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SQUASH: Wee Wern stunner


CIMB MALAYSIAN OPEN: World No 10 upsets Jenny in quarter-final

LOW Wee Wern has to be taken as a serious threat by the world's top players after continuing to defy the odds by sending England's Jenny Duncalf packing in the CIMB Malaysian Open women's quarter-finals at The Curve in Mutiara Damansara yesterday.

World No 1 Nicol David ensured there will be two Malaysians in the semi-finals of the women's event for the first time since CIMB began sponsoring the tournament in 2005 by seeing off the challenge of Hong Kong's Annie Au 6-11, 11-5, 15-13, 11-5.

There is an even chance of a first all-Malaysian women's final after Wee Wern followed up her win over World No 5 Madeline Perry of Ireland with an 11-7, 11-5, 11-8 victory over Jenny, who was the world's second-ranked player for over two years before slipping to fourth.

Wee Wern, the World No 10, waited patiently for the errors to flow from Jenny's racquet in the first game before employing a more aggressive style in the next two games much to the frustration of her opponent.

Jenny seemed to do nothing right as Wee Wern played the right shots, often driving to the back court to Jenny left's with great success as the national No 2 repeated her 2011 Hong Kong Open win over Jenny.

"I think even though it was 3-0, it was close. It's a really good feeling to win against Jenny having lost to her here two years ago," said Wee Wern, 22, referring to her quarter-final defeat in 2010.

"It just goes to show how far I've come and it's by far my best result and for it to happen here in front of a home crowd, is just a bonus."

Wee Wern, who matched her run to the semi-finals in Hong Kong last year for her best run in a Gold-status tournament, next faces second seed Raneem El Weleily, who defeated England's Alison Waters 12-10, 5-11, 11-6, 11-3.

"Getting to No 10 in the world gave me confidence and I've now beaten the No 4 and No 5 in the world. I'll take it match by match and try to do my best," said Wee Wern, who has never beaten Raneem.

This tournament has been far from smooth-sailing for Nicol, bidding for an eighth consecutive Malaysian Open title and a record-equalling 63rd of her career, after needing four game points and saving two more to clinch the crucial third game against Annie.

"People forget that everyone is training and bringing their game up," said Nicol of her struggles. "They feel they can go for it and if their shots don't land in the tin then it's a point. I just have to stay solid and be as consistent as possible."

England's Laura Massaro will be a far more testing assignment for Nicol than Annie after the World No 3 rallied for a 11-13, 11-5, 11-7, 11-3 win over world junior champion Nour El Sherbini of Egypt.

Nicol defeated Laura in the Australian Open final in her last outing when she won the first game 17-15 before the latter became spent in the next two.

Low Wee Wern (right) and Jenny Duncalf in their quarter-final match at the CIMB Malaysian Open at The Curve yesterday. Wee Wern won 11-7, 11-5, 11-8. Pic by Goh Thean Howe

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