There Can Only Be Wan:
Adnan, David Win Asian Titles Will Mather reports
Mohd. Nafiizwan Adnan and Nicol David claimed both the
men's and women's championships, respectively, at the 2011
Asian Individual Squash Championships held at the Nicol
David International Squash Center in Penang, Malaysia. It is
the first title for Adnan, in his first ever appearance in
the final. Women's top seed, David, won her 8th consecutive
With a second upset in as many days, Adnan who goes by 'Wan'
on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour,
defeated top seeded Ong in a tenacious and physical final.
"I thought if I kept him behind me, I could outplay him at
the front," said an exuberant Adnan. Indeed, Ong had a view
from the back, but fought to the end as he was pushed by the
raucous crowd who favored him. "I'm disappointed with my
performance today, but Wan played well as he had all
tournament," said Ong afterwards.
women's final, in a match belying their seedings, was a
lopsided affair. The World Champion from Penang, David
dominated from the opening serve, quickly earning an eighth
Asian title to her collection over Au, ranked 11th in the
Spurred before a passionate and loyal crowd that included
her family, in the squash facility that bears her name,
David was relentless and never allowed Au into the match.
"Annie is a player, that, if you let her get into her
rhythm, it becomes a very different game. I wanted to make
sure she didn't," commented David after the brief 23-minute
match, suggestive of just how dominating she was.
In the first
semi final match of the 16th Asian Individual
Championship, the second seed of the women’s draw dashed the
hopes of Penang crowd by winning a very close encounter
against Low Wee Wern.
In a match that could have gone either way, Annie won
points by attacking Wern mostly on the backhand side,
playing tight drop shots and at times sending her to the
wrong direction by her backhand flicks.
In the second
match of the day, Nafizwan Adnan, celebrated his
first appearance in the final of the Asian Championships,
after winning a fast-paced match against the Pakistani
marvel, Farhan Mehboob. Adnan played a solid and neat
game, putting Farhan under pressure with his deep, tight
 Nicol David (MAS) bt [3/4] Delia Arnold (MAS)
11-7, 11-4, 11-6 (26min)
In the third
match of the day, Nicol David got a step closer to
defending her continental title, by appearing in her eighth
consecutive final of the Asian Individual Championships,
her home crowd.
In an all Malaysian affair, Nicol dished out a rather
comfortable win over compatriot Delia Arnold. Arnold
playing world number one for the first time in a tournament,
started off strongly, but her quarter final tough battle
against Dipika Pallikal of India, took its toll at the end
as she couldn’t follow up her shots against
line-up was completed, after Ong Beng Hee defeated
Siddhart Suchde of India in a five setter . Beng Hee
supremacy in the first two games, playing an impeccable
mid-match players had a bit of collision that seemed to have
troubled the Indian , hurting his right elbow.
The fourth game was a close battle which went to Siddhart’s
favor at the end. In the fifth game Beng Hee displayed
superior game of squash to conclude the match 3-2.
However Suchde should be credited for putting up a good
fight during this match and throughout the whole tournament.
Having three Malaysians in the finals, a thrilling
Penang’s Nicol David Squash Center is promised for the
conclusion of the 16th Asian Individual Championships.
The men's championship match begins tomorrow at 3pm with
the women's to follow. Matches are held at the Nicol David
International Squash Center in Penang. Admission is free and
Astro TV will be broadcasting live on channel 801.
"I think we were both pretty nervous so
that was the reason why we kept getting on each other’s way…It’s the
first time for me that I play a match in which all games went to
tie-break…winning her in her home town is quite big for me…there’s
no pressure on me tomorrow, I’ll just try to play my game…”
”It was a close match…I was pretty unlucky…Sheh played better on the
big points…All credit to her"
” I’m very happy…this is a great birthday gift for me and tomorrow
I’m not going to take away this present from myself!...
Farhan is so dangerous with his racket, I wanted to keep him in
back. He is a very good player, but today wasn’t just his day…
This is my first time reaching the semifinals...
and the finals. I'm so proud of it and I'm thankful to Azlan
and my brother for their help.
I’m just going to give the last big push and since yesterday I’ve
been preparing myself to be the champion!...”
I had a surgery on my elbow two years ago…and as you see now it’s
swollen and pretty bad…In the fifth I was so scared to hit the ball
hard and play my shots so after getting down I just couldn’t come
” I got lucky in the end…I was two games up, but I just lost focus
in the third…and was a bit unlucky not to win the fourth…we had a
bit of crash on court which might have hurt his elbow…I hope he’s
OK…he’s one of my good friends and my training partner...
