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Friday February 8, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday April 17, 2013 MYT 1:49:59 AM
by aftar singh
KUALA LUMPUR: Low Wee Wern is fast closing in on the top five of the world rankings.
The former three-time Asian junior squash champion, who turned pro in 2006, was ranked 10th in the world five months ago before moving up three rungs last November.
In the latest world rankings released a few days ago, Wee Wern moved up another one rung to reach a career best of sixth.
The Penangite, who will turn 23 on July 25, is the second highest-ranked Asian player in the world after Nicol David, who has held on to the No. 1 spot since August 2006.
Wee Wern improved on her world ranking after reaching the final of the Greenwich Open in the United States last month. She lost to world No. 4 Nour El Sherbini of Egypt.
Wee Wern was clearly thrilled with her progress.
“I’ve moved up to sixth in the world faster than expected. I’m really happy with my rankings and my performance,” said Wee Wern, who has won six WSA tournaments in her career.
“I want to thank coach Aaron (Soyza), who has been training me in Penang since I was 14, for helping me improve on my game and ranking.
“Many have told me that I should train overseas to improve on my ranking, but I’ve proved to them that I can do it by training at home.
“But it’s going be a real challenge for me to break into top five in the world as the players in that bracket are of a high standard.
“I’ve never beaten any of the top five players and I’ll have to work harder in training and learn new techniques to get the better of them,” added Wee Wern, who lost to Amsterdam-based Nicol in the quarter-finals of the recently-concluded Cleveland Classic in Ohio.
The other players in the top five are Egypt’s Raneem El Weleily (world No. 2), England’s Laura Massaro (No. 3), Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini (No. 4) and England’s Alison Waters (No. 5).
Wee Wern said that she would train for the next seven weeks in Penang before competing in her third tournament this year – the KL Open from March 26-31.
“I also hope to spar with Nicol in preparation for the KL Open,” said Wee Wern, whose other assignments for the year include the British Open (May 18-26), Carol Weymuller Open in New York (Oct 1-6), US Open in Philadelphia (Oct 9-18) and World Open (venue and dates yet to be decided).
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