PETALING JAYA: The defeat at the Madeira Island International final was a bitter pill to swallow for Chan Yiwen (pic left)).
She had hoped to end her title drought this year on Sunday but went down 6-11, 9-11, 11-6, 3-11 to world No. 77 Rana Ismail of Egypt in a 31-minute match in Portugal.
It was her second defeat in the final after the Malaysian had lost in five sets to Tanvi Khanna of India in the North Coast Open in Coffs Harbour in Australia in August.
Yiwen, the world No. 75, played in the Tunku Muhriz Cup in Seremban in August where she lost to eventual champion S. Sivasangari in the quarter-finals.
The Madeira Island International was her first Professional Squash Association (PSA) challenger event in the last three months.
Yiwen had been out of tournaments after the Irish Open in April due to dipping form and minor injuries.
She had also missed the World Open in Chicago in May after losing in the qualifying tournament in Birmingham which was held a week before the Irish Open.
“It (the final defeat) was a tough one to accept. Faced lots of setbacks this year and I have been struggling to put up some consistent performances,” said a dejected Yiwen.
“I have not been playing in tournaments for quite some time and I’ve been trying to find the tournament ‘feel’ and rhythm on the court again.
The 22-year-old player will head to Islamabad to compete in the CAS International Challenge from Nov 30-Dec 4.
“I need to get myself together for the tournament in Pakistan next week and hopefully can end it with a good result,” she said.
Yiwen, the top seed, has bye in the first round and will meet either Saima Shoukat or Rushna Mehboob, both from Pakistan, in the second round.
Nour Khafagy of Egypt, the world No. 119, is the second seed and if Yiwen regains her composure, she should be able to secure her first title of the year in Islamabad.
Men: Moustafa El Sirty (Egy) bt Rui Soares (Por)11-4, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9.
Women: Rana Ismail (Egy) bt Chan Yiwen (Mas) 11-6, 11-9, 6-11, 11-3.