I’m glad tomorrow’s an all Malaysian final …great to play here in
Penang, having home support and my dad there…he’s been always a
great support and one of my biggest fans!...”
” I’m glad to be in the final
again…Delia started off well, but I think yesterday match took a lot
from her, physically and mentally…
Annie and I have had good matches before so I’m expecting anything
for tomorrow, looking forward to an other good one…
I’ll just try to focus and work hard…hope more Penang people come
and cheer tomorrow.”
 Nicol David (MAS) bt [5/8] Joey Chan (HK)
11-6 11-6 11-7
[3/4] Delia Arnold (MAS) bt [5/8] Dipika Pallikal (IND)
9-11 11-7 5-11 11-5 11-9
[3/4] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt Siti Munirah Jusoh (MAS)
11-8 10-12 11-8 11-2
 Annie Au (HK) bt [5/8] Sun Mi Song (KOR)
11-3 11-6 11-8
"She played quite well in the last
game…however I made so many mistakes in the second and the
third…playing my drop shots was one of my tactics to finish the
looking forward to my match tomorrow…it’s going to be
a tough one..."
" She played well…she had nothing to
lose…I was the one under pressure…I was a bit unlucky in the second,
I wanted to win 3/0 to save energy for the semis…
Looking forward to playing Annie especially here in Penang."
"It was a very good match…I’m happy with my match today…but a bit
disappointed because of my knee… I wanted to push more and hang in
there...some of my shots were good and she couldn’t pick them up, so
I’m happy to have given her a challenge…”
Three: Suchde, Arnold Hold on
in Quarterfinal Thrillers Will Mather reports
It was an exciting night of squash at the Nicol David
International Squash Center in Penang, Malaysia, as the 2011
Asian Individual Championships continued today with
India's Siddarth Suchde staged an impressive victory
over Kuwait's Abdullah Al-Mezayen. In a closely
contested match, the players demonstrated deceptive racket
skills, creative use of the court and an array of shots
before an appreciative Penang crowd. The match went to a
fifth set decider, exactly what the tense crowd was hoping
for. "You never know what to expect of him," said Suchde.
"But it wasn't just that I lost the fourth, it was how I
lost it. I was up 7-5 and he won it 11-8. He outscored me
6-1 to finish it," Suchde continued, "In the fifth I
reminded myself of how I got here and tried to stick to a
basic game plan."
Suchde will now face Malaysia's Ong Beng Hee for a
spot in the final. "Last time I played Beng Hee, he beat me
3-2 in India. I would like to beat him in Malaysia," Suchde
In a highly anticipated match, Malaysia's Delia Arnold
withstood a fierce fifth game come back from India's Dipika
Pallikal. After quickly trailing 2-8 in the fifth, Pallikal
fought back to tie the decider at 9. Arnold was able to
finish with the partisan crowd passionately pushing her on.
Arnold joins teammates Low Wee Wern and Nicol
David, taking 3 of the 4 available semifinal slots.
Annie Au, of Hong Kong, is the fourth semifinalist.
” It’s hard to play him…We play and
travel a lot together , like recently the U.S and Canada…so I know
his game very well…I just tried to play my game, stick to my game
plan and keep the shots tight…and I’m glad I managed to do
that…Tomorrow my match against Farhan’s going to be tough…he like to
play a fast-paced game…I’d like to play like top 10 players kind of
squash…I’m very glad to be in the semis of the Asian Championships…I
tried and worked so hard…but well, tomorrow’s another day…”
”It’s the first time I make the semis
so of course I’m very happy…
I just played my game…
Thanks to Abdullah for a fair game, it was fun and I just enjoyed
it…win or lose I would have said the same thing…I just got lucky in
I look forward to playing one of Malaysian guys tomorrow, and I hope
they’ll have a hard match today!”
was the first time I was playing Dipika… I’d been always hearing
good stuff about her, that she’s a talented and attacking player…but
I tried to put everything aside and play my own game…
I was moving a bit slowly during the past two days and it was
worried about that a little…But in the third and fourth game I
started moving much better, and right then I just really wanted to
win…so got more focused in the fourth..
it was kind of a new start for me as I so much wanted to be in the
semis for the first time! I’ve never played Nicol in tournaments, so
I really look forward to my match tomorrow…”
It’s great to play in my home-town where all my family and friends
are around me…
I felt good today…Joey is a tough player and she had some good
results lately…today started well, but I tried not to give her any
chance…I had to bring my game up to win her and it was a bit of hard
work for me…”
”Elvinn had a good run in the
tournament, having reached this far…so tonight was his night and
obviously there was no pressure on him…the pressure was on me…
In the third I just kind of made it difficult for myself…he played
some lucky shots…(in the fourth) having luck to win a point isn’t
that bad in the whole match…
Tomorrow obviously it’s going to be a tougher match against Sachde,
he’s my training partner in England…he did very well today against
Abdullah, and I think he’s really hungry to win…”
” I guess I did pretty well…from my first match till just now…I’m
still fit for another five setter though!...
