Handling pressure is Ainaa’s mission, says coach

PETALING JAYA: Noor Ainaa Amani Ampandi fell short in her bid to reach the last eight in her maiden silver event in the Professional Squash Association (PSA) tour.

World No. 63 Ainaa struggled to assert herself against world No. 46 Tong Tsz Wing of Hong Kong in the second round of the New Zealand Open and lost 3-11, 6-11, 7-11 in Tauranga yesterday.

Ainaa’s coach and former national Nafiizwan Adnan admitted that Ainaa lost to a better player on the day.

“Ainaa did her best but Tsz Wing was too good for her today (yesterday),” said Nafiizwan.

“Tsz Wing was comfortable with handling the pressure and got everything right from the beginning while Ainaa could not find her rhythm.”

Nafiizwan wants Ainaa to keep working hard and to have more self-belief to do better in higher-tier competitions.

“This was Ainaa’s biggest tournament so far. She needs to believe that she is on the right track and keep training hard,” said Nafiizwan.

Malaysia’s campaign though is not over yet as world No. 31 Aifa Azman will compete in the quarter-finals against another Hong Kong player, world No. 47 Lee Ka Yi today.

Aifa had fought hard to defeat Frenchwoman Marie Stephen 11-9, 11-1, 8-11, 7-11, 11-4 in another second round tie on Wednesday.

Aina is the last Malaysian representative left standing in the tournament.

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