The world’s elite WSA players have next month’s CIMB Malaysian Open firmly in their sights with under two weeks to go until the first round.
The World Series Gold event, with its total prize-money of $70,000 has attracted comprehensive attention from the world top ten, as home favourite Nicol David is joined by Raneem El Weleily who recently rose to number two, as well as Laura Massaro, Jenny Duncalf and the rest of the tour’s highest ranked players.
World No.1 David will be looking to make the title her own for the eighth year in a row, characterising her dominance at the top of the women’s game. Seeded third for the event, Duncalf will be among those looking to quell the Malaysian’s dominance following two consecutive unsuccessful final appearances in 2010 and 2011.
Enjoying her highest ever ranking, El Weleily will be looking to flex her muscles as the world’s No.2 in her first competitive appearance since the British Open back in May, having opted not to play last month’s Australian Open.
Alison Waters will be looking to continue her progression back up the rankings as the Englishwoman, who regained top ten status in the September rankings, has enjoyed ‘upset’ wins over a number of higher ranked players on her way back to form.
David, El Weleily, Massaro and Waters, along with Annie Au, Dipika Pallikal, Low Wee Wern and Natalie Grinham will all face qualifiers in their respective first round ties, whilst Duncalf will face Line Hansen of Denmark, Madeline Perry will play home interest Delia Arnoldand teenage starlet Nour El Sherbini will face Gaby Huber of Switzerland.
David and Massaro could potentially meet in the semi-finals, whilst the Grinham sisters could meet in the quarters if Rachael can make it past El Weleily in round two. Alternatively, the quarter-final matchup could be between El Weleily and Waters, with Waters having never lost to the Egyptian.
El Sherbini is likely to meet her first top ten opponent in the quarters where she is seeded to meet No.4 Massaro. Third seed Duncalf is likely to face Camille Serme and Perry on her way to the semis.