KL Open Day One – Qualifying

Andrew Cross reports

SH_006 The CIMB KL Open 2013 got underway today at the National Squash Centre, Bukit Jalil with a mix day for the locals.

Rachel Arnold, a runner up in the NSC Series one a couple of weeks on these courts, couldn’t quite get back to those standards when taking on Lucie Fialova. The opening game was going to be key with it going the way of the Czech player. The youngster found herself playing too many boasts and clipping the tops of the tin rather too often. In the second set Lucie was moving Rachel around the court well and a 10-5 a serve out from Rachel handed the game to Lucie. In the third Lucie got a big lead and was never going to be caught, a slight run of winners from Rachel but it wasn’t to be as Lucie progresses to the main draw. Lucie’s reward is a match with Madeline Perry.

Joshana Chinappa was too strong for Coline Aumard in the initial qualifying match. The opening exchanges were pretty scrappy with lots of lets but eventually Joshnna got into her rhythm to win the second and third game 11-1. Joshnna who put in a good performance in the opening round last time will take on Joelle King in the first round.

Peter Creed set up a qualifying final round match with Max Lee after he defeated local junior Hannan Tarmidi. Max receiving a first round bye.

Harinder Pal Sandhu got the draw that nobody wanted when he drew Azlan Iskandar in the opening round of qualifying but he was rather fortunate as Azlan decided not to play. This forced a slight redraw where Harinder was drawn against Gurshan Singh. Harinder seemed in no mood for messing around on this visit to KL as he was rather relaxed on his last visit.

Harinder will take on Nafiizwan Adnan after he defeated Sanjay Singh in a rather tense affair. Wan stormed through the opening game but Sanjay fought back to take the second. Leading 8.7 in the third game Sanjay was playing well, putting his more experienced opponent under pressure, at 9.9 Wan played a great forehand low shot which Sanjay couldn’t retrieve. Wan then served at the body a return which Sanjay put in the floor. In the fourth Wan looking the more aggressive took a hold of the game from 3.3 winning four straight points. That was a lead that Sanjay would struggle to get back as Wan eventually won 11.5.

Nicolette Fernandes who had a dream run in the World Open in the Cayman Island last year defeated Lisa Camilleri from Australia in four very well contested games. Lisa having been here for the last couple of weeks was a last minute replacement for the injured Donna Urquhart. Lisa taking full advantage of her chance was pushing Nicolette all the way in each game. The third was crucial at 7.7 it could be any ones game but it was Nicolette who got it. Lots of diving for shots, followed by some improvised shots behind the back from Lisa kept her in the game. In the fourth Nicolette held a 10.7 advantage, serving from the backhand side Lisa returned with a cross court nick not a bad way to reply to a match ball. However on the next point Nicolette finished it off to advance to the main draw. Interesting match on the cards with Camille Serme tomorrow.

Siyoli Waters defeated Siti Muniroh in three very straight forward games never really allowing the local player into the tournament. Siyoli I’m sure will relish the chance to take on Dato Nicol David in front of a very vocal crowd.

Emma Beddoes, a former world number 21 before her injury, was taking on Olga Ertlova from the Czech Republic. The opening game was tight but in the second Emma stepped up the court looking to take the ball on the top of the bounce and it proved to be effective as she raced off to a 9-2 lead. Olga wasn’t going to catch up from there as Emma led 2-0. The third was tight at the beginning but again Emma began to impose herself on the game winning 11.5. Emma now plays Annie Au tomorrow who was the runner up last year.

Lisa Aitken from Scotland was too strong for Vanessa Raj moving the ball around the court well, never giving up on any shot even when Aitkin was match ball up she dived for a ball not wanting to give the Malaysian any hope or any points which is a great way to play the game. Lisa moves on to play Dipika Pallikal.

Ivan Yuen made light work of Seung Yong Yoo winning in three comfortable games as he set up a match with Elvinn Keo. Keo recovered from losing games two and three to play some of the best squash he has ever played in his life probably. Elvinn won the opening game 15.13 but Au who was a quarter finalist here last year was never going to let him have it all his own way storming back to win games two and three. In the fourth game Elvinn was competing for every point using good height to allow himself time to get back to the T. Elvinn won the fourth game 11.9 when he played a very good rally to create space to hit a cross court winner. In the fifth game Elvinn had a better middle part of the game getting a four point advantage which was too much for a very defensive Au. Elvinn who lost to Ivan a couple of weeks ago in the NSC Series one in a very tight five sets will look for revenge tomorrow.

Kylie Lindsay booked her main draw place with a win over local Celine Yeap. In the women’s last match of the evening sprung the only surprise when Zulhijah Azan beat Liu Tsz- Ling in a match that was full of errors from both players. Zulhijah was the one that prevailed though to make it to the first round for the first time ever. Her reward is a match with Natalie Grinham tomorrow.

In the final match of the night Martin Knight defeated Addeen Idrakie in four close games but it was not as straight forward as their match was a couple of years ago here. Addeen who is having an upsurge in form played well in the second game to take it 11-4 having lost the opening game. The third was tight but the Malaysian seemed tired however he was not going to go down without a fight. Each rally was competitive but the Malaysian seemed to get more tired with Martin making the court nice and big.

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