PETALING JAYA: Ng Eain Yow may be the highest ranked player in the ongoing National Squash Championships, but he is well aware of who the real master is.
The world No 23 is wary of the threat posed by four-time winner Ivan Yuen whom he is expected to play in the final at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil.
Yesterday, Eain Yow reached the quarter-finals after beating Nathan Kueh 11-6, 11-9, 11-5 in 34 minutes while Ivan also warmed up for his title defence with a 11-6, 11-3, 11-9 win over national junior Harith Danial in the second round.
“Ivan had done well in the tournament. Although I haven’t won the event yet, I have been preparing well for this,” said Eain Yow.
The duo played each other in the 2019 final where Ivan triumphed. The following year, Ivan won again in the absence of Eain Yow. The tournament was cancelled due to Covid-19 last year.
“However, my focus is to continue progressing on the international stage, especially with the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham fast approaching,” said Eain Yow.
“This tournament is important to me also and I’m glad to be back to play and train at Squash Centre again as this used to be my training ground for years.”
Eain Yow will meet national junior player Andrik Lim, who beat Wee Ming Hock 11-4, 12-14, 11-8, 11-8, in the last eight today.
Ivan, who will play another talented junior player Joachim Chuah today, prefers to take it one step at a time.
“I am not even thinking about the final, let alone win the title. I just want to take one match at a time,” said Ivan.
“We have some junior players who are playing well and it’s too early to talk about playing Eain Yow at this stage.”
Two other senior players Syafiq Kamal and Addeen Idrakie also advanced to the quarter-finals.
Syafiq defeated national junior Amir Amirul Azhar 13-11, 11-6, 11-3 while Addeen defeated Siow Yee Xian 11-8, 1-11, 11-7, 11-6 in the second round.
Meanwhile, the top players in the women’s events were all through to the quarter-finals.
Top seed S. Sivasangari defeated K. Sehveetrraa 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 to set up a last eight clash against national junior Aira Azman, the sister of World No. 28 Aifa, today.
Aifa was also through when she defeated Ooi Kah Yan 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 to set up a quarters date with Ying Yee Zuan.
Rachel Arnold, the 2020 runner-up, defeated K. Vinikhasheinie 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 and will meet national senior player Lai Wen Li today.