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David & Iskandar Celebrate Home Malaysian Open Double

Nicol David and Mohd Azlan Iskandar celebrated a popular home double in the CIMB Malaysian OpenSquash Championships today (Saturday) after surviving contrasting finals at The Curve Shopping Mall in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

First up was Mohd Azlan Iskandar, fourth seed in the men’s $52,500 5-star PSA World Tour event. Celebrating his fourth appearance in the climax of his country’s biggest international squash championship, the 28-year-old from KL faced giant-killer Tarek Momen, the seventh-seeded Egyptian who shocked compatriot Mohamed El Shorbagy, the top seed, in the previous round.

Iskandar’s experience shone through, however, as the world No18 he stormed to an 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 victory over the 22-year-old world No23 from Cairo in 37 minutes.

“He was just too quick and his shots too precise,” Momen told www.squashsite.co.uk afterwards. “I knew I would be tired, and when I stepped on court, my legs were heavy.  But I didn’t play badly – just not as quickly as Azlan today!”

The win marks Iskandar’s 12th PSA Tour title and his third Malaysian Open triumph since 2004.  It also rounds off a series of title successes in his region after winning the Asian Championship gold medal in May and the Malaysian national crown last week.

After reaching her eighth Malaysian Open final in a row, Nicol David was after her sixth successive success in the climax of the women’s $53,500 WISPA World Tour Gold event.

But the world number one from Penang’s opponent Jenny Duncalf, the world number two from England, did not make it easy for her in their third Tour final clash this year.

Twice David led, but on both occasions Harrogate-based Duncalf battled back to draw level.

It took 72 minutes for Datuk David to clinch the title – and she did so after winning 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-5.

It was Nicol David’s 60th appearance in a WISPA Tour final – and the success brought up her fourth Tour title of the year and the 45th of her career.

Men’s final:
[4] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt [7] Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 (37m)

Women’s final:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-5 (72m)


Tarek Takes Out Top Seed In Malaysian Open Shock

Egyptian outsider Tarek Momen secured an unexpected place in the final in the CIMB Malaysian Open after upsetting top-seeded compatriot Mohamed El Shorbagy in today’s (Friday) semi-finals of the men’s $52,500 5-star PSA World Tour squash event at The Curve Shopping Mall in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

Seventh seed Momen claimed his surprise semi-final berth when he ousted 2007 runner-up Stewart Boswell, the No3 seed from Australia, in the quarter-finals.

And the world No23 from Cairo delivered another giant-killing performance to beat El Shorbagy, ranked nine places higher, 8-11, 13-11, 2-11, 11-4, 12-10 in 75 minutes to reach the fifth Tour final of his career.

Looking for his maiden PSA title, Momen will face local hero Mohd Azlan Iskandar after the No4 seed endedFarhan Mehboob’s successful run by beating the Pakistan qualifier 11-7, 11-7, 11-7.

Iskandar, the Malaysian Open champion in 2004 and 2007, is celebrating his 22nd Tour final appearance – and hoping to become the sixth local winner of the title since 2000.

By contrast, the climax of the women’s $53,500 WISPA World Tour Gold event will be the one predicted by the seedings, with Malaysian favourite Nicol David, the world number one, facing England’s second seed Jenny Duncalf, the world number two.

But David had to work hard to reach her eighth final in a row.  The 26-year-old from Penang battled for 64 minutes to overcome England’s fourth seed Alison Waters 14-12, 12-10, 6-11, 11-7 – to earn her 60th WISPA Tour final appearance!

Duncalf, a quarter-finalist for the past three years, claimed her maiden appearance in the final by beatingRaneem El Weleily – ending the Egyptian qualifier’s brave run 11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 12-10.

The win takes Duncalf into her 15th final – and her third successive Tour final meeting with David this year.

