Delia Arnold serves up an all-Malaysian clash in first round
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
The WSA event in Hong Kong features players from a variety of nationalities across the globe and an age spread among competitors from 18 to 41.
Players from six different nations will add to the draw of the Women’s Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open after surviving today’s qualifying finals of the Women’s Squash Association World Series Gold event in Hong Kong.
The 18-year-old Salma Hany Ibrahim leads a trio of Egyptians into round one after beating Argentina’s sole representative Belen Etchechoury. The world No36 has been drawn to face Amanda Sobhy, the No8 seed from the USA.
Latasha Khan of the USA becomes the oldest player to make the main draw after seeing off local hope Lau Tin Yan in straight games in just 19 minutes. The 41-year-old from Seattle is celebrating her 22nd year on the WSA World Tour and has now competed in more than 200 events!
Khan is drawn to meet England’s No9 seed Jenny Duncalf in what will be the pair’s seventh Tour clash in more than 11 years.
But it is Malaysian qualifier Delia Arnold who has the toughest task: The 28-year-old from Selangor despatched Hong Kong’s Elise Ng 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 in just 19 minutes and will now face top-seeded compatriot Nicol David.
The world No1 is bidding for an incredible 10th straight title since first winning the trophy in December 2005.
The Malaysian pair will line up at 5.30pm local time on Tuesday – with Nicol bidding to begin the defence of her title with a 46th successive match win in the championship.
She will be looking for a revival in fortunes after losing in front of her army of home fans to Raneem El Welily in the Malaysian Open semi-finals in Kuala Lumpur last week.
Women’s Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open:
Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9 (47m)
Milou van der Heijden (NED) bt Zulhijjah Binti Azan (MAS) 12-10, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9 (42m)
Delia Arnold (MAS) bt Elise Ng (HKG) 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 (19m)
Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 12-10, 11-9, 11-4 (34m)
Samantha Teran (MEX) bt Ho Tze-Lok (HKG) 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 (29m)
Latasha Khan (USA) bt Lau Tin Yan (HKG) 11-2, 11-2, 11-5 (19m)
Laura Pomportes (FRA) bt Li Dongjin (CHN) 8-11, 11-2, 8-11, 11-6, 11-3 (42m)
Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) bt Belen Etchechoury (ARG) 11-6, 11-3, 11-6 (20m)
Updated 1st round draw:
 Nicol David (MAS) v [Q] Delia Arnold (MAS)
 Emma Beddoes (ENG) v Siyoli Waters (RSA)
 Joey Chan (HKG) v [Q] Milou van der Heijden (NED)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v Tesni Evans (WAL)
 Camille Serme (FRA) v [Q] Laura Pomportes (FRA)
 Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v [Q] Latasha Khan (USA)
 Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) v Victoria Lust (ENG)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) v [Q] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY)
 Low Wee Wern (MAS) v Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v [Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v Line Hansen (DEN)
 Alison Waters (ENG) v Misaki Kobayashi (JPN)
 Annie Au (HKG) v Heba El Torky (EGY)
 Rachael Grinham (AUS) v [Q] Samantha Teran (MEX)
 Joshana Chinappa (IND) v Nouran Gohar (EGY)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v [Q] Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY)
For all the latest WSA Tour news: wsaworldtour.com
Picture by KNG ZHENG GUAN