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Young Stars Shine in KL Quarters

Sixteen-year-old Egyptian, Nour El Sherbini continued her startling CIMB Nicol David KL Open run in another day of upsets in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The teenager dispatched second seed Jenny Duncalf in yesterday’s first round, her biggest ever WSA World Tour win and today continued her good form by beating the experienced No6 seed, Australian Rachael Grinham in four games.

Sherbini will now face the other surprise semi finalist in the draw, unseeded Annie Au.  Au played No3 seed Laura Massaro in a cat-and-mouse five-game thriller, which the Hong Kong international finally won after 76-minutes.  Au’s win means that there will definitely be an unseeded finalist, as she faces El Sherbini in the semi-final draw.

The third upset of the day came in favour of Raneem El Weleily.  The Egyptian fifth seed faced Madeline Perry who is seeded just one place above the 23-year-old.  After a close first game which ended in a tie-break in El Weleily’s favour, she established a firm foothold in the match closing out the contest in three games.

Tournament namesake and top seed Nicol David was in no mood to succumb to the pattern of upsets however, as she continued her title bid in front of her home crowd, beating India’s Dipika Pallikal in three straight games.

WSA Quarter Finals 

[1] Nicol David (MAS) vs [Q] Dipika Pallikal (IND) 11-5, 11-2, 11-6 (25m)
[5] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt [4] Madeline Perry (IRL) 13-11, 11-6, 11-2 (31m)
Annie Au (HKG) bt [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) 11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9 (76m)
[Q] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [6] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 11-8, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8 (41m)

Home Hope Beng Hee Battles Into KL Open Semis

Ong Beng Hee provided unexpected domestic hopes of men’s success in the CIMB Nicol David KL Open when he became the only unseeded player to reach the semi-finals of the PSA World Tour International 50 squash event atBerjaya Times Square in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

The Sarawak-born 32-year-old made his first appearance in the event 13 years ago and first won the title in 2008 in his third appearance in the final. But the former world No7 crashed out at the first hurdle last year and returned to KL eager to shine in his eighth appearance.

His opponent Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan was also Malaysian, and also unseeded – and secured his surprise place in the last eight after upsetting second-seeded compatriot and twice former champion Mohd Azlan Iskandar in the opening round.

But despite taking 66 minutes to overcome Iskandar, Adnan was still able to extend his quarter-final opponent for more than an hour and a half before Beng Hee finally emerged triumphant 12-10, 11-13, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7 in 91 minutes to record his fifth appearance in the semi-finals in seven years.

The UK-based Malaysian, currently ranked 23 in the world, now faces Omar Mosaad. The tall No3 seed from Egypt defeated Indian number one Saurav Ghosal 11-7, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7 in 56 minutes.

“Saurav played well in the opening game but gave Omar too many shots at the front of the court and Omar was looking to use his big thumping drives to win the points,” explained event spokesman Andrew Cross. “It was very difficult for Saurav despite being so quick – even he couldn’t cover or pick up these shots, his low hard drives seemed to stay so far up the court sometimes almost bouncing twice before the mid court line.”

A shock upset looked on the cards in the opening match of the day when Hong Kong’s Max Lee opened up a two-game lead over England’s No4 seed Adrian Grant.

“When it came to the deciding fifth, Adrian was in full control and always remained a few points in front and he closed out the match after 73 minutes of play,” said Cross, after Grant’s 7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-6 victory.

The Londoner will now face top seed Karim Darwish after the world No4 from Egypt despatched Hong Kong qualifier Leo Au 11-5, 11-3, 11-9 in just 26 minutes.

PSA Quarter-finals:

[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt [Q] Leo Au (HKG) 11-5, 11-3, 11-9 (26m)
[4] Adrian Grant (ENG) bt Max Lee (HKG) 7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-6 (73m)
[3] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 11-7, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7 (56m)
Ong Beng Hee (MAS) bt Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 12-10, 11-13, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7 (91m)

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