PETALING JAYA: A battle royal is on the cards when S. Sivasangari takes on the “Black Widow” for a place in the quarter-finals of the World Squash Championships in Cairo tomorrow.
The match will pit the steely determination of the Malaysian against the vastly experienced Nour El Tayeb (pic) who is on a comeback trail.
Sivasangari has been on song and did not drop a game in her first-two rounds but El Tayeb will be a different challenge altogether, although the Egyptian started competing again last December, just five months after giving birth to a baby girl.
El Tayeb is a former world No. 3 and has been a regular winner on the professional circuit and is married to former world champion and current world No. 2 Ali Farag.
However, Sivasangari has broken new grounds this year and was a runner-up in last month’s Carol Weymuller Open which propelled her to a career-high No. 20 this month.
Head coach Ajaz Azmat said that while Sivasangari is in fine form, she needs to be prepared to go the distance if she is to upstage El Tayeb in the last-16 stage.
“Sangari is playing well but her opponent is an experienced player and will be backed by the local crowd. Sangari cannot take it easy,” said Ajaz.
“She needs to be on the court for at least about 60 minutes before thinking about winning. Sangari needs to keep moving to counter El Tayeb who covers the court well.
“She needs to be mentally strong and consistent. Patience will be the key.”