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Strong Opening Round For Top Seeds In KL
Round one of the WSA World Series CIMB KL Open yielded few surprises at the Berjaya Times Square in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia today.
Playing in front of home crowd, top seed Nicol David kick-started her 2013 campaign with a strong win over qualifier Siyoli Waters of South Africa in just over half an hour, whilst third, sixth, seventh and eighth seeds Laura Massaro, Low Wee Wern, Joelle King and Jenny Duncalf all made it through unscathed in straight games.
Number two seed Raneem El Weleily, looking to upset David for a second successive tournament following her Cleveland Classic win in Febrary, suffered a lapse in concentration against home-hopeful Delia Arnold. The world No.2 had taken a commanding two-game lead against the Malaysian, before allowing Arnold a foothold in the contest to claim the third game. The Egyptian recovered well in the fourth however to hammer home an 11-1 game and close out the contest.
In round two, David will face Omneya Abdel Kawy who recovered from letting two-games slip against Aisling Blake to progress to the next round, whilst Weleily will face Natalie Grinham who defeated Malaysian qualifier Zulhijjah Binti Azan in a short 19-minute match.
Fourth seed Nour El Sherbini nearly suffered defeat at the hand of fellow Egyptian Nour El Tayeb. The prodigal teenager let a two-game lead slip against her compatriot, who recovered well to draw level and held five-match balls against Sherbini. The world No.4 battled hard in the final stages however to recover the deficit and won the match 14-12 in the tiebreak. Sherbini will face Annie Au in tomorrow’s round two, after the Hong Kong international defeat English qualifier Emma Beddoes in a deceptively close three-game win.
Also from Hong Kong, Joey Chan came close to springing an upset against fifth seed Alison Waters during a cat-and-mouse five-game affair. Chan twice took the lead against the British national champion, but was unable to close out the upset in the final stages. Waters will face Kasey Brown in round two following the Australian’s 50-minute straight-games win over promising English teenager Emily Whitlock.
Line Hansen becomes the only unseeded player in the KL Open second round tomorrow, after the world No.23 from Denmark defeated former world No.1 Rachael Grinham in a surprising three-game upset. Hansen will face Laura Massaro in round two.
 Nicol David (MAS) bt [Q] Siyoli Waters (RSA) 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (31m)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt Aisling Blake (IRL) 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 10-12, 11-9 (72m)
 Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [Q] Kylie Lindsay (NZL) 11-1, 11-3, 11-5 (23m)
 Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt [Q] Lisa Aitken (SCO) 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (34m)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Latasha Khan (USA) 11-7, 11-4, 19-17 (30m)
Line Hansen (DEN) bt  Rachael Grinham (AUS) 12-10, 11-8, 11-7 (32m)
 Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt Lauren Briggs (ENG) 16-14, 11-4, 11-3 (35m)
 Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [Q] Lucie Fialova (CZE) 11-2, 11-5, 11-3 (28m)
 Kasey Brown (AUS) bt Emily Whitlock (ENG) 12-10, 11-9, 11-5 (50m)
 Alison Waters (ENG) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 6-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7 (45m)
 Annie Au (HKG) v [Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG) 11-9, 11-5, 12-10 (40m)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 11-4, 11-5, 7-11, 9-11, 14-12 (63m)
 Camille Serme (FRA) v [Q] Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) 11-4, 11-3, 11-7 (30m)
 Joelle King (NZL) bt [Q] Joshana Chinappa (IND) 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 (35m)
 Natalie Grinham (NED) bt [Q] Zulhijjah Binti Azan (MAS) 11-3, 11-3, 11-2 (19m)
 Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt Delia Arnold (MAS) 11-8, 11-7, 5-11, 11-1 (28m)