16th August, 2012
CANBERRA: World Number One and defending champion Datuk Nicol David won through to the second round of the Australian Open here but not before surviving a test from Welsh qualifier Tesni Evans on Wednesday.
Nicol was in complete control when she won the first game in a canter but the 19-year-old Evans came out blazing in the second and attacked at every opportunity, winning the game to level the match at 1-1.
The Malaysian superstar regrouped to win the third then held off a charging Evans to claim a highly entertaining match 11-3, 8-11, 11-4, 11-8.
“I was working hard the whole match to win. You can see what she can do with the ball. She’s a real talent and didn’t give up points easily. I just had to hang in there and stick to my game,” Nicol told the media later.
Nicol now takes on fellow Malaysian Low Wee Wern as she tries to win the Heather McKay Cup for the second year in a row.
Australia’s Rachael Grinham survived her own test against South Africa’s Siyoli Waters to move into the second round.
The fifth seeded Grinham had to call on her experience to see off the powerful Waters 11-8, 13-11, 11-9 on the glass court in Canberra’s Royal Theatre.
Grinham maybe ranked 30 places above the South African but that gap was hardly noticeable as Waters matched her more illustrious opponent in almost every department.
Grinham next play fellow Australian Donna Urquhart in the second round after she beat Kylie Lindsay 11-7 11-3, 11-6.
Kasey Brown made it three Australians into the second round when she beat Denmark’s Line Hansen 11-6, 11-4, 11-2.
Hansen had won two tournaments in the lead-up to the Open but she was never in the hunt against 2006 champion Brown, who now take on Joelle King of New Zealand who won the title in 2009.
Earlier, 2010 champion Madeline Perry of Ireland opened her campaign in great style as she demolished Malaysia’s Siti Munirah Jusoh 11-3, 11-9, 11-1. Despite the stiff competition in the second game, Perry was always in complete control.
Second seed Jenny Duncalf survived a tricky first round clash against India’s Joshna Chinappa 11-7, 11-7, 13-11 to ease into the tournament. Melbourne qualifier Sarah Cardwell fell just short of an upset when she lost in five games to 16th seeded Emma Beddoes of England. Cardwell led two games to one but fell just short against Beddoes, who won 8-11, 11-2, 8-11, 11-4, 11-3.
Third seed Laura Massaro eased past Thaisa Serafini of Brazil 11-1, 11-5, 11-8, while 2008 champion Annie Au of Hongkong thumped Scotland’s Lisa Aitken 11-5, 11-2, 11-2.
England’s Emily Whitlock upset 13th seeded New Zealander Jaclyn Hawkes 9-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9 , former runner-up Alison Waters downed 15th seed Delia Arnold 11-8, 11-6, 11-3, while US Number One Amanda Sobhy beat 12th seed Joey Chan 11-4, 11-6, 11-3.