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Big Shock in Women’s Malaysian Tour as Hanis Takes Out Raj

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Number one seed and pre-tournament favourite Vanessa Raj suffered a shock defeat to World No.130 Nazihah Hanis in round one of the Women’s Malaysian Squash Tour II, PSA W5 event – just two days after Hanis’s 19th birthday.

Hanis shot out of the traps and built up a seemingly unassailable 2-0 lead, catching her opponent cold with some sumptuous drop shots and attacking with vigour. Raj recovered though to wipe our Hanis’s lead and seemed destined to complete the comeback before a resilient Hanis rediscovered her rhythm in a dramatic fifth game to secure the win courtesy of an 11-6, 11-5, 5-11, 3-11, 11-9 scoreline which has seen her reach the quarter-final of a PSA World Tour event for the first time since May 2015.

Japanese qualifier Satomi Watanabe awaits Hanis in the next round after she upset eighth seed Sammer Anjum with a strong 3-1 triumph.

Norwegian number two seed Lotte Eriksen had better luck in her first round fixture with Nur Aliah Izzati, seeing off the local player in three to ensure a winning comeback from a hiatus that has lasted for longer than a year. She will look to continue her strong start to the tournament against home qualifier Aifa Azman, who moved past Sadia Gul, in the last eight.

Andrea Lee is the other qualifier to advance to the quarter-final after an exciting five-game thriller against number four seed Lakeesha Rarere. Lee fell behind twice before finally managing to shift the momentum in her favour in the fifth to close out the win and set up a meeting with experienced Australian Lisa Camilleri after the 33-year-old defeated Zoe Foo Yuk Han.

Sivasangari Subramaniam and Aika Azman complete the quarter-final draw after respective straight games triumphs over Chan Yiwen and Noor Shadira.

Results – First Round: Women’s Malaysian Squash Tour II 2016
[2] Lotte Eriksen (NOR) bt [Q] Nur Aliah Izzati (MAS) 3-0: 11-5, 13-11, 11-7
[Q] Aifa Azman (MAS) bt [5] Sadia Gul (PAK) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 5-2 ret.
[7] Lisa Camilleri (AUS) bt Zoe Foo Yuk Han (MAS) 3-0: 11-5, 11-9, 11-7
[Q] Andrea Lee (MAS) bt [4] Lakeesha Rarere (AUS) 3-2: 6-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-5, 11-6
[3] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt Chan Yiwen (MAS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-4, 11-6
[6] Aika Azman (MAS) bt Noor Shadira (MAS) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-8
[Q] Satomi Watanabe (JPN) bt [8] Sammer Anjum (PAK) 3-1: 11-2, 10-12, 11-2, 11-6
Nazihah Hanis (MAS) bt [1] Vanessa Raj (MAS) 3-2: 11-6, 11-5, 5-11, 3-11, 11-9

Draw – Quarter-Final
[2] Lotte Eriksen (NOR) v [Q] Aifa Azman (MAS)
[7] Lisa Camilleri (AUS) v [Q] Andrea Lee (MAS)
[3] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) v Aika Azman (MAS)
[Q] Satomi Watanabe (JPN) v Nazihah Hanis (MAS)

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