PETALING JAYA: S. Sivasangari had hoped to make a strong comeback in her first Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour after 13 months but she fell flat.
The world No. 39 Sivasangari went down fighting 11-7,9-11,9-11,8-11 to No. 13 Olivia Clyne of the United States in 47 minutes in the second round of the CIB PSA Black Ball Open in Cairo on Sunday.
It was the first meeting between the two players, but Clyne appeared to have the slight edge in terms of match sharpness.
Unlike the 22-year-old Sivasangari who had played her last event in February, Clyne had resumed competing on the PSA World Tour since last October.
“I feel I didn’t take the ball early enough, I was waiting for it to get to the back, but then, it did not work, ” said Sivasangari, the 2019 Australian Open champion.
“I didn’t volley enough, it could be the fact that I didn’t have any matches for a year... not sure.”
Clyne credited Sivasangari for her spirited display, admitting she was relieved to have survived a ‘brutal’ battle.
“It was a brutal draw and Siva is definitely not ranked where she is supposed to be and when you see her name come up you’re definitely like “oh boy”, ” said Clyne, a two-time US national champion.
Sivasangari’s next tournament is the Manchester Open from April 19-25 – provided if she makes the top 32 draw of the Silver-rated (third tier) tournament.
“I knew it was going to be hard, I was hoping I was going to be able to relax at some point, not even from a ‘I’m ahead’ type of thing but just relax and play some squash.
“I think I did a little more boxing and gritting my teeth but I’ll take that, it’s all part of the process.”