Syafiq outshines fellow lefty for SSJM No. 3 title

  • Squash
  • Saturday, 03 Feb 2018

All smiles: Mohd Syafiq Kamal (right) and Hong Kong’s Tong Tsz Wing posing with their mock cheques after clinching the Malaysian Tour Squash Circuit No. 3 titles at the NSC Squash Centre in Jalan Duta yesterday. — NORAFIFI EHSAN/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Mohd Syafiq Kamal won the battle of the lefties when he outgunned teammate Sanjay Singh Chal for the Malaysian Tour Squash Circuit (SSJM) No. 3 title.

World No. 84 Syafiq had the extra firepower in reserve as he overcame a fiery start by Sanjay for an 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7 win in the men’s final at the NSC Squash Centre in Jalan Duta yesterday.

World No. 135 Sanjay, who was bidding for his first Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tour title, started hungrier as he took the first set 11-8.

But top seed Syafiq kept his cool to level the score before stepping up to seal his third PSA title after 54 minutes.

“I knew it was a 50-50 game with Sanjay because we train together everyday and we’re familiar with each other’s game”, said Syafiq.

“He started out so strong but I managed to keep my concentration and didn’t give him any free points.

“It feels great to win my first title this year and it’s definitely a big confidence boost, especially with the Commonwealth Games in April.

“It’s also the right step forward as I look to climb the ranking. I aim to break into the top 50 this year,” added the national No. 4.

Meanwhile, it was despair for Andrea Lee in the women’s final after she was forced to retire with a suspected anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

The 19-year-old had looked good for the win as she got her nose in front, leading the top seed and world No. 49 Tong Tsz Wing of Hong Kong 11-8, 12-14, 11-8, 3-5.

But the pair collided during the fourth set and Andrea landed with an awkward twist to her left knee and was unable to continue the match.

The world No. 80 had just returned from a three-month shoulder injury layoff.

“It looks bad but I’m hoping that it’s not an ACL. It’s really a big blow because she has been playing well recently,” said Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) director Mejar (Rtd) S. Maniam.

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