Ivan Yuen (right) in a file photo. He prefers to train on his own, sparring occasionally with national No. 1 Ong Beng Hee and the younger boys.
KUALA LUMPUR: Most athletes would be lost without a coach, but national No. 4 squash player Ivan Yuen is not too concerned as he prefers to train on his own.
The 24-year-old Selangor player used to train under national coach Peter Genever.
But Ivan, who is pursuing a degree in business administration at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), did not make much progress under the English coach.
With no one else to coach him, he decided to train on his own.
“I train on my own and sometimes spar with (national number one and world No. 27) Ong Beng Hee.
“I also spar with the younger boys,” said Ivan, who turned pro five years ago.
Ivan, who is ranked 68th in the world, said that despite having no coach he is still confident of winning his first competition of the year.
The former Asian junior champion will feature in the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) NSC Series No. 1 tournament, which begins on Monday at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil.
Ivan has been given top billing for the tournament and he will face a qualifier in the satellite tournament.
Barring any upset, he is expected to face second seed Harinder Pal Sandhu of India, who is ranked 78th in the world in the final.
Despite his busy study schedule, Ivan will also feature in some upcoming overseas tournaments – the El Gouna International in Egypt from April 10-18 and the Hong Kong Football Club tournament from May 19-24.
Having won the NSC satellite tournament last February, Ivan admints he hopes to feature in the Asian Team Championship in Hong Kong in May.
“I believe I will be one of the four players selected for the Asian team,” said Ivan.
Besides Beng Hee and Ivan, the two other players to feature in the Asian team meet are national number two and three Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan and Mohd Asyraf Azan.
Ivan is also hoping to make his debut at the Asian Games in Incheon in September.