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15 Jul 2024

Malaysians Exploit Home Advantage In KL Open

18 Mar 2010

Hopes of an all-Malaysian men's final in the CIMB KL Open were boosted today when both Ong Beng Hee and Mohd Azlan Iskandar claimed impressive upsets to earn unexpected places in the semi-finals of the $50,000 5-star PSA Tour squash event being staged on an all-glass court at Berjaya Times Square in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

Eighth seed Ong Beng Hee clawed his way back from two games down against rising Egyptian star Mohamed El Shorbagy, the 19-year-old No4 seed. After surviving a dramatic third-game tie-break, the 2008 champion clinched the next two games to record a magnificent 7-11, 8-11, 16-14, 11-4, 11-8 quarter-final victory in 80 minutes.

Beng Hee now faces the event's toughest hurdle in top seed Ramy Ashour, the world number one from Egypt. But the 22-year-old from Cairo was fully tested by Pakistan's Aamir Atlas Khan before overcoming the 19-year-old No7 seed 12-14, 11-3, 11-6, 11-6.

Despite being unseeded, Mohd Azlan Iskandar clearly has sights on a fourth appearance in the final since 2003. The 27-year-old from KL followed his first round upset over third seed Adrian Grant by despatching Australia's No5 seed Stewart Boswell 11-1, 11-8, 11-5 in 47 minutes.

Iskandar, winner of the trophy in 2003 and 2006, will now take on Karim Darwish, the second seed from Egypt who also ousted an Australian, sixth seed Cameron Pilley, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9.

Malaysia's five times champion Nicol David is on course to reach the women's final for the tenth time since 1999 after overcoming determined Australian Kasey Brown in the quarter-finals of the $53,500 WISPA World Tour Gold event.

David prevailed only after tie-breaks in the first two games - but then overwhelmed the No8 seed in the third game to record a 12-10, 14-12, 11-1 victory.

The favourite will now meet England's third seed Alison Waters who, for the second day in a row, had to survive a tough five-game encounter before advancing to the last four. On the eve of her 26th birthday, Waters battled for 60 minutes to quash unseeded Mexican Samantha Teran 11-5, 11-2, 8-11, 11-13, 12-10.

But second seed Jenny Duncalf had a more surprising journey to the semi-finals after surviving an all-English clash with Laura Massaro. Sixth seed Massaro, chasing the first win over her England team-mate in four years, recovered from a game down to take the next two and then reach match ball in the fourth.

But the 26-year-old from Preston then rolled over on her ankle and ultimately had to concede the match to her surprised opponent.

Duncalf will now move on to a meeting with Omneya Abdel Kawy, the fourth seed from Egypt who beat Ireland's Madeline Perry, the fifth seed, 12-10, 7-11, 11-5, 11-7.

Women's quarter-finals:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [8] Kasey Brown (AUS) 12-10, 14-12, 11-1 (43m)
[3] Alison Waters (ENG) bt Samantha Teran (MEX) 11-5, 11-2, 8-11, 11-13, 12-10 (60m)
[4] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [5] Madeline Perry (IRL) 12-10, 7-11, 11-5, 11-7 (40m)
[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [6] Laura Massaro (ENG) 11-7, 4-11, 10-12, 10-11 ret. (66m)

Men's quarter-finals:
[1] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [7] Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) 12-14, 11-3, 11-6, 11-6 (47m)
[8] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) bt [4] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) 7-11, 8-11, 16-14, 11-4, 11-8 (80m)
Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt [5] Stewart Boswell (AUS) 11-1, 11-8, 11-5 (47m)
[2] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt [6] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 (38m)