6:24 pm
19 May 2024

Mueller & Arnold Make Malaysian Open Semis

24 Nov 2022

Switzerland's Nicolas Mueller and Malaysia's Rachel Arnold pulled off impressive upsets at the National Squash Centre in Kuala Lumpur to complete the semi-final line-up of the Malaysian Open.

Swiss No.1 Mueller showcased a brilliant attacking range - including an inspired reaction shot that drew gasps from the crowd - as he knocked out No.4 seed Marwan ElShorbagy of Egypt.

Mueller dominated the first game and caught the Egyptian cold as he fired the ball in short with superb accuracy and pace, not giving the world No.6 any chance to get into the opening game.

After taking the first game 11-3, Mueller edged the second 11-9 to build a commanding lead.

'The Jackal' hit back with a gritty 12-10 in the third game but could do nothing to stop the in-form Swiss from closing out the match with an 11-7 win in the fourth.

"I'm very happy I won that match. I've been here at least 15 times; I think the first time I was here was 15 years ago. I always feel very welcome. I like the court, the atmosphere and the food, most importantly! The people are very nice, so I'm very glad to win that match," Mueller said afterwards.

'The Swiss Rocket' will face top seed Tarek Momen tomorrow after the Egyptian ended the giant-killing run of Malaysia's popular world No.83 Addeen Idrakie with a comprehensive 29-minute 3/0 victory.

Also through to the last four are No.3 seed Mazen Hesham and No.2 seed Joel Makin, who will face each other tomorrow after recording 3/0 wins over England's Patrick Rooney and Colombia's Miguel Rodriguez, respectively.

In the women's draw, Malaysia's No.8 seed Arnold came from behind to beat Egypt's No.4 seed Nadine Shahin.

In an uneven match, Arnold - playing in her ninth Malaysian Open - fell behind after dropping the first game 11-6, only to come storming back in the second with a brutal 11-1 win.

Both players went on scoring runs in the third game, with Arnold better able to manage the flow of the match with a hard-fought 11-9 win.

In the fourth game, which was briefly interrupted by a shoulder injury to Shahin, Arnold was able to complete the upset, with the 26-year-old recording another 11-9 win to proceed to the semi-finals for the first time since winning the title in 2019.

Afterwards, Arnold said: "It feels great. It's always been a close battle between me and Nadine and I'm really happy to get the win today.

"I think I came on a bit more aggressive after the first game. I started a bit slow and had to change it up."

Arnold will play Belgian No.2 seed Nele Gilis in the next round after the world No.14 downed defending champion and No.5 seed Aifa Azman of Malaysia in straight games.

Completing the draw is Wales' No.3 seed Tesni Evans, who came through a tough battle with French No.6 seed Melissa Alves 3/2, and top seed Olivia Fiechter of the USA, who beat Egypt's Yathreb Adel in straight games.