Ivan Yuen beat national No. 1 Ong Beng Hee to win the sixth leg of the Malaysian Tour Squash Circuit (SSJM) in Subang on Sunday. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: National No. 4 Ivan Yuen earned himself a massive confidence boost by beating national No. 1 Ong Beng Hee to win the sixth leg of the Malaysian Tour Squash Circuit (SSJM) at the Subang Lakeview Club.
The 23-year-old Ivan, the former Asian junior champion and world junior runner-up in 2009, finally got the better of the 34-year-old Beng Hee for the first time in his career on Sunday.
However, world No. 67 Ivan did not have it easy at all as he slogged to overcome Beng Hee 11-9, 13-11, 11-13, 8-11, 11-8 in the final for his fourth title of the season. Ivan had earlier won the NSC Series No. 1 and 2 as well as the first leg of the SSJM.
It is also a boost for the men’s national team to have Ivan hitting form before the Asian Team Championship, which begins in Hong Kong on Wednesday. Ivan is the third-ranked player behind Beng Hee and Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan as Malaysia seek to regain the team title they last won in 2008.
“It was really a great win for me and it felt good to beat Beng Hee for the first time,” said Ivan.
“He’s very experienced and has been around for so long. It’s a good confidence boost for me to pick up a win over him at a time like this.
“For the Asian Team Championship, I will probably play more matches as the No. 3. But No. 4 Mohd Azlan (Iskandar) is also in good shape, so I think we will probably take turns to play,” added Ivan.
Malaysia are seeded third and are in Pool C with Japan, Iraq and Sri Lanka. They are tipped to meet either fifth seeds Kuwait or hosts Hong Kong in the quarter-finals.
India are the top seeds while defending champions Pakistan are seeded second.
In the women’s event, Malaysia, powered by world No. 1 Nicol David, are the title favourites. They are placed in Pool A with South Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka and Singapore.
Pool B consists of defending champions India, Hong Kong, China, Pakistan and Iran.