PETALING JAYA: The chance is there for Malaysia to win their first title in squash this year.
National No. 1 and No. 2 Low Wee Wern and S. Sivasangari (pic)have received a first-round bye respectively in the women’s event in the Squash On Fire Open from June 27-July 1 in Washington, United States.
World No. 24 Wee Wern will have to beat the winner of the match between Maria Stephan of France and Nicole Bunyan of Canada to book a place in the quarter-finals.
It’ll be the same for world No. 29 Sivasangari. She can enter the last eight if she overcomes the winner of the first-round match between Haley Mandez of the US and Georgina Kennedy of England.
But both Rachel Arnold and Aifa Azman have to start from the first round.
Rachel faces Hana Moataz of Egypt while Aifa squares off against Marina Stefanoni of the US.
With world No. 11 Joshna Chinappa of India as the top seed, there is an opportunity for the Malaysians to bring some cheers if they play up to par.
Sivasangari, especially, who has beaten a world No. 10 player in the El Gouna International last month, can go all the way if she keeps up her good run. Barring any upsets, she is expected to face Joshna in the quarter-finals.
In the men’s competition, an all-Malaysian second-round match is on the cards.
If Mohd Syafiq Kamil can beat Karan Malik of India in the first round, he will face Ivan Yuen. Ivan has received a first-round bye.
Another player, Addeen Idrakie has a first-round match against Faraz Khan of the US and will be out to make an impression in his first tournament after more than a year.