DELIA Arnold edged closer to her first WSA Tour title in 16 months after reaching the final of the Delaware Open on Saturday in Wilmington where she will meet second seed Aisling Blake of Ireland.
National No 3 Delia passed her toughest examination yet in the tournament when she spent 50 minutes to wear down veteran American Latasha Khan 11-7, 12-10, 11-7 in the semi-finals.
Delia, 26, has not won a title on Tour since triumphing in Kuwait in October 2010 and this final will be the 13th of her career having won half of the previous 12.
Aisling, who defeated England's Lauren Selby 11-4, 11-7, 11-7, holds a 2-1 head-to-head record against the Malaysian going into the final but Delia won their last meeting in five games in the qualifying stage of the 2010 Singapore Masters.
Meanwhile, Malaysia avoided the wooden spoon after beating Germany 2-1 in the seventh and eighth placing playoff at the mixed team WSF Under-21 World Cup in Chennai yesterday.
After Rudi Rohrmuller put Germany ahead with an 11-7, 11-3, 11-7 win over Affeeq Abedeen Ismail, Rachel Arnold drew Malaysia level by beating Franziska Hennes 11-13, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5, 11-7 for her first win in two matches at the tournament.
It then fell to Sanjay Singh Chal to clinch Malaysia's first win after four defeats and he duly obliged with an 11-7, 11-3, 11-7 win over Valentin Rapp.
In another tie, Hong Kong defeated Australia 2-0 to finish fifth.
The final was being contested late yesterday by hosts India and favourites Egypt.
In the semi-finals, India upset France 2-1 while Marwan El Shorbagy and Karim Abdel Gawad made light of the unexpected defeat of 2009 world junior runner-up Nour El Tayeb to Emily Whitlock to carry Egypt past England 2-1. By Devinder Singh