Egyptian World No.6 Omneya Abel Kawy repelled a passionate local crowd to overturn a one-game deficit against home player Delia Arnold to secure her quarter-final berth in the Naza PSA Women’s World Championship in Bukit Jalil, Malaysia.
Kuala Lumpur-based Arnold, who was playing in front of her home spectators, was impressive in the early exchanges and she used the front of the court well to test Kawy’s movement, an approach that paid dividends as the World No.15 opened up a 1-0 advantage to a chorus of cheers.
Things didn’t quite go to plan in game two for Arnold as she fell behind to some well disguised shots from Kawy and the change in fortunes was compounded when she served out in the latter stages to hand Kawy an 8-6 lead. Play was delayed for a number of minutes, with Kawy sustaining a nose injury after running into the back of Arnold, but the temporary delay did little to stem the flow of Kawy’s momentum and she closed out the game after an unforced error from Arnold, before a rampant display in the third saw her go ahead for the first time.
Kawy continued to perform well in the fourth and strode into a 5-0 lead before Arnold eventually worked her way back into contention. But Kawy held on and withstood a late fightback from the Malaysian No.2 to earn her place in the last eight where she will take on World No.1 Laura Massaro.
“It’s always tough against Delia,” said Kawy.
“We’ve had several matches and, even if it’s 3-0, it’s still tough. She’s a fantastic player, she has great shots from the middle and from her volleys so I tried to keep her at the back as much as I could, but I think she has improved there as well. It was hard for me to think on every single shot to make her work.
“She started really well in the first game and I tried to get back to make her feel that I was still in the match. It worked and I figured out some stuff and thankfully I won.
“I will try and recover for tomorrow, the last few times she [Massaro] beat me 3-0, but tomorrow is a new match, it’s a World Championship, you have to give it everything. With Laura, it’s difficult to get back if you go behind because she is tough mentally, so I have to start well, maintain the court and keep the plan right.”
Meanwhile, Arnold admitted that the break towards the end of the second game and the error in the following rally caused her to lose her focus.
“I think I played really well in the first game and then, in the second I had some time off,” Arnold explained.
“Mentally, it distracted me a little bit then I went in and hit the tin on the last point, which caused me to lose confidence a little bit.”
Result – Second Round: Naza PSA Women’s World Championship
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt Delia Arnold (MAS) 3-1: 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-8 (54m)
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