Sivasangari just can’t imagine falling behind Hania any further


Confidence booster: S. Sivasangari (left) downed Milou van der Heijden in the second round on Saturday. — Pix courtesy of “thesquashsite.com”

PETALING JAYA: National squash player S. Sivasangari has a golden chance to even the score with Egyptian prodigy Hania El Hammamy in the Women’s World Championship in Cairo, Egypt, today.

The two will clash after reaching the third round of the world meet in contrasting fashion on Saturday.

The 20-year-old Sivasangari had to dig deep to beat Dutch world No. 29 Milou van der Heijden 11-4, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9 while Hammamy overcame Australian world No. 53 Donna Lobban 11-6, 11-8, 11-9 in the second round.

They have met three times, with the most notable clash in the quarter-finals of the World Junior Championships in Tauranga in 2017, where Hania emerged the winner in five sets 11-9, 9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-1.

Sivasangari settled the score 8-11, 14-12, 12-10, 11-9 at the Pakistan International Open in December that same year but collapsed 9-11, 12-10, 7-11, 8-11 at last year’s Hong Kong Open.

The match-up in Egypt is their first this year and world No. 48 Sivasangari is determined to level the score with the Egyptian in her own backyard.

“Our rivalry started from the junior days and now, I’m trying to get even with her on the professional tour. It’ll be a great match against her and I’m looking forward to it,” said Sivasangari.

“She has been playing well for quite a while now and hopefully, I can play my best squash too.”

Sivasangari will enter the match with great confidence after having beaten world No. 8 Amanda Sobhy of the United States earlier on Thursday.

“I really didn’t expect to come this far in the World Championships, so I’m just enjoying every moment,” said Sivasangari, who is doing just fine balancing squash and studies at Ivy League school, Cornell University in the United States.

“It feels good to see how I have progressed with my squash, especially while I’ve to manage my studies.”

RESULTS

Second round: Raneem El Wlily (Egy) bt Olivia Blatchford Clyde (US) 11-8, 12-10, 11-5; Alison Waters (Eng) bt Julianne Courtice (Eng) 11-7, 11-7, 11-6; Salma Hany (Egy) bt Alexandra Fuller (Rsa) 11-5, 11-6, 11-9; Nour El Tayeb (Egy) bt Rowan Elaraby (Egy) 11-13, 9-11, 12-10, 8-11; Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) bt Rachael Grinham (Aus) 11-6, 11-5, 11-3; Tesni Evans (Wal) bt Coline Aumard (Fra) 11-6, 11-4, 11-7; Nouran Gouhar (Egy) bt Nele Gilis (Bel) 11-1, 11-5, 11-5; Camille Serme (Fra) bt Millie Tomlinson (Eng) 11-4, 11-5, 11-8; Yathreb Adel (Egy) bt Nada Abbas (Egy) 7-11, 11-13, 13-11, 13-122, 11-9; Hania El Hammamy (Egy) bt Donna Lobban (Aus) 11-6, 11-8, 11-9; S. Sivasangari (Mas) bt Milou van der Heijden (Ned) 11-4, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9; Joelle King (Nzl) bt Zeina Mickawy (Egy) 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9; Annie Au (Hkg) bt Nadine Shahin (Egy) 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-6; Joshna Chinappa (Ind) bt Ho Tze Lok (Hkg) 11-5, 11-4 (rtd); Nour El Sherbini (Egy) bt Hollie Naughton (Can) 13-11, 11-7, 11-4.

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