10:58 pm
19 Jun 2024

Wildcard Curtis Malik Advances On British Open Debut

10 Apr 2023

English wildcard Curtis Malik made an impressive start in his debut appearance in the British Open when he ousted world No.21 Eain Yow Ng on the opening day of action in the PSA World Tour Platinum event at the Edgbaston Priory Club in Birmingham.

Despite being ranked more than 38 places below the Malaysian No.1, Malik was in control for the majority of the match. The 23-year-old came back from 8-5 down to win the second to keep his momentum, and went on to win the match in straight games.

"That's probably the biggest win of my career so far," said the world No.59 Malik later. "I thought I put together a really good performance from start to finish against a quality opponent, who is obviously in form as well. Really pleased to get through that match, especially in three games as well.

"I know I have got the ability to do that, but it is just trying to do that for three games. Not just one or two, where you're losing 3/1 or 3/2, I am not happy with that. To win three games is what you're training for and that second was crucial. I came back from 8-5 down, played the big wins well and managed to get that two-game lead."

Malik now faces defending champion Paul Coll, the No.3 seed from New Zealand.

"Really looking forward to that! I don't even think I have met the guy before, so to be on the same court tomorrow. I am just going to try and show him how well I can play, push him as hard as I can, and I will try and believe I can will again."

There was also a wildcard upset in the women's event when England's Katie Malliff defeated another Malaysian, Rachel Arnold. Again, like Malik, the Englishwoman sat more than 25 places below her opponent in the world rankings, but was in control.

The 19-year-old from Buckinghamshire needed just 29 minutes to get the job done and claim her first round one victory in her third successive attempt.

Malliff will now also face a Kiwi, the No.4 seed and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Joelle King.