Ali tops group in Oz

ALISON MERRIEN is safely through to the knockout stages of the World Cup Women's Singles.

Ali tops group in Oz

ALISON MERRIEN is safely through to the knockout stages of the World Cup Women's Singles.

The defending champion, pictured, topped her qualifying group with nine wins from 10 matches after enjoying an unbeaten weekend at the Warilla club in New South Wales.

She beat Carmen Spiteri of Malta 15-1, 9-8 on Saturday and yesterday completed her qualifying campaign with a 7-7, 9-5 victory over Ainie Knight of the Philippines.

That meant that the Guernsey star finished on 18 points, ahead of the other group one qualifiers Canada's Kelly McKerihen and Australian Karen Murphy, the only person to have beaten Merrien in the qualifying round.

The reward for topping the group is a bye straight through to the semi-finals.

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