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Saturday October 12, 2013 MYT 9:37:00 PM
Saturday October 12, 2013 MYT 9:58:32 PM
by aftar singh
Ong Beng Hee (right) wins his first title of the year after beating compatriot Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan in the final of the Royal Lake Club Open on Saturday. BERNAMA Photo.
KUALA LUMPUR: Veteran Ong Beng Hee’s decision to train for two weeks under coach David Pearson in Leeds recently paid off handsomely when he came back from the brink of defeat to beat team-mate Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan in the final of the Royal Lake Club Open on Saturday.
The 33-year-old Penang-born Beng Hee, who lost to Nafiizwan in straight sets in the first round of the Malaysian Open last month, played his heart out to win 11-5, 3-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7 in a gruelling 96-minute match.
It was Beng Hee’s first Professional Squash Association (PSA) circuit title this year and for his efforts he took home US$2,702.50 (RM8,594).
World No. 32 and second seed Nafiizwan received US$1,852.50 (RM5,890).
Top seed Beng Hee, who last won a professional title in January last year – the Motor City Open in Detroit, started off well by winning the first set 11-5.
But he lost his rhythm after that, losing the second and third sets, only to fight back to win the fourth set 11-7 to force the match into the decider.
Despite trailing 4-0 in the fifth set, he showed nerves of steel to level the score 5-5 before taking an 8-5 lead and winning the set 11-7.
Beng Hee gave full credit to the two weeks of hard training under coach Pearson.
“Pearson helped to boost my mental and physical strength in just two weeks. I thank SRAM (Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia) and also NSC (National Sports Council) for sending me to England at such short notice to help improve my game,” said Beng Hee.
“It was mentally and physically a tough match against Nafiizwan. But I thank God for managing to hang on to come back from the brink of defeat to win.
“It feels really great winning my first PSA title this year after struggling in previous tournaments,” said Beng Hee, whose next tournament is the Macau Open which starts on Thursday.
The 27-year-old Nafiizwan said that he was disappointed for blowing his chances.
“The pressure was on Beng Hee in the fifth set but I made some unforced errors to allow my opponent to beat me,” he said.
Tags / Keywords:
Ong Beng Hee, Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan, Royal Lake Club Open, squash
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