Published: Tuesday December 31, 2013 MYT 8:48:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday December 31, 2013 MYT 8:54:36 PM

Sivasangari bent on winning her first British Juniors title

National junior S. Sivasangari is the girls' Under-15 top seed at the British Junior squash championships starting on Thursday. - Filepic

National junior S. Sivasangari is the girls' Under-15 top seed at the British Junior squash championships starting on Thursday. - Filepic

PETALING JAYA: Talented junior squash player S. Sivasangari aims to make 2014 a better year.

By her own high standards, the 14-year-old was not too happy with her achievements last season. She made the final of the British Junior Open, only to lose in the final to Egyptian Habiba Mohamed in the Under-13 category. Sivasangari was also unable to defend her Asian Junior Under-15 title, losing to team-mate Zoe Foo in the semi-finals.

Fresh from winning the Under-19 category of the Pontefract Junior Open by beating compatriot Nazihah Hanis 11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 on Monday, Sivasangari is hoping to finally get it right at the British Junior Championships, which start in Sheffield tomorrow. She is the top seed in the Under-15 category.

“There was a lot of pressure on me as the other Malaysian juniors like Zoe and Andrea (Lee) were catching up on me really fast last year,” said Sivasangari.

“During the Asian Juniors, I was down with food poisoning and Zoe played her best then. I’m a little disappointed with my results last season.

“But there were some positives, like being given the opportunity to represent Malaysia at the Women’s World Juniors in Wroclaw, Poland, in July. It gave me the chance to compete against the older girls and learn how to become a better player,” she added.

With her confidence back, Sivasangari plans to win her first-ever British Junior Championships title.

“I’ve already put all the disappointments behind me. I’m hoping for a better start to the New Year.

“I came close to winning the British Juniors twice. I reached the Under-13 semi-finals in 2012 and then the final last year. Now, I want to go one step further.

“Habiba has moved up to the Under-17 category this time and that gives me a better chance.

“It’ll still be tough though as the other top four seeds are all Egyptians. I will have to be wary of them.

“But I’ve been playing well and training very hard and I believe that I have what it takes this time,” she said.

Sivasangari has a first-round bye and will meet either homester Ellen Cooper or Ireland’s Ellie McVeight in the second round.

She is expected to meet joint fifth-eighth seed Saskia Beinhard of Germany in the quarter-finals.

The other Malaysian competing in the Under-15 class is Ooi Kah Yan, who is seeded joint ninth-16th.


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