Malaysian Stars Struggle In World Doubles In Chennai

13 Dec 04

Malaysian squash stars Ong Beng Hee and Nicol David - both reigning Asian Champions - failed to find their form in today's first day of qualifying action in the World Doubles Championships in Chennai, India.

David, who three days ago thrilled local fans by reaching the semi-finals of the KL Women's World Open in Kuala Lumpur against the seeding, was partnered by Tricia Chuah in the Women's event and expected to reach the final. The second-seeded pairing, however, went down 9-5 9-7 9-1 in 32 minutes to 5/8 seeds Louise Crome & Lara Petera, representing New Zealand.

In the Mixed event, world No6 Nicol from Penang was partnered by fellow 2002 Commonwealth Games Mixed Doubles silver medallist Ong Beng Hee - but again the pairing suffered at the hands of a lower-seeded duo. Unseeded Hong Kong doubles pairing Rebecca Chiu & Faheem Khan fought back from 1/2 down to beat the 3/4 seeds 9-5 5-9 4-9 9-5 9-3 in 73 minutes.

In the Men's event, Beng Hee joined forces with rising Malaysian star Mohd Azlan Iskandar - but, despite boasting second seed status, the pair was beaten 11-9 5-9 9-3 9-6 in 57 minutes by impressive USA pairing Jamie Crombie & Preston Quick, seeded in the 5/8 group.

Less than 72 hours after playing the final of the Pakistan Open in Islamabad - his fourth match in four days lasting around one hour - Australia's Anthony Ricketts successfully partnered fellow Australian David Palmer to a 9-5 11-8 9-4 victory in 44 minutes over unseeded South Africans Paul Atkinson & Michael Tootill. Later in the day, the Men's Doubles favourites were given a walk over by Singapore pair Vivian Rhamanan & Mohd Rizal.

After scoring point-a-rally to 15 points in both the previous World Championships in Hong Kong and the 2002 Commonwealth Games in England, a new scoring system has been introduced at the 2nd World Doubles Championships in Chennai by the World Squash Federation: The matches are best-of-five games, with each game point-a-rally to nine points. Should the score reach eight-all, the pair first reaching eight can choose to finish the game at either nine or eleven points.

A WSF spokesman added: "The new system will reduce the length of matches, added to by use of the lower 43cm tin, and is a trial for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006."

1st qualifying round - Men's Doubles:
Pool A:
[1] David Palmer & Anthony Ricketts (AUS) bt Paul Atkinson & Michael Tootill (RSA)
9-5, 11-8, 9-4 (44m)
[5/8] Ritwik Bhattacharya & Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Vivian Rhamanan & Mohd Rizal (SIN)
w/o
[1] David Palmer & Anthony Ricketts (AUS) bt Vivian Rhamanan & Mohd Rizal (SIN)
w/o
Pool B:
Wai Hang Wong & Roger Ngan (HKG) bt Naishadh Lalwani & Rushabh Vora (IND)
9-4, 9-7, 9-6 (22m)
[5/8] Jamie Crombie & Preston Quick (USA) bt [2] Mohd Azlan Iskandar & Ong Beng Hee (MAS)
11-9, 5-9, 9-3, 9-6 (57m)
Pool C:
[5/8] Byron Davis & Cameron White (AUS) bt Vikas Jangra & Harinder Pal Singh (IND)
9-3, 9-3, 9-7 (26m)
[3/4] Mansoor Zaman & Shahid Zaman (PAK) bt Raymond Arnold & S Maniam (MAS)
9-6, 9-7, 9-2 (34m)
Pool D:
[3/4] Dan Jenson & Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt Bala Murugan & A Parthiban (IND)
9-2, 9-4, 9-3 (19m)
[5/8] Safeer Ullah Khan & Farrukh Zaman (PAK) bt Gaurav Nandrajog & Niraj Shirgaokar (IND)
9-7, 9-4, 11-10 (32m)
[3/4] Dan Jenson & Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [5/8] Safeer Ullah Khan & Farrukh Zaman (PAK)
11-8, 4-9, 11-8, 9-7 (66m)

Women Doubles:
Pool A:
[1] Natalie Grinham & Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [5/8] Louisa Hall & Latasha Khan (USA)
9-6, 9-1, 9-2 (15m)
[3/4] Shelley Kitchen & Tamsyn Leevey (NZL) bt [5/8] Kasey Brown & Melissa Martin (AUS)
11-10, 9-7, 6-9, 11-9 (63m)
[1] Natalie Grinham & Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [3/4 Shelley Kitchen & Tamsyn Leevey (NZL)
9-4, 11-9, 11-8 (51m)
Pool B:
[5/8] Louise Crome & Lara Petera (NZL) bt [2] Nicol David & Tricia Chuah (MAS)
9-5, 9-7, 9-1 (32m)
[5/8] Diana Argyll & Angelique Clifton-Parks (RSA) bt [3/4] Heidi Mather & Amelia Pittock (AUS)
7-9, 11-10, 11-9, 9-7 (44m)

Mixed Doubles:
Pool A:
Lara Petera & Callum O'Brien (NZL) bt [5/8] Angelique Clifton-Parks & Michael Tootill (RSA)
9-4, 9-0, 7-9, 9-4 (28m)
Pool B:
Joshna Chinappa & Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [5/8] Latasha Khan & Jamie Crombie (USA)
9-11, 9-5, 9-6, 4-9, 9-5 (49m)
Pool C:
[5/8] Dianne Desira & Cameron White (AUS) bt Louisa Hall & Preston Quick (USA)
9-6, 9-4, 9-2 (26m)
Rebecca Chiu & Faheem Khan (HKG) bt [3/4] Nicol David & Ong Beng Hee (MAS)
9-5, 5-9, 4-9, 9-5, 9-3 (73m)
Pool D:
[5/8] Tricia Chuah & Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt Diana Argyll & Paul Atkinson (RSA)
9-3, 8-11, 9-7, 9-1 (38m)