KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians Ng Eain Yow and S. Sivasangari turned in stunning performances to upset higher ranked opponents in the quarter-finals of the Asian Individual Championships.
The 20-year-old Sivasangari, the world No. 50, stepped up to the plate first when she struck out world No. 19 Joey Chan of Hong Kong in an 11-7, 11-8, 15-17, 11-8 win at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
In the men’s event, 21-year-old Ng Eain Yow, the world No. 36, delivered another blow to Hong Kong when he took out defending champion and world No. 23 Max Lee 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7.
“I was mentally and physically prepared because Joey is a quality and experienced player and I knew I had to bring my A-game to beat her,” said Sivasangari.
“Winning the first set and getting the lead really gave me a lot of confidence but in the third I tried to rush things and finish the game off early which didn’t work out.”
“So in the fourth I went back to how I played in the first two sets and it worked out well for me.”
She faces another huge task in the semi-final as she’s up against world No. 15 Joshna Chinappa of India. Going by last year’s Indonesia Asian Games result, Sivasangari has every chance to win.
She defeated Joshna in four sets in the semi-final in Indonesia to set up an all-Malaysian final against squash legend Nicol David but ended up with the silver medal.Eain Yow believed that a crucial point in the first set when he was 7-8 down was the turning point of the match against Max.
“Winning the first set was very important and when I was 7-8 down I hit a loose shot that Max just managed to hit the top of the tin and I think if I had lost that point, things may have been different.
“But I know I’m playing great squash going into this tournament and I came with the mindset and belief that I could win. I managed to stay focused throughout the set and not make too many errors.”In the women’s event, Malaysia’s Low Wee Wern will be out for revenge in the semi-finals when she clashes with Annie Au of Hong Kong.
The 28-year-old Wee Wern lost to world No. 10 Annie in the finals of the Macau Open last month and will be determined to avenge that defeat on her home turf.
Wee Wern set up the clash after fighting back from two sets down to overcome Satomi Watanabe of Japan 5-11, 5-11, 11-1, 11-8, 11-8 in the quarter-finals yesterday.
Malaysia’s Ivan Yuen and Nafiizwan Adnan fell in yesterday’s men’s singles quarter-finals to Leo Au and top seed Saurav Ghosal respectively.
(Malaysians unless stated)
Yip Tsz Fung (Hkg) bt Abdullah Al Tamimi (Qat) 11-8, 11-5, 11-3; Leo Au (Hkg) bt Ivan Yuen 6-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7; Ng Eain Yow bt Max Lee (Hkg) 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7; Saurav Ghosal (Ind) Nafiizwan Adnan 11-4, 11-4, 11-3.
Joshna Chinappa (Ind) bt Tanvi Khanna (Ind) 12-10, 13-11, 11-7; S. Sivasangari bt Joey Chan (Hkg) 11-7, 11-8, 15-17, 11-9; Low Wee Wern bt Satomi Watanabe (Jpn) 5-11, 5-11, 11-1, 11-8, 11-8; Annie Au Hkg) bt Liu Tsz Ling (Hkg) 12-10, 12-10, 11-5.