Malaysian Open Day Two

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 fought 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.

Andrew Cross

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