Malaysian pair Vanessa Raj and Rachel Arnold advanced to the semi-final stage of the IJM Land 4th Penang Women’s Open, PSA W5 tournament after earning respective wins over Ho Tze-Lok and Aika Azman in the last eight.
Raj had the better of the opening exchanges as she surged to victory in game one for the loss of just three points. But Hong Kong’s Tze-Lok soon found her way back into the encounter and levelled things up, before conceding the third to a resurgent Raj.
With the scores delicately poised at 6-6 in the fourth, injury struck for Tze-Lok and she was unable to continue, handing Raj the win and a place in the semi-final.
“I played well today, but lost my focus in the second game,” said Raj.
“Luckily, I managed to get my focus back. My opponent played well and hung in there as much as possible. It wasn’t a nice way to win like that, but I did it.”
Raj will line up against another player from Hong Kong in the last four, Tong Tsz-Wing, after she overcame Nazihah Hanis with a comfortable three-game salvo.
Meanwhile, Arnold will also contest her semi-final fixture with a Hong Kong representative in Lee Ka Yi. Lee saw off Japanese wildcard Satomi Watanabe, who stunned top seed Teh Min Jie in the first round, to move to within one win of the final.
“I played her [Azman] two years ago, that was a close match, but for today’s match, I didn’t play well, but managed to win the match,” Arnold said.
Results – Quarter-Final: IJM Land 4th Penang Women’s Open 2016
 Lee Ka Yi (HKG) bt [WC] Satomi Watanabe (JPN) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 15-13
 Rachel Arnold (MAS) bt  Aika Azman (MAS) 3-1: 12-10, 7-11, 11-1, 11-9
 Vanessa Raj (MAS) bt  Ho Tze-Lok (HKG) 3-1: 11-3, 7-11, 11-6, 6-6 ret.
 Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) bt Nazhihah Hanis (MAS) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-2
Draw – Semi-Final
 Lee Ka Yi (HKG) v  Rachel Arnold (MAS)
 Vanessa Raj (MAS) v  Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG)