US SQUASH

Team USA Falls to Malaysia; Awaits Hong Kong in Quarters

L-R: Delia Arnold,  Zulhijjah Azan,  Low Wee Wern,  Nicol David,  Amanda Sobhy,  Olivia Blatchford,  Sabrina Sobhy,  Natalie Grainger. (image: Steve Cubbins/squashsite.co.uk)

L-R: Delia Arnold, Zulhijjah Azan, Low Wee Wern, Nicol David, Amanda Sobhy, Olivia Blatchford, Sabrina Sobhy, Natalie Grainger. (image: Steve Cubbins/squashsite.co.uk)

Team USA lost to third-seeded Malaysia in their final Women’s World Team Group C match, solidifying second place in the group and a date in the quarterfinals against fourth-seeded Hong Kong on Court 6 at 2:30pm ET. The match will be streamed live.

Court 6 Live Stream: http://www.sportscanada.tv/squashcanada/index.php/watch-live/court-6

Malaysia bt United States 3-0:
Nicol David (MAS)  bt Olivia Blatchford (USA) 11-4, 11-5, 11-4
Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt Natalie Grainger (USA) 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-4
Delia Arnold (MAS) bt Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 11-4, 6-11, 12-10, 11-5

Sabrina Sobhy strikes the ball against Delia Arnold (image: Steve Line/squashpics.com)

Sabrina Sobhy strikes the ball against Delia Arnold (image: Steve Line/squashpics.com)

Maylasia entered the match with their strongest lineup possible including world No. 1 Nicol David, world No. 7 Low Wee Wern, and world No. 30 Delia Arnold. In contrast, the U.S. rested world No. 11 Amanda Sobhy in preparation for their quarterfinal match, and moved up Blatchford, Grainger, and Sabrina Sobhy respectively.

In their first career encounter, David—who has been world No. 1 for an incredible 101 consecutive months—displayed her world-leading prowess in clinical fashion. Blatchford held on and forced some entertaining rallies, but fell in thirty-one minutes 11-4, 11-5, 11-4.

Former world No. 1 Natalie Grainger came out firing against twenty-three-year-old Low Wee Wern. The 2013 U.S. Champion took the first game 11-9 with some precise shot making, and nearly took the second, but just fell short 9-11. Wee Wern raised her game to control the rest of the match, however, winning the third and fourth 11-4 in a thirty-three minute affair.

Current U.S. National and Junior Champion Sabrina Sobhy provided world No. 30 Delia Arnold with a scare after Arnold cruised in the first game 11-4. Sobhy turned the match momentum around completely in the second game, earning seven game balls at one point before leveling the game score 11-6. Sobhy had an opportunity to go up 2-1 with another game ball at 10-9 in the third game, but Arnold fought back to win it 12-10. The twenty-eight-year-old Malaysian then mustered the strength to win the fourth game 11-6.

David was pleased to win the group and remain undefeated, as the Malaysians eye their first World Team title.

“Our team has played well to get to the knockout stage—we’re very pleased to have won all our ties 3-0, ” David said. “Whatever happens next, we’ll be ready to go.”

“It would mean a lot to win this title—a team event is always very different. I’m never as nervous as I am for a team event—not when I’m playing, but when I’m supporting my teammates.  I have three strong teammates who train hard and work hard.

“It would be huge back in Malaysia if we won the title. Winning the Thomas Cup in badminton (aka, the World Men’s Team Championship) was massive at home—the whole country came to a halt twelve years ago when it happened.  We’ve never won any other world team title in sport—so winning this would be really special.”

All live streams: http://www.sportscanada.tv/squashcanada/

For full tournament coverage, visit wsfwomensteams.com.

Team USA Women’s World Team Tournament Page

 

 

 

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