World Junior Wonder Habiba Makes Malaysian Open Draw

RESULTS: Women’s CIMB Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Qualifying finals:
Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) bt Zoe Foo (MAS) 11-4, 11-4, 11-4 (23m)
Latasha Khan (USA) bt Vanessa Raj (MAS) 11-5, 11-7, 12-14, 11-3 (41m)
Samantha Teran (MEX) bt Yathreb Adel (EGY) 11-9, 8-11, 14-12, 4-11, 14-12 (65m)
Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) bt Rachel Arnold (MAS) 10-12, 11-6, 11-3, 11-6 (38m)
Lisa Aitken (ENG) bt Teh Min Jie (MAS) 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 (17m)
Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) bt Sivasangari Subramanian (MAS) 11-5, 13-11, 11-7 (27m)
Habiba Mohamed Ahmed (EGY) bt Zulhijjah Binti Azan (MAS) 13-11, 11-1, 11-5 (28m)
Deon Saffery (WAL) bt Siyoli Waters (RSA) 11-5, 11-7, 14-12 (30m)

Just days after shocking the squash world by winning the Women’s World Junior Championship title in Namibia aged just 15, Egypt’s Habiba Mohamed Ahmed maintained her winning run today in Malaysia where she qualified for the main draw of the prestigious Women’s CIMB Malaysian Open, the WSA World Series Gold championship in Kuala Lumpur.

The Alexandria starlet – who stunned three higher-ranked compatriots to claim the world title, including the hot favourite Nour El Sherbini, ranked eight in the world – today defeated home hope Sivasangari Subramanian, also 15, 11-5, 13-11, 11-7.

In her maiden appearance in the Malaysian Open, Ahmed is drawn to face fourth seed Camille Serme, the world No5 from France who was a semi-finalist last year.

Players from seven countries survived today’s qualifying finals – with Ahmed’s success perfectly complemented by that of Latasha Khan, the 41-year-old former world No18 who appropriately needed 41 minutes to get the better of 18-year-old Malaysian Vanessa Raj 11-5, 11-7, 12-14, 11-3.

But all eyes will be on Malaysian squash queen Nicol David, the world No1 from Penang who is the only player to have competed in every Malaysian Open since 2003. More notably, the 30-year-old has made the event’s final each time in the past 11 years, with a remarkable eight titles to her name!

David, back on the WSA World Tour for the first time since making history last month as the first woman to successfully defend her Commonwealth Games gold medal, meets Hong Kong qualifier Liu Tsz-Ling in the first round.

The women’s championship gets underway at the Bukit Jalil National Squash Centre tomorrow before moving to the NU Sentral Mall in Kuala Lumpur for the semi-finals on Friday, and final on Saturday.

Updated 1st round line-up:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) v [Q] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG)
[14] Joshana Chinappa (IND) v Line Hansen (DEN)
[9] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v [Q] Deon Saffery (WAL)
[7] Annie Au (HKG) v Victoria Lust (ENG)
[3] Raneem El Welily (EGY) v Tesni Evans (WAL)
[15] Joey Chan (HKG) v Emily Whitlock (ENG)
[13] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Nouran Gohar (EGY)
[6] Low Wee Wern (MAS) v Heba El Torky (EGY)
[5] Alison Waters (ENG) v Delia Arnold (MAS)
[10] Amanda Sobhy (USA) v [Q] Samantha Teran (MEX)
[11] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v [Q] Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG)
[4] Camille Serme (FRA) v [Q] Habiba Mohamed Ahmed (EGY)
[8] Madeline Perry (IRL) v Aisling Blake (IRL)
[12] Rachael Grinham (AUS) v [Q] Lisa Aitken (ENG)
[16] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v [Q] Misaki Kobayashi (JPN)
[2] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [Q] Latasha Khan (USA)

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