Amani and Idrakie Lead Charge for Hosts as Malaysian Open Begins
Malaysian duo Ainaa Amani and Addeen Idrakie produced two of the shocks of the day as they beat much higher ranked opponents on the opening day of the Malaysian Open Squash Championships 2022.
World No.106 Amani, a late addition to the tournament following an injury to Lisa Aitken, ensured that the hosts got off to the perfect start in the day’s opening match on the traditional courts as she came from behind to beat Egypt’s World No.38 Zeina Mickawy 3-2.
The 20-year-old made a brilliant start to the match as she better held her nerve at 10-10 to take the opening game 12-10. Mickawy, who has been as high as 20 in the PSA World Rankings, then hit back with a dominant 11-6 win to restore parity, before taking the lead with a hard-fought 11-7 victory.
Amani then responded brilliantly; the 20-year-old levelled the match with an 11-7 win in the fourth game before sealing a memorable victory with an 11-6 win in the fifth. The Malaysian will face compatriot and defending champion Aifa Azman in the next round.
“That was a really unexpected win. I just wanted to come out and do my best and the result was really, really good!
“It’s a really an honour to represent my country, especially after I only got into the draw last minute on Saturday. I just wanted to play and enjoy the match.”
World No.83 Idrakie then built on Amani’s success on the all-glass court as he downed former World No.3 Omar Mosaad to reach the second round of the Malaysian Open for the first time.
Idrakie showed no fear as he took on the ‘Hammer of Thor’ in the opening game and took the pace to the experienced Egyptian from the start, moving Mosaad around well and then picking him off at the front of the court.
The Malaysian took the opening game 14-12 before backing that up with a comfortable 11-5 win in the second to lead by two games. Mosaad hit back as he saved match balls in the third game before giving himself a lifeline with a 13-11 win, only for Idrakie to return to his quality hitting however and set up a second round match against German No.7 seed Raphael Kandra with an 11-7 win in the fourth game.
“I think I give my best performances in Malaysia; this is my first time through to the second round in the Malaysian Open and I’m just hoping I can play even better in the next round.”
Joining Amani and Idrakie in the second round are two more of their compatriots, with Malaysian men’s No.1 Eain Yow Ng beating Argentina’s Leandro Romiglio and Chan Yiwen beating compatriot and former World No.5 Low Wee Wern – who is returning from a lengthy spell out following knee surgery – in straight games.
Tomorrow’s second round sees the seeded players enter the draw. In the men’s draw, top seed and 2019 World Champion Tarek Momen of Egypt takes on compatriot Yahya Elnawasany, who beat Malaysia’s Mohammad Syafiq Kamal 3-0.
In the women’s draw, top seed Olivia Fiechter of the USA goes up against England’s Julianne Courtice, who breezed past Malaysia’s Ooi Kah Yan in 20 minutes.