Yuen: Ivan the biggie

PETALING JAYA: National squash player Ivan Yuen (pic) hopes that small successes will lead to big wins.

Ivan is waiting patiently for a career breakthrough at the prestigious Malaysian Open from Nov 23-27 at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil.

On Saturday, the world No. 52 Ivan was on a roll when he lifted the SRAM PSA 6 title after downing world No.98 Mohd Syafiq Kamal 11-5, 11-9, 11-0 in a 34-minute final in Kuala Lumpur.

It was his third title this year as he has also pocketed the SRAM PSA 1 and SRAM PSA 5 crowns.

And did not drop a single set in the recent tournament and looks set to continue his domination in the local circuit when he gets into action in the SRAM PSA 7 from Nov 6-9 at the same venue.

Ivan, who won US$6,000 (RM24,845) for the feat, is proud of his performances so far but knows that he has to raise the bar higher and aim for the major tournaments.

“For me, all these small victories are important as it help build my confidence as I prepare for the bigger ones,” said the 31-year-old Ivan.

“I want to focus on my preparation for the Malaysian Open and try to go all the way.”

Ivan’s best showing in the Malaysian Open was reaching the semi-finals in 2017.

On his match against Syafiq, Ivan, who was the top seed, said the turning point came in the second set.

“The last time I met Syafiq was in the SRAM PSA 1 final (April), so it took a while for me to to adjust to his game style here,” he admitted.

“Syafiq was leading 9-6 in the second set, and that’s when I ramp up my game and managed to win 11-9.

“I guess that gave me the confidence to go all the way, and I’m happy to have won my third straight local title. I hope to bring that momentum to the next local meet too.

In the women’s final, Aifa Azman showcased a superb performance to down Chan Yiwen 11-5, 11-1, 11-3 in 19 minutes for her second title of the month.

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