PETALING JAYA: S. Sivasangari’s current progress on the professional circuit has received the thumbs up from former squash queen Nicol David, who believes the young Malaysian is on the right track to become a top class player.
Sivasangari, 23, has shown marked improvement this year where she reached her first Professional Squash Association World Tour final at the Carol Weymuller Open in New York in April and advanced to the quarter-finals of a platinum event – the El Gouna International – in Egypt this week.
Prior to the event, she reached the last 16 of the World Championships in Cairo.
Her good run in Cairo saw her improving on her world ranking by one rung from No. 20 and she is likely to move up further in next month’s ranking after her last-eight appearance in the El Gouna International.
In the tournament, Sivasangari lost 5-11, 5-11, 3-11 to six-time world champion Nour El Sherbini of Egypt but Nicol sees a player who is becoming a role model for her compatriots.
“She is doing amazing. She gives motivation to the others who are aspiring to improve.
“She is in Cornell (University) and coached by David Palmer and out of her comfort zone away from Malaysia and is gaining experience.
“Similarly for Ng Eain Yow, he is based in England (Reading) where he is playing and studying and being there is going to be an advantage for him.
“Sivasangari is already breaking milestones and playing more matches against top players. Experience will help to improve her performance against the top players.
“With more matches, she will learn how to manage different situations in different competitions.”
Sivasanagri’s next big event will be the Birmingham Common-wealth Games from July 28-Aug 8 where she has a fighting chance to bag a medal as she does not have to worry about the presence of the all-conquering Egyptians.