Beng Hee has been guiding me in these three months to come back from
my injury…I’m very honored to have played against him…
I wish him all the best and hopefully he gets to the final and can
win the tournament…”
was thinking about playing at 19:00…I just warmed-up three time
today…my match started very late (22:15)…He started well tonight in
the first game…I used the same game plan I use playing against top
players…I tried to use my experience to play against him…I focus on
my tomorrow’s match now, as every match is very important…hopefully
I can play well tomorrow ansd at the end hope I can win this
”I knew it was going to be a tough match, Farhan is a top player,
very crafty with shots and very gifted and quick…so I had to be very
precise and couldn’t afford to hit any loose shots…He’s one of PSA
top players …hopefully next time I’ll play better against him …”
Quarterfinal play tomorrow at 2pm at the Nicol David International Squash Center in Penang. Admission is free and Astro TV will
broadcast live on channel 801.
Two: Keo delivers KO as Malaysia sets
tone Will Mather reports, additional info from Sima Pad-Bod
Eight Malaysians have earned their way into the
quarterfinals of the 2011 Asian Individual Squash
Championships being held at the Nicol David International
Squash Center in Penang, Malaysia.
Local Elvin Keo continued his winning ways today, defeating
Hong Kong's number one and event fifth seed Dick Lau. Unseeded Keo has now run off three straight upsets, all of
which went the to fifth set decider.
"He [Lau] is such a
steady player and he kept retrieving and sending the ball
back and my legs were really feeling it," commented an
enthusiastic Keo afterwards. He continued, "but I was
trying to take it early and attack at the front in an attempt to
finish the rallies."
Indeed, Keo nearly won in straight
games, but a second set tiebreak was won by Lau. Keo will
now face top seeded compatriot, Ong Beng Hee, for a spot in
Women's seeds going strong
The women's top seeds all advanced with impressive victories.
Also making the quarterfinals is Siti Munira Jusoh of
Malaysia after a strong performance against Hong Kong's Liu Tsz-Ling.
”It was a very good match," said Siti. "The last game was
tough…I having trouble with my right knee so it was hard for
me to keep concentrated…but I tried to keep it up to the
"She’s very fit…I’m happy to win today and hope I can play
well tomorrow against Wern.”
Liu added: ”I played well but it can always be better…my
shots were not stable …she played very well…”
She joins teammates Nicol David, Delia Arnold and
Low Wee Wern who all won convincingly. Otherwise, all seeds
advance and Asia's top women will have a showdown as
India's Dipika Pallikal needed all five games to
overcome Japan's Misaki Kobayashi, thus avoiding the fate of
compatriot Joshna Chinappa, who went out yesterday.
:”The past few times that I played against her, I always
lost 3-1…and the one game I’d take, it would always be
because of her mistakes…but today I did my best, I just
wanted to win so badly!...
"Yet I think I could have done better, it was our closest
game…I’m not satisfied with my squash…and mentally she was
stronger than I was today…”
Dipika:”I think Misaki and I have been playing for ages and
we’ve always had tough matches…Joshna and I had a tough
month, first Hong Kong , then Chennai and now here…so we’re
both very tired and I think it’s the reason why Joshna lost
"I’m training hard, in Chennai with Indian Squash Academy
and in Australia with Sarah Fitz-Gerald…so training-wise
it’s going perfect…we’re working on different areas of my
"The Asian’s a very prestigious tournament for us, so it’s a
shame Saurav isn’t here with us…”
Hong Kong has two
representatives in the quarters - Annie Au and
Joey Chan both beat Korean opposition today. Au faces
another Korean in Song Sun-Mi while Chan faces the daunting
task of taking on top seed Nicol David.
