Malaysians sparkle

Sixth seeded India, who went out of semis contention on Wednesday after their second consecutive loss to Australia in the Group B on Wednesday, defeated Mexico 2-1 in their final league match at the Express Avenue Mall.

India’s number 1 player Saurav Ghosal outplayed Cesar Salazar 11-4, 11-6, 11-8 while  Dipika Pallikal lost to Samantha Teran 11-7, 12-14, 9-11, 11-13 before Siddharth Suchde breezed past Jorge Isaac Baltazar Ferreira 11-9, 11-1, 11-3.

Egypt and Malaysia moved into the semifinals from Group A while England and Australia advanced from Group B. Malaysia produced the event’s first upset by beating fourth seeds France to earn a surprise semifinal place.

Led by World No 1 Nicol David, fifth seeds Malaysia fell behind when Muhd Asyraf Azan went down 11-4, 11-13, 11-3, 11-0 to top-ranked Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet. But it took Nicol just 20 minutes to equalise for the underdogs, drubbing Coline Aumard following her 11-2, 11-3, 11-2.

However, it was Kamran Khan, the 21-year-old from Kuala Lumpur and making his senior international debut in the event, who turned out to be the star for Malaysia.

Ranked ten places behind French opponent Gregoire Marche, Khan recovered from a heavy defeat in the fourth game to beat the former European Junior champion 5-11, 11-9, 11-3, 2-11, 11-4 in a 71-minute marathon.

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