Low Wee Wern claims the Singapore title and enters the all-important top-48
Malaysia’s former world number five Low Wee Wern was hardly troubled all week as she waltzed her way to her fifth title of the year at the Tecnifibre Singapore Squash Open 2018. Wee Wern, who only started playing competitively in July this year after a long 20-month injury break to nurse her knee, was a class above the field. Wee Wern’s win saw her ranking move five places to 47 in December, thus enabling her to now compete in the major events, which automatically qualifies the top-48.
Save for the semi-final, Wee Wern never dropped a game and finished off her opponents in less than 30 minutes. First to fall was fellow Malaysian Chen Yu Ng who lasted just 20 minutes on court, before Wee Wern took out another Malaysian Angie Ooi in the last eight.
Her toughest match had to be the semis where she was stretched by Indian youngster Sunayna Kuruvilla, who managed to take the fourth game on a tie-break. With cousin Dipika Pallikal, the former world number 10 coaching in her corner, Sunayna showed flashes of brilliance in her shot-making which caught the experienced Malaysian quite a number of times.
In the final, Wee Wern played aggressively and dominated Hong Kong’s second seed, Lee Ka Yi, containing her in the back for most of the time. After a slow and close first half of the first game, Wee Wern injected pace into the rallies which troubled Ka Yi rally after rally. It was once again done and dusted in less than 30 minutes, 27 to be precise.
In the earlier rounds, Ka Yi also had a smooth path into the final. In fact, she had spent just 67 minutes on court over her 3 matches compared to Wee Wern’s 86. The 25-year old world number 58 employed her lob and short game to trouble all her opponents.
Sneha Sivakumar was Singapore’s best performer at the event. The teenager won a tough five-game battle with compatriot and training partner Au Yeong Wai Yhann in the last 16, which saw her earn a clash with Lee Ka Yi. However, she was unable to trouble the second seed much and fell tamely in straight games.
All the other local girls, comprising mainly of juniors, were shown the exit in the opening round. Given that they were all secondary school girls, there was not much expected of them against their far more experienced opponents.
The biggest surprise package of the tournament had to be India’s Tanvi Khanna, whom we have had the opportunity to know before hand, as she took part in the previous SGSquash Circuit. The unseeded 22-year old made it to the semi-finals, taking out fourth seed Colette Sultana in the last sixteen and Malaysian teenager Jessica Keng in the quarters.
Playing in her maiden full PSA event, Tanvi’s great run here saw her ranking went from 227 in November to 176 in the newly released December ranking.