Nicol leads star-studded fiels in Australia
Posted on July 4, 2012, Wednesday
MELBOURNE: Malaysian squash queen Datuk Nicol David will be among top eight squash players in the world to feature in the prestigious 2012 Australian Open next month.
Nicol, the world number one is expected to face English duo Jenny Duncalf, Laura Massaro and 2010 champion Madeline Perry of Ireland, in her quest for the title.
Though the men’s draw had been finalised, women’s entries only close later yesterday, but eight of the top 10 have confirmed their participation in the Open held in Canberra from Aug 13-19.
Former champions Annie Au (Hongkong), Joelle King (New Zealand), Rachael Grinham and Kasey Brown (both Australia) will also be in Canberra next month.
Meanwhile, in the men’s category, defending champion Ramy Ashour has been handed a dream first round draw with the Egyptian set to face a qualifier in his opening match.
Ashour is the overwhelming favourite to win his second Australian Open in succession after main rivals Nick Matthew and James Willstrop elected not to make the trip to Canberra this year.
The Egyptian will likely take on Malaysian Nafiizwan Adnan in the second round and could face Australian number one Cameron Pilley in the semi-finals.
Pilley also opens against a qualifier but could then have to get past a pair of Egyptians “Omar Abdel Aziz and third seed Omar Mosaad” if he was to make the final four.
Second seeded Englishman, Peter Barker has a tricky start against rising Hongkong star Max Lee before a probable clash with Czech number one Jan Koukal.
Ryan Cuskelly will take on a Kuwaiti, Abdullah Al Muzayen in his first match, while fellow New South Welshman Matthew Karwalski is up against Mosaad.
There is one all-Australian clash, with Brisbane’s Zac Alexander drawn to face Victorian wildcard Rex Hedrick. — Bernama