In-tune Charlton stops Bon Jovi to halt Malaysian double
By SEAN REUTHE
Number three seed Rachel Arnold recovered from a 2-1 deficit to beat surprise package Menna Hamed in the final of the Malaysian Tour XI, PSA M5 tournament – securing her first title of her career in the process.
Arnold had dropped just a single game en-route to the final while Hamed had shocked a trio of seeds to book her spot in the showpiece event.
It was Arnold’s third final on the 2015 instalment of the Malaysian Tour with her two previous final appearances ending in defeats.
A strong start saw the Malaysian surge into a one-game lead but a gargantuan effort from Hamed saw her turn the match on its head as she went 2-1 ahead for the loss of a solitary point in game three.
However, Arnold came battling back and wrestled the momentum of the match in her favour, eventually rising to claim an exceptionally hard-fought 11-4, 10-12, 1-11, 11-9, 11-9 victory.
“It was such tense game … but I’m really happy with the way I finished off the match,” said Rachel.
“I was really frustrated with myself for not winning any titles despite making the finals a few times.
“I’m really happy with the way I came back today. I had to mix the pace after the third set and it worked in my favour.
“It’s a good way to end the year. Hopefully, this will be a stepping stone for me … I’m hoping to win more and to have more opportunities competing overseas.”
There was no double joy for Malaysia in the men’s event when Valentino Bon Jovi Bong went down to top seed Eddie Charlton of England.
The 26-year-old Valentino, making his first Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tour final, started well but faded badly to lose 9-11, 3-11, 3-11 to world No. 69 Charlton.
Charlton ensured that he will end 2015 in style after lifting his first PSA World Tour title of the year.
Charlton secured his final berth by downing Bon Jovi Bong’s fellow Malaysian Elvinn Keo in straight games while Bon Jovi Bong saw off Adam Murrills in four.
Appearing in his first PSA World Tour final in front of a partizan home crowd, Bon Jovi Bong pushed his opponent all the way in an opening game that saw both players mix up their games in a bid to seize the initiative.
However, Charlton pulled away to open up a one-game advantage and he surged to victories in the next two to wrap up an 11-9, 11-3, 11-3 triumph.
Victory in Malaysia sees Charlton capture his fifth PSA World Tour title and his first since May 2014.
Result – Malaysian Tour XI 2015
 Rachel Arnold (MAS) bt [Q] Menna Hamed (EGY) 3-2: 11-4, 10-12, 1-11, 11-9, 11-9 (60m)
 Eddie Charlton (ENG) bt  Valentino Bon Jovi Bong (MAS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-3, 11-3 (33m)