10:51 am
18 May 2024

Plucky Idrakie Extends Kuala Lumpur Run

23 Nov 2022

Addeen Idrakie's brilliant run at the Malaysian Open continued into the quarter-finals in Kuala Lumpur when the world No.83 from Malaysia came from behind to shock Raphael Kandra, the seventh-seeded German ranked 64 places higher.

28-year-old Idrakie, who yesterday surprised former world No.3 Omar Mosaad, looked on his way out when a dominant Kandra took the opening game 11-4, only to hit back with an 11-7 win in the second game.

In the third and fourth games, Idrakie showed more of the tenacity that saw him shock Mosaad.

10-6 down in game three, he dug in and saved all four game balls before incredibly moving a game ahead with a 13-11 win.

The Malaysian almost repeated the trick in the fourth game as he saved five game balls in a tight 11-9 defeat that saw the match go to five.

On a hot court, and buoyed both by the vocal home crowd and by his late scoring run in game four, Idrakie played some of his best squash in the decisive game. The Kuala Lumpur native tirelessly harried Kandra and sparked the loudest cheers of tournament so far as he pulled away from 7-7 to an 11-8 winner.

Idrakie will face top seed Tarek Momen for a place in the semi-finals after the Egyptian came from behind to beat compatriot Yahya Elnawasany 3/1.

Afterwards, Idrakie said: "I think this was my best squash. I knew that I had no pressure today and that the crowd were really supporting me and I pushed myself one point by one.

"I'm not sure [why I'm playing so well at the moment] but the crowd really helps me a lot.

"In yesterday's match I caused an upset and my coach told me that they believed in me and I can pull off another upset."

Kandra was not the only seed to fall on a dramatic day at the National Squash Centre in Kuala Lumpur, with South African No.7 seed Alexandra Fuller falling to Yathreb Adel of Egypt.

World No.39 Adel got off to a strong start in the match, stopping the movement of the world No.24 and disrupting her rhythm.

After losing the first game 11-7, Fuller started to find her length in the following game and was able to step up the court, which was rewarded with an 11-6 win to level the contest.

The following two games were scattered with decisions and short, sharp rallies. Adel was able to secure both games 11-9 by digging deep to continuously chase balls down and put pressure on the South African.

Afterwards, the Egyptian said: "I'm very happy to be through. I knew Alex would be a tough opponent, she's very talented, too, so I had to focus from start to finish."

Elsewhere, women's defending champion and No.5 seed Aifa Azman of Malaysia - who shocked the squash world last year by winning the tournament as a wildcard - will play No.2 seed Nele Gilis of Belgium after Azman defeated compatriot Ainaa Amani 3/0 and Gilis beat Fayrouz Aboelkheir of Egypt by the same scoreline.