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Published: Friday December 13, 2013 MYT 7:19:00 PM
Updated: Friday December 13, 2013 MYT 7:22:38 PM

Malaysian girls put on strong show at Junior Open

Nazihah Hanis Razak in a file photo. She powered through her weaknesses to overcome compatriot Aisyah Munirah and book her place in the semi-finals of the Under-17 category in the REDtone 7th KL International Junior Open squash championships.

Nazihah Hanis Razak in a file photo. She powered through her weaknesses to overcome compatriot Aisyah Munirah and book her place in the semi-finals of the Under-17 category in the REDtone 7th KL International Junior Open squash championships.

KUALA LUMPUR: Nazihah Hanis Razak overcame her obvious weakness in front court to book a spot in the semi-finals of the girls’ Under-17 category in the REDtone 7th KL International Junior Open squash championships at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil.

She joined Mindy Lee, Sara Chew and Ooi Kah Yan to make it an all-Malaysian semi-finals.

Top seed Hanis overcame compatriot Aisyah Munirah in the quarter-finals 11-3, 11-3, 11-5 on Friday.

It looked to be an easy win for the Kedah-born player after she cruised through the first and second sets only to struggle when Aisyah attacked the front court.

Hanis eventually changed her strategy and played more shots to the back court to counter Aisyah’s attacks.

“There were a lot of rallies in that match but in one of those rallies Aisyah attacked the front court quite well and I think she realised that I could not return her front court shots. However, she was also making a lot of unforced errors and luckily I kept calm and tried to control the game and managed to finish it off,” said Hanis.

In the semi-final on Saturday, she faces Negri Sembilan-born Ooi Kah Yan who came back from one set down to beat third seed N. Mayuri of India in her quarter-final match.

Kah Yan will certainly be a challenge for Hanis as the rising star has been in top form lately.

“Kah Yan will be a tough match as she will not go down easily without a fight. I believe my weakness can be my strength as I know I will struggle reacting to her front court shots but I can counter with my drop shots. However, I will have to measure the game and will be looking to play it safe by aiming the ball into the back corners,” added the 16-year-old who aims to reach the quarter-finals of next year’s British Junior Open.

In the girls’ Under-19 category, Malaysia’s fifth seed Nurina Mohd Najib pulled off a surprise victory when she thrashed top seed Hadis Farzad 11-2, 11-3, 11-1.

In this category, it will also be an all-Malaysian semi-finals with Andrea Lee Jia Qi, Zoe Foo and Aika Azman also booking their spot on Friday.

In the boys’ Under-15 category, Ryan Pasqual progressed to the semis after beating Pakistan’s Mehran Javed. His compatriots Mohd Aqif Ampandi and Ma Teck Leck also won their respective matches and will face-off on Saturday in their semi-final match.

In the boys’ Under-19 category, Farez Izwan and Yovienshan of Malaysia will be heading into the semi-finals, where they will face tough opponents in Yong Yoo-seung from South Korea and Farzad Shokouhi from Iran respectively.

Tags / Keywords: squash, Nazihah Hanis Razak, REDtone 7th KL International Junior Open

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