Luck of the draw not in Eain Yow’s favour


PETALING JAYA: Top Malaysian pro Ng Eain Yow hasn’t been lucky in the last few PSA (Professional Squash Association) tournaments and his fortunes may not change at the Hong Kong Open which begins today.

Eain Yow, the world No. 20, had been constantly attracting top 10 players in early rounds and this time, it is going to be his landlord and world No. 3 Mohamed ElShorbagy of England.

The former Egyptian, who started competing for England five months ago, is no stranger to his tenant Eain Yow as they train together in Bristol.

Eain Yow had never beaten ElShorbagy in five previous meetings but the former is battle-hardened enough to take on the title contender in the second round clash tomorrow. Both players received first-round byes.The Singapore Open two weeks ago was a breakthrough tournament for Eain Yow who defeated world No. 15 Saurav Ghosal of India and world No. 2 Paul Coll of New Zealand en route to the last eight where he lost to Joel Makin of Wales.

Makin was also the stumbling block at the Malaysian Open last week where Eain Yow lost a close five-game clash but the defeat had made him wiser.

The Welshman was more physical and playing fluent squash as he subdued Eain Yow and the Malaysian wants to be smarter when playing against top 10 players.

“I have to stay calm and hang in there and need to be smarter playing against the top guys. I should not allow them to distract my focus and I also need to play hard,” Eain Yow had said after his defeat.

The other Malaysians in the draw are Ivan Yuen and Syafiq Kamal but they are not expected to get past the preliminary rounds.

In the women’s event, Aifa Azman will aim to improve on her quarter-final finish at the Malaysian Open.

Aifa, who lost to eventual Malaysian Open winner Nele Gilis of Belgium, received a first-round bye and will meet Mariam Metwally of Egypt in the second round.

“It was a good experience playing against someone like Gilis. I need to improve my rallies besides focusing on my strength, shot-making, in order to compete against the top 10 players,” said Aifa, the world No. 21.

“I have to gradually make the switch. I am only 21 and have a long career ahead of me and I hope I can use the opportunity to play regularly against the top players to improve my game to another level.”

Besides Aifa, her sister Aira, Chan Yiwen and Yee Xin Ying will also compete in Hong Kong.

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