PETALING JAYA: National squash player S. Sivasangari has a lot of respect for her teammate Low Wee Wern.
But should the two live up to their billings and go head-to-head in the final of the National Championships at the National Squash Centre this weekend, Sivasangari won’t hold back in their fight to win the title.
The two are favourites to set up a repeat of last year’s nail-bitting final that saw Sivasangari become the youngest national champion at the age of 19 by beating Wee Wern 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7.
At that time, former world No. 5 Wee Wern had just returned from a serious knee injury that saw her sidelined for 20 months but over the course of one year, she has slowly started to regain her form.
Sivasangari is now seeking a second title but it will be much more of a challenge.
“Wee Wern definitely has a high fighting spirit and she always gives her 100% in every game, so it’s never easy with her,” said Sivasangari.
“If I make it to the final and meet Wee Wern again, it will be a tough match, so I will need to perform well and play my best.”
The 20-year-old’s form has also been good and she’s currently on a high having lifted the Australian Open title last month.
She showed her mental strength to come back from a set down to take out Japan’s Satomi Watanabe 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 in the final.
“I do feel confident after winning as I’ve not been playing many tournaments this year due to my studies.
“But there is always pressure in nationals for players to do well, especially for the senior players like me, Wee Wern and Rachel (Arnold).
“So I just got to handle the pressure well and play my best squash. I also want to enjoy it at the same time as it’s always nice to be playing back in Malaysia.”
Sivasangari is drawn in the first round against Teoh Liyen. She will play against the winner of the match between Jessica Keng and Noor Aina Amani Ampandi in the quarter-final.
In the semi-finals, she could be up against Rachel Arnold.