CIMB KL Open 2013 – Quarter-Finals, 29-Mar, Beryaya Times Square Nicol David (Mas) v  Jenny Duncalf (Eng) 11/8, 11/7, 11/2 (43m)
 Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-1  Madeline Perry (Irl) 11/2, 9/11, 11/4, 11/5 (53m)
 Alison Waters (Eng) 3-2  Nour El Sherbini (Egy) 9/11, 12/10, 11/6, 10/12, 11/5 (51m)
 Joelle King (Nzl) 3-2  Natalie Grinham (Ned) 11/9, 11/4, 8/11, 8/11, 12/10 (63m)  Karim Darwish (Egy) 3-0 Olli Tuominen (Fin) 12/10, 11/5, 11/6 (38m)
Nicolas Mueller (Sui) 3-2 Ong Beng Hee (Mas) 11/13, 11/9, 7/11, 12/10, 11/9 (81m)
 Borja Golan (Esp) 3-2 Tarek Momen (Egy) 11/9, 7/11, 9/11, 11/9, 11/9 (95m)
 Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) 3-0 Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) 11/7, 11/6, 11/9 (45m)
It was a long and dramatic day at Berjaya Times Square for the quarter-finals of the CIMB KL Open in the Malaysian Capital, with five of the eight matches going to a decisive fifth game.
The first women’s match started off the marathons, although there was no sign of what was to came as Joelle King took the first two games against Natalie Grinham. Both had survived tough five-setters yesterday and Grinham fought back to force a decider, but it was Kiwi King who ultimately prevailed, letting slip a 10-5 lead before taking the fifth 12-10 after 63 minutes. “Very happy to make the semi-final,” said King. “Having lost eight five game matches last year this year I’ve won two five setters here!”
Next up were Borja Golan and Tarek Momen, and the match was as close as their respective world rankings of #10 and #11 would suggest. There was little to choose between them in five tense, close games, but Spaniard Golan, after taking a 4-0 start to the fifth finally closed out the match after 95 minutes. “He is so quick, probably the fastest guy on the tour,” admitted Golan, “on the glass court you need to be so careful against him. Very happy to have made the semi final and with the points.”
Nour El Sherbini and Alison Waters are ranked #4 and #5 in the world, so another close match was to be expected, and that’s exactly what happened. After losing a close first game Englishwoman Waters went 2-1 up and had a match ball in the fourth before Sherbini levelled. Waters dominated the decider though to move into the semis after 51 minutes.
After beating defending champion OmarMosaad yester, Ong Beng Hee had raised the home crowd’s hopes, and the 33-year-old almost did it again as he took Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller all the way. The Malaysian saved game balls to win the first, saved more before losing the second, but turned it around to take a 2-1 lead. At 5-1 in the fourth another upset looked on the cards, but the young Swiss fought back again to force another decider. The fifth went point for point, but when Beng Hee was denied a let on Meuller’s first match ball it was all over after 81 minutes.
The all-British matchup between Laura Massaro and Madeline Perry threatened to go the distance after Ireland’s Perry recovered from losing a quick first game to level the match. Third seed Massaro reasserted though, pulling clear in the last two games to reach the semi-finals.
Top seed Karim Darwish had to save a game ball before taking the lead against Finland’s Olli Tuominen, but the Egyptian dominated the next two games to win in 38 minutes, the shortest match of the day.
Two hours behind schedule, the scene was set for Malaysia’s own Nicol David to continue her quest for a ninth KL Open title. England’s Jenny Duncalf pushed the world number one in the first game, but after pulling clear at the end of that game Davis accelerated away to reach yet another home semi-final.
Full reports by Andrew Cross on | www.squashsite.co.uk/klopen2013 |