Malaysia’s World No.83 Addeen Idrakie‘s brilliant run at the Malaysian Open Squash Championships has continued into the quarter-finals after the 28-year-old came from behind to shock German seventh seed Raphael Kandra.
Idrakie, who yesterday surprised former World No.3 Omar Mosaad, looked on his way out when a dominant Kandra took the opening game 11-4, only to hit back with an 11-7 win in the second game.
In the third and fourth games, Idrakie showed more of the tenacity that saw him shock Mosaad. 10-6 down in game three, he dug in and saved all four game balls before moving a game ahead with a 13-11 win. The Malaysian almost repeated the trick in the fourth game as he saved five game balls in a tight 11-9 defeat that saw the match go to five.
On a hot court, and buoyed both by the vocal home crowd and by his late scoring run in game four, Idrakie played some of his best squash in the decisive game. The Kuala Lumpur native tirelessly harried Kandra and sparked the loudest cheers of tournament so far as he pulled away from 7-7 to an 11-8 winner.
Idrakie will face top seed Tarek Momen in the last match on quarter-fianls day after the Egyptian came from behind to beat compatriot Yahya Elnawasany 3-1.
“I think this was my best squash. I knew that I had no pressure today and that the crowd were really supporting me and I pushed myself one point by one.
“I’m not sure why I’m playing so well at the moment but the crowd really helps me a lot. In yesterday’s match I caused an upset and my coach told me that they believed in me and I can pull off another upset.”
Kandra was not the only seed to fall on a a dramatic day at the National Squash Centre in Kuala Lumpur, with South African seventh seed Alexandra Fuller falling to Yathreb Adel of Egypt. Adel got off to a strong start in the match, stopping the movement of the World No.24 and disrupting her rhythm.
After losing the first game 11-7, Fuller started to find her length in the following game and was able to step up the court, which was rewarded with an 11-6 win to level the contest. The following two games were scattered with decisions and short, sharp rallies. Adel was able to secure both games 11-9 by digging deep to continuously chase balls down and put pressure on the South African.
Adel said: “I’m very happy to be through. I knew Alex would be a tough opponent, she’s very talented, too, so I had to focus from start to finish.”
Elsewhere, women’s defending champion Aifa Azman of Malaysia – who shocked the squash world last year by winning the tournament as a wildcard – will play second seed Nele Gilis of Belgium after Azman defeated compatriot Ainaa Amani 3-0 and Gilis beat Fayrouz Aboelkheir of Egypt by the same scoreline.