Nazihah Hanis (right) in action against Hong Kong's Choi Uen Shan. - CHAN BOON KAI / The Star
GEORGE TOWN: Malaysian Nazihah Hanis Razak pulled off a major upset when she ousted Asian Under-17 champion Choi Uen Shan of Hong Kong in the girls’ Under-19 quarter-finals of the Malaysian Junior Open squash championships.
Nazihah, who lost in straight sets to Uen Shan in last year’s Under-17 final of the Asian Junior Championships in Jordan, gained sweet revenge with a thrilling 6-11, 11-5, 11-2, 9-11, 15-13 win at the Nicol David International Squash Centre on Tuesday.
The 17-year-old Nazihah, who helped Kedah win the Sukma women’s team gold last month, was surprised to book her first-ever semi-final appearance in an Under-19 category.
“I was the underdog against Uen Shan today,” said Nazihah. “My victory proves how far I have improved since my straight-set loss to her in the Asian Juniors.”
Nazihah faces an uphill task against second seed Rachel Arnold in Wednesday’s semi-finals. Rachel dropped a set en route to beating Penang’s Celine Yeap 11-2, 11-13, 11-5, 11-6.
“I have not beaten Rachel before, but I am in good form. Anything is possible,” said Nazihah. “I have already achieved my target of making the semis. I have nothing to lose and will play without any pressure tomorrow.”
The other semi-final will be between top seed Ho Tze Lok of Hong Kong and Malaysian Teh Min Jie.
Min Jie booked her last-four spot by beating Aika Azman 11-6, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8 while Tze Lok outclassed Lim Jee Nee 11-2, 11-8, 11-1.
In the girls’ Under-17 category, the top two seeds – S. Sivasangari of Kedah and Federal Territories’ Andrea Lee – stayed on course for a final showdown.
Sivasangari booked her semi-final spot with an 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 victory over Singapore’s Au Yeong Wai Yhann. Andrea was equally efficient in her 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 win over Penang’s Sara Chew.
In the semi-finals, Sivasangari will take on Terengganu’s Nurina Najib while Andrea faces Bukit Jalil Sports School’s Zoe Foo.