KUALA LUMPUR: National squash player S. Sivasangari has what it takes to be a world top 10 player in the future.
The 20-year-old, who was named Women’s Young Player of the Year by the Professional Squash Association (PSA) last year, has received the backing of India’s world No. 15 Joshna Chinappa.
Joshna experienced first hand the potential of the youngster when the Indian defeated Sivasangari 11-7, 12-10, 11-3 in the semi-finals before defending her Asian Individual title earlier this month.
At the Indonesia Asian Games last year, Sivasangari beat Joshna 12-10, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 in the semi-finals.
Sivasangari fell short in the final but not before stretching squash legend and nine-time Asian champion Nicol David to a thrilling five setter 13-11, 9-11, 11-5, 6-11, 8-11.
“Sivasangari is a very talented player and she had a great Asian Games where she could have won the gold. I lost to her and she played really well that day,” said Joshna.
The Malaysian is currently pursuing an education-cum-playing journey at the prestigious Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, one of the Ivy League schools in the United States.
She is being coached there by Australia’s two-time world champion and former world No. 1 David Palmer.
The world No. 50 showed she is on the right track when she bagged her 10th PSA title by claiming the Racquet Club Pro-Series title in Missouri in the US.
“Now that she’s working with one of the world’s best coaches in David Palmer, she has a very bright future in her game. She also had great results on the Tour.
“She may not be able to play full time now that she is in college but in David Palmer, she has no better guide and I think it will depend on her and what level she wants to reach and if she decides to go professional after college.
“But definitely, she has a lot of potential to be a top 10 player.”