mossad started well against the very gifted Abdullah Al Mezayen and was looking to dominate from the off but Abdullah had different ideas and started firing in shots from everywhere.

He came back to win the second holding the ball, flicking the ball and all of a sudden he was two games to one up. In the fourth he was on fire going from love all to 5-0, Mossad was not going to give up though and came back to 5-5. Abdullah went for some more shots and got to 8-5 and then onto 9-7.

Couple of chances to finish it at 10.7 but he didn’t go for it he seemed to hold back on hitting that last nick and then he went for one and he was into the quarters.

Adrian Grant and Nafiizwan Adnan played a long game four minutes short of 100 minutes. Grant started better as Wan was working his way into the match but soon found himself two games behind and 8.4 behind. He came back though and took the third 11.9.

Wan now off to a storming start in the fourth reaching 5.1, and then to 7.3 with Grant getting more and more annoyed with the refereeing.

From two all in the fifth Grant hit three tins and then Wan managed to scrape one off the wall and keep it straight to get a 6.2 lead. A backhand volley miss from Wan gave Grant a point back and a second followed to get Grant to 4.6. A third tin this time off return pulls Grant right back into it. This time a good volley from Wan puts him to 7.5.

It's tight though and now we are at 8.7 to Wan and he extends his lead to 9.7 with a cross court drop and a backhand cross court volley nick gives him 10.7 match ball. Stroke to Grant and then a tin from Wan back to 9.10, Grant uses his experience holds it ground 10.10, a good low cross court got Grant to 11.10 match ball and he went for it off a half court ball but just clipped the tin.

A rather controversial ending with a no let on a forehand drop and then a ball in the middle which Wan could have played but waited till Adrian was close enough and took the stoke.

Karim Darwish recorded a win over Siddharth Suchde in three games as Max Lee and Tarek Momen played a very entertaining game. This match almost went the full distance until Tarek hit a beautiful backhand rolling nick drop to win the match.

The last place in the quarter-finals was claimed by Spain's Borja Golan with a tough 3/1 win over Cameron Pilley.



"Je viens de perdre 3/0 sur Jenny. Je suis déçue car j'en voulais plus! Je voulais me faire plaisir sur le court et aller loin dans le tournoi...

Malheureusement Jenny a été trop forte aujourd'hui: elle n'a presque pas fait de fautes, elle avait de bonnes longueurs et elle ramenait tout.
Je n'ai pas réussi à trouver une longueur assez bonne pour me créer de vrais opportunités, j'avais l'impression qu'elle me dominait 75% du temps...

Bref.. La bonne nouvelle quand même est que mon dos va bien, je n'ai pas eu mal et ça a tenu tout le match. C'est le plus important !

L'année dernière, au mois de juillet, j'avais fais 2 bons résultats en Malaisie et à Singapour. Comme cette année ces 2 tournois n'ont pas eu lieu, je n'ai pas pu défendre mes points, ce qui ne m'a pas aidé au niveau du classement (je suis redescendu 13). Alors entre ça et mes problèmes de dos, je n'ai pas eu beaucoup de chance...

Mais je ne cherche pas d'excuse... J'espère que l'envie de jouer et les entraînements me ramèneront à mon meilleur niveau.

Prochain tournoi dans une petite quinzaine de jours à New-York.
À très vite."


Mobbing to
the Cause in KL

Day ONE | Day TWO | Day THREE | Day FOUR |
11-Sep, Day Two:
Day Two in KL -
Andrew Cross reports

Day two at the CIMB Malaysian Open 2012 saw the top women in the world taking to the courts to get their campaigns underway.

Raneem El Weleily made light work of Vanessa Raj striking the ball crisply and moving well not really allowing her younger opponent into the match. It will have been a good experience for Vanessa as she managed to keep the world number 2 on court for 25 minutes.

The big match of the day was on the court next door that saw Omneya Abdel Kawy taking on Rachel Grinham. Rachel floating the ball around the court trying to get Omneya into the back corners but Omneya was moving well and volleying a lot of shots. She finished off the game with a beautiful cross court drop from the back of the court to set up an all Egyptian affair with Raneem.

