With squash legend Datuk Nicol David calling it a day in May last season, Wee Wern, who is currently ranked 34th in the world, is the highest ranked Malaysian on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) rankings.
The former world No. 5 had to undergo three surgeries for a serious knee injury which sidelined her for 20 months. She only made a return to competition in July last year.
Although she lost to S. Sivasangari in the final that time, she proved her status as the best in the country when she won her third national title earlier in July.
Wee Wern outplayed Rachel Arnold 11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 11-3 in the final.
The 29-year-old believes she is ready to carry that burden of being the No. 1 in the country.
“I have been a top five player before so I believe I am ready for this. It’s always been a dream of mine to be national number 1,” said Wee Wern.
“I’ve worked very hard over the years, especially in overcoming my injury and to get back to playing professionally again.
“I’m just proud to be able to be the best in the country despite all the setbacks I’ve had in my career.”
Wee Wern will take on Dutch lass Milou van der Heijden in the opening round in Shanghai but faces a massive task against world No. 1 Raneem El Welily in the second round.
The Malaysian was just starting to regain her best form since her injury when she finished runner-up at the Macau Open in April. However, the squash season came to a close in May.
“I miss playing high-level matches during my injury and unfortunately when I just started to find my game and momentum again, the season had ended and the long break began.”
“I’m not sure how it will be in the first tournament after the break but I’m just looking forward to being able to play again.
“I’ve not played Milou before so I hope it goes well and if I can get the win, I will definitely like to see how I fare now against a top player in the world in Raneem.”
Wee Wern beat former world champion Raneem once in 11 meetings – in the quarter-finals of the US Open when she came back from a set down twice to win 7-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8.
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