April was a good month for Eain Yow as he achieved a couple of firsts. He overtook Nafiizwan Adnan to be the new national No. 1 for the first time even though both their rankings dropped. But if just claiming the status as the top player in the country wasn’t enough, he did his talking on the court as he reached the quarter-finals of the Macau Open. It is his first PSA World Tour quarter-final showing of that level and even took out Nafiizwan along the way.
The Commonwealth Games bronze medallist is winding down his career and the results certainly seemed that way. He only made the second round in both the tournaments he played in April – the Macau Open and the El Gouna International Open. Fair credit to Nafiizwan though as in both tournaments he went down not without first giving a tough fight.
Ivan is still trying to find his best form this and April certainly wasn’t it. He played in Macau and the El Gouna and in both tournaments he exited in the early rounds. To date he has only won 3 of 8 matches on the PSA Tour this year and there is a lot of work for the 28-year-old to catch up to.
It was a good run for Addeen right till the end of April. Starting from the end of March in which he won the Elanora Open, the 25-year-old has won 10 of 11 matches. He made the semi-finals of the SRAM PSA 1 and came back stronger two weeks later to claim the SRAM PSA 2 title. He’s now back up to No. 88 in the world rankings.
It was a decent run for Syafiq in April. He went on a 7-match winning streak which saw him capture the SRAM PSA 1. But that streak was cut short as he appeared mentally fatigued in the SRAM PSA 2 final defeat to Addeen. Climbed to No. 89 in the world rankings but has fallen below Addeen in the national pecking order.
The Seremban lad is improving steadily and it can be seen in his results. There is still a lot of work to be done but he can take the positives from a quarter-final and semi-final finish at the SRAM PSA 1 and 2 respectively.
Of the lot, Amir was probably the only one with the better showing. He reached the quarter-finals of the SRAM PSA 2 and helped Malaysia win the SEA Cup mixed team gold medal. He will, however, be disappointed at failing to reach the individual final of the SEA Cup. Duncan also had one good showing where he made the top eight of the SRAM PSA 1 while Yee Xian played long and hard matches but ultimately lost in the second rounds of both SRAM PSA 1 and 2. The likes of Farez, Sai Hung and Hafiz still need a lot more work as their results aren’t particularly impressive.
The eight-time world champion is really just enjoying her remaining days on the PSA World Tour before she hangs up her racquet in June. There is no pressure on her, and she is just playing the game she loves. She made the second round of both the DPD Open and the El Gouna International Open and drew more attention with her ability to play stunning winners.
Big month for Wee Wern as she certainly showed that she is not done and dusted yet. The nightmare of being sidelined for nearly two years is now a thing of the past as she made a stunning run to reach the final of the Macau Open. She is now back up to No. 28 in the world and if she keeps this up, it’s not impossible for her to break back into the top 20 or maybe even the top 10.
A rather lacklustre month for Rachel as she showed patches of brilliance but couldn’t back it up with enough consistency. She took the fight to higher ranked players Zeina Mickawy of Egypt and Hollie Naughton of Canada but didn’t have enough to pull off upset wins.
It’s hard to imagine that Sivasangari has only just played two PSA tournaments this year. She’s fallen off the radar a little since enrolling in Cornell University but she’s showed she’s still very much an important piece for the future of Malaysian squash after claiming the St Louis Racquet Club Pro event title. The 20k PSA Challenger Tour event is her biggest title to date and surely there is more to come.
Quite a decent month for the Seremban girl. She reached the quarter-finals of the Scottish Open and was runner-up in the SRAM PSA 2. There is a lot that she can still improve on but the signs are good for her so far. The results are also a boost for her ahead of the World Junior Championships in August.
The Sabahan played in her first two PSA events this year – the SRAM PSA 1 and 2 and reached the semi-finals in both events. It’s not bad results but she will be disappointed at herself for failing to take her opportunities, especially in the first event against Chan Yiwen.
It’s an up-and-down month for Yiwen. The 18-year-old showed that she can be very dangerous as she powered home to win the SRAM PSA 1 title for her maiden professional title. But she was brought crashing back down to earth after being drawn with Satomi Watanabe in the SRAM PSA 2 two weeks later.
Easily one of the best players in April. Ainaa has shown just how far she has come when she put up a matured display to bag a double at the SEA Cup, winning both the individual and team gold medals. On the PSA tour, she also powered into the final of the SRAM PSA 1 before losing to Yiwen. Her best showing was however reserved for the SRAM PSA 2 as she took out Aifa Azman – a player she has never beaten before – in straight games.
A very disappointing month for the World Junior Championship hopeful. She had a decent showing at the Scottish Open by reaching the second round before losing a tough matchup with Melissa Alves of France. But she was completely off her game in the uncharacteristic defeat to Ainaa. It’s back to the drawing board for the Kedahan.
March’s player of the month can’t be too happy with her April showing. Jessica failed to defend her SEA Cup gold medal. She made the quarter-finals of the SRAM PSA 1 and 2 but lost to both Ainaa and Kah Yan respectively.
Of the lot, Sabahan Xin Ying showed really good potential by reaching the quarter-finals of the SRAM PSA 2. The 15-year-old has been rapidly improving and surely there will be more to come. Amirah also did well to reach the semi-finals of the SRAM 1 but was outclassed by Ainaa. Heng Wai and Kiroshanna both had decent runs in the two PSA tournaments but it’s not too impressive.
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Persatuan Squash Malaysia Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM)
National Squash Centre, National Sports Centre, Bukit Jalil, 57000, Kuala Lumpur