Natalie Grinham was opening her account against Lisa Aitken from Scotland where she scored a comfortable three love win. Tomorrow she will play Alison Waters who has shown some great form in the last few months will be happy with her first round match against Liu Tsz Ling from Hong Kong.

Camille Serme winning 9.3 in the opening game against Siti Muniroh before Siti fought back to 6.9 and then to 10.9 before Camille closed out the game 11.9. The second and third game was then more comfortable as Camille won them both 11-4.

Madeline Perry playing Delia Arnold was next on court and Madeline raced away to 10.0, a controversial decision not to award the stroke seemed to break the fluidity at which she was winning the points. Delia got a few points back but not enough as Madeline won 11.2.

In the Second Delia got away to 4.1 but it was then 6.5 to Madeline and from there she never looked back winning the game.
5.0 lead in the third to Madeline as there are now lots of tins from Delia and Madeline reached match ball at 10.2. Delia again fought back a little bit but she only delayed the inevitable and lost 11.4.

Emily Whitlock started the first two games of her opening match against Samantha Teran perfectly as she only dropped 7 points in the opening two games. Emily was winning 7.3 in the third but then losing 9.7 as Samantha began grinding out rallies.

Emily’s two wall boasts stopped working as Samantha now started anticipating and moving forward covering the front much better. In the fourth game one huge rally at 7.4 which Emily won and really dominated moving Samantha around the court taking her to 8.4. She then missed drop at the front giving Samantha a point and a low cross court from Samantha gave her the next point. Samantha was now in front of Emily winning the next point on a volley drop back to bring the score to 7.8.

The whole crowd now watching this match with great anticipation. Good drop at the front from Emily, Samantha lobbed it up slipped but Emily hit the tin, 8-8. Good shot from Emily on the next point moved her to 9.8 followed by a couple of let's. A good two wall boast from Samantha made it 9-9 but a rather generous gift form Samantha on an easy shot gave Emily match ball and she just clipped the top of the tin to make it 10.10. 11.10 to Emily as Samantha hit one out at the side.

Now match point a serve from Emily, a good return from Samantha but it gave Emily an angle as she hit a backhand straight drop to win the match.

Emily will face Nour El Sherbini after she took just 15 minutes to see off Gaby Huber from Switzerland.

Now the men started so there were two men’s matches and two women’s matches on at the same time.

Siddharth Suchde was up against the exciting Mohammed Abouelgar and would Siddharth be ready after his gruelling match yesterday. The answer was yes as he was very disciplined with his play keeping the ball tight and try to limit the opportunities and angles he gave to Mohammed. Siddharth playing very well much more free flowing than yesterday stepping up the court volleying well.

In the second Abouelgar was holding the ball a lot more being more aggressive on the court leading 8.6 he went through to 11,6. In the third and the fourth Siddharth started to change his angles a lot more and rather than playing straight he was cross courting more and this proved to be successful as he won and will face Karim Darwish tomorrow.

Karim Abdel Gawad and Ivan Yuen were next on court, Karim led the opening parts of the game and just managed to hold onto a two point advantage to win the game 11.9. Ivan started the second better leading 5.1 then to 8.4 but only just converted it winning it 11.9. Karim raced through to win the third 11.4 for a two one lead.

Gawad had a slight lead in the fourth at 6.4 but Ivan came back to lead 7.6. Next few points were shared but Ivan reached game ball first at 10.9. A long rally with a suspect ball at the top from Gawad close to the line, the referee didn't call it but Gawad did and it was good of him to do so. That meant we were on for a fifth.

Fifth was neck and neck all the way Ivan usually winning the point first before Gawad came back. At 9.9 there were 4 lets before the point was eventually won by Gawad,a big dive from Ivan couldn't help him save that point. Again on match points more let's before he forced a stroke from Gawad and we were level at 10.10.
Ivan then got a stroke off return of serve, but Gawad played a good rally to save the point and get back to 11.11.

