The Nu Sentral Mall will be the venue of this year's Malaysian Open squash championship. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: For the first time since 2007, the Malaysian Open squash championship will move away from it’s well known venue of the The Curve in Damansara Perdana, to the Nu Sentral Mall located within the vicinity of KL Sentral.
The shift of venues is to accommodate the new dates of the competition, which have been brought forward to Aug 18-23, due to the Incheon Asian Games starting from Sept 19-Oct 4.
Last year, the Malaysian Open was held from Sept 10-15.
Despite the change of dates and venue, the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) president Huang Ying How believes that the quality of the tournament will not be affected.
“For SRAM, we are quite excited and looking forward to the new venue and the change in dates is not really an issue,” said Ying How.
“It’s unfortunate that The Curve was unavailable to us during those dates but the Nu Sentral Mall is an ideal place for a tournament too.
“It is the beautiful mall that is also the transportation hub in the city and I believe it will also expose us to a different kind of crowd than what we had in the past years,” added Ying How.
Meanwhile, fresh from defending her Commonwealth Games gold medal, world No.1 Nicol David will set her sights on winning her ninth Malaysian Open title.
Nicol, who won seven straight titles from 2005-2011, is also the defending champion and will face a qualifier in the first round.
She will have third seed Raneem El Weleily of Egypt and Hong Kong’s Annie Au as company in her half of the draw.
National No.2 Low Wee Wern is seeded sixth and faces Egypt’s Heba El Torky in the first round.
In the men’s competition, world No.3 Mohamed El Shorbagy of Egypt, compatriot and 2012 winner Tarek Momen, and Spain’s world No.7, Borja Golan will be the contenders.
The Malaysian men's challenge will be led by national No.1 Ong Beng Hee, Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan and Ivan Yuen.