Malaysian World No.15 Delia Arnold progressed to the second round of the Naza PSA Women’s World Championship for the first time in her career after prevailing over Egyptian teenager Mariam Metwally in a engaging fixture in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Metwally, who came through qualifying after wins over Lotte Eriksen and Amina Yousry, started the slower of the two and gifted Arnold four early points after a number of tinned shots. It was soon Arnold’s turn to produce some unforced errors which allowed her young opponent back into the game but she held her nerve on the tie-break to go a game to the good.
The second game was an extremely tight affair with Metwally only just managing to keep ahead, but she managed to level proceedings after a flurry of sharp, attacking shots enabled her to build up a succession of points. Arnold responded and powered into a 9-5 lead in the third with some rapid winners opening up the court for herself. Metwally fought back to force a tie-break but Arnold once again managed to win the crucial points as she regained her lead to a chorus of cheers from a passionate local crowd.
Arnold looked like she was all set to take control of the fourth but the unforced errors reared their head again as she let Metwally battle back. With the scores delicately poised at 10-9, a wayward shot from a stretching Metwally came flying back at her to hand the stroke, and the result to Arnold, whose 12-10, 10-12, 12-10, 11-9 sees her through to face Omneya Abdel Kawy in the next round.
“This was the first time I have played her so I expected a tough match,” said Arnold.
“I think that I played well but I lost focus and she caught up. It’s good I won in four though. I can do better than getting through to the second round.
“Against Omneya, it will be tough but I will try my best. She [Metwally] is still a junior but I am expecting a tougher game against Omneya. I was quite nervous coming into this.
“Hopefully against Omneya I can get my body warmed up.”
Result – First Round: Naza PSA Women’s World Championship
Delia Arnold (MAS) bt [Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY) 3-1: 12-10, 10-12, 12-10, 11-9 (59m)
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