Men’s semi-finals:
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [1] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) 8-11, 13-11, 2-11, 11-4, 12-10 (75m)
[4] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt [Q] Farhan Mehboob (PAK) 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (54m)

Women’s semi-finals:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [4] Alison Waters (ENG) 14-12, 12-10, 6-11, 11-7 (64m)
[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [Q] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) 11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 12-10 (54m)


David & Iskandar Keep Home Hopes Alive In KL

Nicol David and Mohd Azlan Iskandar kept hopes of a local double alive in the CIMB Malaysian Open after straight games quarter-final victories in their home country’s biggest international squash event at The Curve Shopping Mall in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

World number one Nicol David, looking for her eighth final appearance in a row and her sixth successive title, eased to an 11-4, 11-4, 11-8 win over rising French star Camille Serme to reach the semi-finals of the women’s $53,500 WISPA World Tour Gold event.

The 26-year-old from Penang will now face England’s fourth seed Alison Waters, the world No4 from London who ousted Egypt’s fifth seed Omneya Abdel Kawy 11-5, 11-3, 3-11, 11-4.

But there will be unexpected Egyptian interest in the other women’s semi-final after qualifier Raneem El Weleily extended her giant-killing run in KL with an 11-7, 7-11, 7-11, 11-4, 13-11 win over England’s eighth seed Laura Massaro.

El Weleily had earlier upset Australia’s No3 seed Rachael Grinham to reach the last eight.

Two-times champion Mohd Azlan Iskandar reached the semi-finals of the men’s $52,500 PSA World Tour 5-star event after overcoming Pakistan’s sixth seed Aamir Atlas Khan 11-7, 11-8, 11-2.

But the 28-year-old from KL – who won the title in 2007 alongside Nicol David – will have a tough battle against another Pakistani when he faces left-hander Farhan Mehboob.

The 21-year-old qualifier from Peshawar followed his major first round upset over second-seeded AustralianCameron Pilley by beating Germany’s Simon Rosner, the No8 seed, 11-9, 11-6, 3-11, 11-7 to reach the semi-finals for the first time.

And there was further Australian disappointment in the top half of the draw when 2007 runner-up Stewart Boswell failed to make the last four.  An inspired performance from seventh seed Tarek Momen saw the 22-year-old Egyptian fight back from two games down to beat Boswell, the third seed, 7-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 in 65 minutes to claim his first successful Malaysian Open run.

Momen will now face fellow countryman Mohamed El Shorbagy after the top seed from Alexandria – in his maiden appearance in the event – disappointed the local crowd by defeating Malaysian star Ong Beng Hee, the fifth seed who won the title in 2000, 2005 and 2008, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 12-10 after an 81-minute marathon.

Men’s quarter-finals:
[1] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) bt [5] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 12-10 (81m)
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [3] Stewart Boswell (AUS) 7-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 (65m)
[4] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt [6] Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) 11-7, 11-8, 11-2 (41m)
[Q] Farhan Mehboob (PAK) bt [8] Simon Rosner (GER) 11-9, 11-6, 3-11, 11-7 (40m)

Women’s quarter-finals:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt Camille Serme (FRA) 11-4, 11-4, 11-8 (29m)
[4] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [5] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11-5, 11-3, 3-11, 11-4 (36m)
[Q] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt [8] Laura Massaro (ENG) 11-7, 7-11, 7-11, 11-4, 13-11 (51m)
[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt Low Wee Wern (MAS) 11-5, 11-6, 11-3 (35m)

Round One

El Weleily Wipes Out Ex-World Champion Grinham In KL

Today’s (Wednesday) opening round of the CIMB Malaysian Open produced a series of stunning upsets at the Bukit Jalil National Squash Centre in Kuala Lumpur – none more so than Egyptian qualifier Raneem El Weleily’s four-game defeat of third seed Rachael Grinham in the women’s $53,500 WISPA World Tour Gold event.

Both were returning to Tour action after a two-month layoff – and, while former world champion and world number one Grinham was expected to reach the semi-finals for the sixth successive year, El Weleily was simply hoping to make the second round for the first time.

Three of the games went to tie-breaks, and after 49 minutes it was 21-year-old El Weleily, the world No14 from Alexandria, who emerged triumphant over the Australian world number three 12-10, 14-16, 11-9, 12-10.

The Egyptian now lines up against Laura Massaro, the No8 seed who is making her comeback after an ankle injury.  But the 26-year-old England international had to call upon all her experience to defeat 18-year-old Indian qualifier Dipika Pallikal, the recently-crowned Asian Junior champion, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9.

Two further women’s upsets saw Tour stalwarts Natalie Grainger and Madeline Perry make unexpectedly early exits.  Sixth seed Grainger, the former world number one from the USA, twice led unseeded Low Wee Wern – but the 19-year-old from Penang delighted the local crowd by keeping up the pressure to win 9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 14-12, 11-7 in 52 minutes, and record her first ever victory over a world top ten player.

Perry, the world number seven from Ireland, had twice faced Camille Serme before on the Tour, and recorded straight game wins on both occasions.  But the rising French star now boasts a career-best world No10 ranking – and was in sizzling form as she despatched the seventh seed 11-2, 5-11, 11-6, 11-5.

Egypt’s Mohamed El Shorbagy, top seed in the men’s $52,500 PSA World Tour 5-star event, eased into the quarter-finals after beating Indian qualifier Siddharth Suchde 11-4, 11-7, 11-9.

But the world No14 from Alexandria will not be lining up against second seed Cameron Pilley in the final after the Australian fell in straight games to Pakistan prospect Farhan Mehboob.

The 21-year-old from Peshawar, a finalist in his two recent Tour events, fought bravely for 54 minutes to beat Pilley 13-11, 14-12, 11-8 – interestingly repeating the upset he inflicted over the world No16 from New South Wales a year ago in the 2009 Malaysian Open.

Left-hander Mehboob goes on to face Simon Rosner, the No8 seed from Germany who beat unseeded New Zealander Martin Knight 11-7, 11-8, 11-5.

Malaysians Mohd Azlan Iskandar and Ong Beng Hee – who boast five Malaysian Open titles between them – will also contest quarter-final matches.

Fifth seed Ong Beng Hee was taken the full distance by qualifier Muhd Asyraf Azan before beating his fellow countryman 12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9, while fourth seed Iskandar needed four games to overcome New Zealander Campbell Grayson 11-4, 10-12, 11-3, 11-5.

Men’s 1st round:

[1] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) bt [Q] Siddharth Suchde (IND) 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 (33m)
[5] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) bt [Q] Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) 12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9 (57m)
[3] Stewart Boswell (AUS) bt Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) 11-9, 11-8, 11-4 (45m)
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-7 (55m)
[6] Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) bt [Q] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 12-10 (65m)
[4] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 11-4, 10-12, 11-3, 11-5 (43m)
[8] Simon Rosner (GER) bt Martin Knight (NZL) 11-7, 11-8, 11-5 (40m)
[Q] Farhan Mehboob (PAK) bt [2] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 13-11, 14-12, 11-8 (54m)

Women’s 1st round:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [Q] Joelle King (NZL) 11-7, 11-5, 11-4 (31m)
Camille Serme (FRA) bt [7] Madeline Perry (IRL) 11-2, 5-11, 11-6, 11-5 (44m)
[4] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [Q] Tania Bailey (ENG) 10-12, 11-5, 12-10, 11-6 (50m)
[5] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt Kasey Brown (AUS) 8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-3 (55m)
[8] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [Q] Dipika Pallikal (IND) 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9 (61m)
[Q] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt [3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 12-10, 14-16, 11-9, 12-10 (49m)
Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt [6] Natalie Grainger (USA) 9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 14-12, 11-7 (52m)
[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) 11-6, 11-3, 11-6 (30m)

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