The Malaysian Open concluded on Sept 29 on a very high note for the home nation.
For the first time since 2010, there is a home double sweep after Ng Eain Yow and Rachel Arnold came up with big performances against higher ranked opponents.
National No. 1 Ng Eain Yow lived up to expectations in a week of top squash.
Seeded fourth, the 21-year-old powered into the final without even dropping a single game.
He passed a tricky test against Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam in the quarter-finals and displayed cool confidence against Portugal’s Rui Soares in the semi-finals.
In the final, Eain Yow put up one of his best showing against an experienced Nicolas Mueller to win 11-7, 12-14, 11-9, 11-5.
It is his fourth career title but the PSA Challenger 30 title is his biggest one to date.
Meanwhile two-time national champion Ivan Yuen will not be too pleased with himself after blowing the early advantage to lose to Mueller in the quarter-finals.
There were however good wins for Syafiq Kamal and Ong Sai Hung who both defeated higher ranked players to reach the last 16.
Addeen Idrakie and Darren Rahul Pragasam also didn’t play too bad but just lacked the cutting edge in first round defeats to Henry Leung of Hong Kong and Spain’s Edmon Lopez respectively.
In the women’s event, it proved to be Rachel’s week as she surprised everyone by beating Low Wee Wern in the final.
Down 2-1 in the final, the 23-year-old showed true grit as she dug in for an 11-7, 11-13, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5 win.
Prior to that, the world No. 43 already claimed a big scalp by beating top seed and two-time world junior champion Rowan Elaraby of Egypt in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile 15-year-old Aira Azman served up the biggest shocker of the tournament.
The last minute entrant, without even a PSA ranking, claimed big upsets over experienced players in Tessa ter Sluis and Lee Ka Yi before bowing out against Hong Kong’s Vanessa Chu in the quarter-finals.
Ooi Kah Yan also did well to reach the last eight where she met her match against Rachel while the trio of Chan Yiwen, Lai Wen Li and Aifa Azman all bowed out at the last 16 stage.
It has indeed been a top week of squash at the Malaysian Open and SRAM would like to congratulate all winners and players for giving their best in the tournament.