PETALING JAYA: The first professional tournament for Malaysian squash players in more than a year will take off today in style but with a twist too.
For the first time, the matches will be aired live on television and the losers will not have to go back home early.
Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) have made an internal arrangement to create losers playoff in the SRAM PSA 1 tournament at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil.
SRAM director Major (rtd) S. Maniam said they tweaked the US$10,000 (RM41,360) tournament format as players had waited too long for competitive action.
“Having a losers playoff is not new as we have always done it in the junior circuit but this is the first time we are doing it in a professional tournament, ” said Maniam.
“In a professional tournament, losers will pack their bags and leave but we decided to keep them on their toes until the last day.
“These players have waited too long and we don’t want to go back after just playing one match.”
The top two seeds in the men’s competition are Ivan Yuen and Mohd Syafiq Mohd Kamal but they will be strongly challenged by third seed Adden Idrakie and fourth seed Darren Rahul Pragasam respectively.
In the women’s meet, the favourites are top seed Low Wee Wern and second seed Rachel Arnold but they will have to be wary of third seed Aifa Azman and Ooi Kah Yan.
“The players have been briefed on the strict guidelines during the tournament. We have standard operating procedures to follow, which has been set by the authority, ” said Maniam.
“But I can see the excitement in the players. The matches from the second round onwards will be shown live on Astro, which is a good promotion for the game.”