Squash aces could serve a triple thrill for Malaysia


PETALING JAYA: Malaysian squash could very well be having triple celebrations at the end of the week.

Ng Eain Yow (pic) should set the impetus when he begins his campaign at the Irish Open in Dublin today.

World No. 21 Eain Yow, who suffered a shock defeat to world No. 55 Curtis Malik of England in the British Open in Birmingham last week, is the top seed at the Irish Open.

Based on the draw, Eain Yow’s chances are good to secure the Irish title with Egyptian former world No. 7 Mohamed Abuelghar a possible threat.

Winning the title should restore his confidence ahead of the World Championships in Chicago from May 3-11.

The next possible winner is Aifa Azman. The second seed at the Irish Open will be aiming to win her first Professional Squash Association (PSA) tour title of the year. And if all go according to the formbook, Aifa should meet top seed Jamine Hutton of England in the final on Saturday.

Malaysian top women professional S. Sivansangari has reason to be optimistic about bagging her first title this year when she competes in the challenger tour’s Kinetik Orange Ball championships in Boynton Beach, the United States, which also begins today.

Sivasangari, the world No. 23, lost in the second round of the British Open to world No. 6 Sarah-Jane Perry but the Malaysian has been in good form and a title would be the perfect booster to get her career back on track after a long forced layoff.

She has only played three tournaments since coming back in February from a car accident suffered in June last year.

Sivasangari is seeded fourth and is expected to meet top seed Farida Mohamed of Egypt in the semi-finals. A win would clear the path for her to secure the title.

Noor Ainaa Amani Ampandi, who qualified for the World Championships in Birmingham on Saturday, will begin her campaign against Sarah Cardwell of Australia in the first round while Lai Wen Li will be up against Salma Eltayeb of Egypt in the opening round.

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