Singapore will be having a record seven players in the main draw of the inaugural women’s PSA event of the Tecnifibre Singapore Squash Open. Fielding a team of mostly teenagers, many whom have never played in a PSA event, Singapore’s young crop of players will have the opportunity to compete at a level they have never done before.
Au Yeong Wai Yhann will not have to play second fiddle this time round as the petite 19-year old Singapore Sports School student, enters the event as the highest ranked Singaporean ahead of local arch rival Sneha Sivakumar.
The world number 120, fresh from a last 16 showing at the PSA 10K Simon Warder Memorial event in Sarnia, Canada, already has a pair of quarter-final showing at the PSA 5K events in New Zealand back in May and June. Wai Yhann will be looking to at least equal those results on home soil.
Sneha Sivakumar is the next highest ranked local at 164. The 17-year old Raffles Institution student, who had an unbelievable showing at the World Junior Championship this year, will be playing in her first event since winning the SGSquash Circuit #4 in August.
Thanks to the luck (or misfortune, depending on how one looks at it) of the draw, Wai Yhann has been drawn to play team mate Sneha Sivakumar in the last sixteen. The pair has earned a first round bye and will be playing each other on Wednesday, 28 November 2018, thus guaranteeing a local quarter finalist.
Fellow national trainees Yukino Tan, Keertana Veerayah, Gracia Chua, Erin Chan and Hanaan Abo Al Thinin have all been given local wild card entries and will face seeded players in the first round.
“It’s my first professional event, so I’m looking forward to this opportunity to play against such talented players. I’m hoping that the exposure and experience gained will help me advance in my training and future tournaments”, said 17-year old Keertana Veerayah, who faces India’s Sachika Irshwin Balvani in her opening round.
Gracia Chua, perhaps one of our most talented juniors, will have the opportunity to pit herself against one of the world’s top junior. At only 12 years of age, the Primary 6 student stands amongst one of the youngest in the world to have competed on a PSA event and is definitely the youngest in Singapore. She has been drawn to play Jessica Keng, the 16-year old Malaysian, who won the prestigious British Junior Open a few years ago.
In the men’s PSA closed satellite event, Samuel Kang will once again spearhead the challenge. Seeded 6th in the event, the 27 year old is drawn to face top seeded Malaysian Addeen Idrakie in the last eight. The pair had last met in August in the final of the SGSquash Circuit #4 where Samuel upset the form books to topple the more illustrious Malaysian. He is set to ride on that victory to turn the tables once again on home ground.
Timothy Leong is seeded a rung below at 7th and will play Filipino Lydio Jr Espinola in the opening round. He is likely to meet Malaysia’s Ng Jo Wen next and should he overcome this hurdle, a cracker is on the cards as he may likely face the notoriously hot-tempered Malaysian Asyraf Azan in the last eight.
Vivian Rhamanan and Chua Man Tong are both drawn in the same quarter and are on course to face each other in the last sixteen, where the winner is likely to play top Filipino Robert Garcia in the last eight. Vivian will first have to beat Malaysian Romero Yap while Man Tong takes on SSRA President Dr. Woffles Wu.
In other matches involving Singapore’s past and present national trainees, jumbo doubles specialist, Benjamin Sim, 2015 SEA Games gold medallist, Marcus Phua, and Brandon Tan will all face seeded opponents.