PETALING JAYA: It is a birthday blessing for S. Sivasangari as she has received a favourable draw in the Squash on Fire Open.
The fourth seeded Sivasangari, who will turn 24 today, has received a first-round bye and is set to face world No. 46 Lucy Beecroft of England in the second round of the tournament in Washington from Feb 22-26.
Victory will see her most likely taking on fifth seed Nada Abbas of Egypt in the last eight.
If Sivasangari overcomes world No. 19 Abbas, she is expected to play second seed and world No. 15 Sabrina Sobhy of the United States in the last four.
The world No. 18 is making a return to the Professional Squash Association (PSA) world tour after recovering from a nasty road accident in June, which saw her being out of action for six months.
National head coach Ajaz Azmat is looking forward to a good performance from Sivasangari although it will be her first PSA competition since playing in the El Gouna International in Egypt last June.
“It will be a good start for Sangari. She had been training hard and also played a match at the Ivy League for her university (Cornell) last week,” said Ajaz.
“We can expect her to put up a fine performance there. The draw will give her some advantage and her current condition and match fitness is definitely good.”
Sivasangari played her first competitive match against Malak Taha of Pennsylvania University in Cornell’s 6-3 win in the Ivy League on Jan 13.
Ajaz said Sivasangari also had the chance to spar with world No. 1 Nouran Gohar of Egypt several times in New York last month.