A good volley drop from Gawad saw him hold match ball again a rather fortunate let kept Ivan in the game and then a stroke on the next point back to 12.12. Another good backhand volley drop from Gawad got him to another match ball a good rally saw Ivan create the chance and with Gawad struggling to cover the cross Ivan had an open court but unfortunately for the home crowd Ivan hit the tin as Gawad slid to his knees in relief.

Max Lee from Hong Kong and Campbell Grayson played a really long hard fought game as both of them move the ball around the court with great touch and ease. Campbell won the opening game 11.6 before Max fought back to take the second 11.6. The third was very tight indeed and Campbell just took it 11.9 before Max fought back to win the fourth 11.7.

In the fifth Max got a better start leading 5.1 but then Campbell staged a comeback and was 6.5 down. Max then got to 8.6 and from there he never looked back and will face Tarek Momen tomorrow.

Asyraf Azan was the last Malaysian hope of the day as he was trying to come up with a plan to get past the very talented Abdullah Al Muzayen. The first was won by Asyraf 15-13 but then it became a bit of a shoot out and Abdullah is very good when it comes to these kind of situations, his touch is brilliant and he hits some incredible boasts when you think you have him out of position. Abdullah won in four games and will play Omar Mossad tomorrow.

Dato Nicol David got her campaign under way in front of her home crowd with a comfortable opening game 11.3 but it wasn’t all plain sailing as Joshnna Chinappa put up a good fight to get within two points of winning the next two games. Donna Urquhart will be Nicol's opponent tomorrow after she beat Lucie Fialova.

The success of the competition so far seems to be having all the matches on one side of the venue as it now feels much more like a joint competition.


Mobbing to
the Cause in KL

Day ONE | Day TWO | Day THREE | Day FOUR |

Mobbing to
the Cause in KL

10-Sep, Day One:
Day One in KL
Andrew Cross reports

The CIMB Malaysian Open began at Bukit Jalil today with the qualifying rounds for both the Men and the Women.

With a change to the women’s system the main draw has opened up to 32 players and qualifying remains at 16 players meaning the women only need to win one match to qualify for the main draw. The men still need to win two matches.

Kylie Lindsay began proceedings by defeating national junior Rachel Arnold in three games. The first was close and Rachel had a real chance to get to game ball in the opening game when at 9-9 she had a good serve from her, a boast from Kylie left her with an easy chance to finish but she seemed to get confused as to what to do a cross or a drive and then she ended up doing neither really and conceding the stroke.

The third was again tight Kylie leading 9-5 before Rachel fought back to lead 10-9 however Kylie showed her experience to win the game 13-11. Kylie will face Dipika Pallikal in the first round.

Joshnna Chinappa on her comeback to the big competitions played well to beat Teh Min Jie and should pose stiff opposition to Dato Nicol David tomorrow.

Karim Abdel Gawad and Ivan Yuen wasted little time in setting up their qualifying final tomorrow as they defeated two locals in Gurshan Singh and Sanjay Singh. Karim raced off against Gurshan winning the first 11-0 before Gurshan got back into the match leading at 9-8 in the second but Karim had a bit too much class for him. Sanjay gave Ivan a better fight than he did in the nationals last week but Ivan was the superior player and set up what should be a good match tomorrow with Karim.

Next on court were two very tough matches Matthew Karwalski against Mohammed Abouelghar and Siddharth Suchde against Kamran Khan. Both matches promised to be interesting in different ways. Karwalski and Abouelgar are separated in the rankings by only three places but it was the younger of the two that asserted himself on the match.

Abouelgar who uses the whole of the front wall to his advantage lifted when he was under pressure and attacked when he was in position. He is not the World Junior runner up for nothing and he played well to get Karwalski off in three games.

Their match lasted 41 minutes this is the same time of Kamran and Siddharth’s opening game. This was a real battle on court and started what was to be quite a few scrappy games to come for the mens draw. The first seemed to take its toll on Kamran who began the second sluggishly giving big leads to Siddharth and he accepted them by winning the second. The third looked similar as Siddharth led 5-2 again but this time Kamran fought back to win the game and lead 2-1.

The fourth was close again but Siddharth held on to win it 11-7. The fifth was neck and neck all the way Siddharth took a lead at 7-5 but Kamran came back. Lots of lets occurring now as tiredness affected the movements of the players but Siddharth held on as Kamran was awarded two no lets on the last two points.

Abdullah Al Muzayen wasted little time in dismissing Addeen Idrakie. The opening two games being very fast indeed before Abdullah seemed to ease off a bit and Addeen stole the third before normal order was resumed.

Abdullah will face Asyraf Azan after he survived a narrow escape to beat Omar Abdel Aziz 12-10 in the fifth. Asyraf is 28 places behind Omar in the rankings but this was a very tight match. Asyraf won the first before narrowly losing the second 15-13.

The next two games were shared and again similar to the match on this court before him it was neck and neck in the fifth. Again the referee getting more and more involved but Azan just took it to get through to the next round.

Campbell Grayson had a brutal match with Omar Abdel Meguid the third match of the day that went all the way to 12-10 in the fifth. Campbell was moving the ball around in the first avoiding a lot of contact and the game was pretty free flowing. As the match progressed things gradually became to change as again the referees get more and more involved.

Omar won the second but the third was comfortable to Campbell 11-2. The fourth was won by Omar and again it was down to a fifth. This time Campbell led most of the way and opened up a three point advantage to 10-7 but Omar fought back to level at 10-10. Campbell got the next point and again this match finished with a no let to allow Campbell to progress.

Sarah Cardwell, runner up yesterday in a final in Australia, took an early flight out of Australia and was still in Singapore early this morning had a tough match against Tong Tsz- Wing. This was by far the longest match of the women’s qualifying draw and was eventually won by Tong. Her reward is a match with Laura Massaro.

Milou Van Der Heijden brushed aside Pushpaa Devi so she can take on Annie Au of Hong Kong. Salma Hany of Egypt and Lisa Aitken from Scotland beat Carmen Lee and Zulhijjah Azan both in three games to make it to the main draw. Salma will play Low Wee Wern and Lisa will play Natalie Grinham.

Local Junior Vanessa Raj created the biggest upset of the day beating Olga Ertlova in three games but she now faces a massive challenge of taking on World Number 2 Raneem El Welielly.

Liu Tsz Ling celebrating her birthday had a pretty close match against Nouran El Torky but she seemed to have a few points advantage all the time to come out with a win. Her birthday reward is a match against the inform Alison Waters.

Max Lee was the last match of the day as he played Syafiq Kamal. This was a much more free flowing match than we had seen on the courts previously and it was pretty comfortable for Max. Syafiq tried hard in the opening two games but gave away too many cheap points as he tried to force his way into the match.

Max will be a lot fresher tomorrow as he takes on Campbell, both players came here last week to train and it should be a good match tomorrow.

A flash mob is now taking place at the Curve shopping mall to promote the Backthebid2020 campaign led by Squash Queen Dato Nicol David and many of the professionals here.


Malaysian doubles up for 2012

The draw for the upgraded Malaysian Open - now up to a $70k World Series Gold event - is double the normal size, and the first to see Egypt's Raneem El Weleily at the bottom.

Top of the draw, of course, is seven-time champion Nicol David, who if all goes to seeding will meet England's Laura Massaro in the semis. Raneem's potential semi-final opponent is another Englishwoman, Jenny Duncalf, last year's runner-up.

There's some intriguing matchups right from the first round, with Samanth Teran taking on English youngster Emily Whitlock and Rachael Grinham renewing her rivalry with Omneya Abdel Kawy.

In the $50k Men's draw an all-Egyptian final is on the cards with Karim Darwish and Mohamed El Shorbagy heading a quality field.

Day ONE | Day TWO | Day THREE | Day FOUR |

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