” Today I played OK, but in the second game I lost it a
little, started to hit hard in this bouncy court and
followed her game…in the 3rd. and 4th., I slowed down the
pace and played more straight shots that cross-courts…
"I tried to move her around the court other than just at the
back…Tomorrow I look forward to playing Nicol in her own
club and will try to win some points and learn from her…”
Women's 2nd round
 Au Wing-Chi Annie (HK) bt Yeon Soo Yang (KOR) 11-8 11-4
[5/8] Sun Mi Song (KOR) bt Kozue Onizawa (JPN) 6-11 11-6
11-4 11-4 Siti Munirah Jusoh (MAS) bt Liu Tsz-Ling (HK) 11-5 11-7
[3/4] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt Zulhijjah Azan (MAS) 11-4 11-7
[3/4] Delia Odette Arnold (MAS) bt Ga Hye Kim (KOR) 11-5
[5/8] Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) 13-11
9-11 11-7 6-11 11-3
[5/8] Chan Ho-Ling Joey (HK) bt Eun Tschan Ahn (KOR) 11-4
6-11 11-7 11-1
 Nicol David (MAS) bt Jerryca Teo (SIN) 11-2 11-6 11-4
Men's 3rd round
 Ong Beng Hee (MAS) bt Kamran Khan (MAS) 12-10, 11-8,
11-9 Elvinn Keo Jinn Chung (MAS) bt [5/8] Dick Lau Siu-Wai (HK)
11-7 10-12 11-8 6-11 11-9
[5/8] Siddharth Suchde (IND) bt [9/16] Choong Kam Hing (MAS)
11-8 11-8 11-4
[3/4] Abdullah Ah-Mezayen (KUW) bt [9/16] Yuen
Chee Wern (MAS) 8-11 11-4 11-3 11-8
[3/4] Mohd Nafizwan Adnan (MAS) bt [9/16] Waqas Mehboob
(PAK) 11-1 11-6 11-6
[9/16] Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (IND) bt [5/8] Max Lee
Ho-Yin (HK) 11-8 11-8 6-11 11-7
[5/8] Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) bt [9/16] Leo Au Chun-Ming (HK)
11-9 8-11 11-2 11-5
 Farhan Mehboob (PAK) bt [9/16] Ali Bader M. Al-Ramezi
11-8 9-11 11-7 11-9
26-Apr, Day ONE Malaysian Men,
Hong Kong & Korean Women Roll Will Mather reports
The 2011 Asian Individual Squash Championships had a
booming start this evening. The field has been narrowed to
16 for both the men's and women's event with two upsets.
Malaysia's Elvinn Keo Jinn Chung, having survived a
5-setter in the morning, again went the distance before
ousting Pakistan's 9/16th seed Waqar Mehboob in the
fifth set. When asked about his physical strength after two
5-set matches, Keo responded, "No matter how sore or tired
you are, when you win, you feel good!"
Hong Kong continues to compete with three contenders
reaching the second round after Liu Tsz-Ling defeated
India's 5/8th seed Joshna Chinappa. Joining the Hong
Kong women in the second round are 3 Korean women making a
statement in these championships.
With the exception of Chinappa, the seedings still remain
intact. Team Malaysia's women took a hit, however, 3/4th
seeds Low Wee Wern and Delia Arnold won soundly. Tomorrow,
top seed Nicol David makes her debut in the championships in
which she is heavily favored.
Round of 16 play begins tomorrow and is set to start at 4pm
at the Nicol David International Squash Center in Penang.
26-Apr, Day ONE Malaysia, Kuwait and Korea Impressive
in Men's First Round Will Mather reports
The 2011 Asian Individual Squash Championships had a booming
start at the Nicol David International Squash Center in
Penang, Malaysia, this morning. The field of 64 men and 32
women representing 15 nations gave plenty to talk about for
the local squash enthusiasts as all three Malaysian men won
their first round encounters.
The Malaysian trio of Choong Kam Hing, Muhd, Addeen Idrakie
b. Bahtiar and Elvinn Keo Jinn Chung, will move on to second
round action. Choong and Bahtiar were both convincing in
their victories, however, Keo will have to recover quickly
after his grueling, highly competitive match with Ammar
Abdukareem Al-Tamimi of Kuwait. Al-Tamimi pushed him to the
very end before falling 7-11 in the fifth set. "It was a
stressful match for me. I expected it to be tough... I hope
to play my next match better. I gained confidence by winning
this one!” said a tired Keo post match. Perhaps a bit more
exhausted, Al-Tamimi shared as much saying, "it was a
difficult match. I tried my best to win but Elvinn played
very well. I made many mistakes in the fifth and also the
stamina made a difference."
Al-Tamimi's spirited loss was part of an impressive overall
showing for Team Kuwait. While 9/16th seed Ali Bader M. Al-Ramezi
won in straight games, Kuwaiti teammate Salem Fayes Mohamad
also lost in the fifth set of a highly competitive match
with Vivian Rhamanan of Singapore. Unfortunate mistakes were
the telling difference in the fifth set. With Al-Ramezi and
Abdullah Khalid H. Ah-Mezayen expecting to go far, the two
close losses ought to provide needed confidence for the
future of men's squash in Kuwait.
Team Korea sends 3 of its four players through the first
round after Seung Joon Lee suffered the sole defeat at the
hands of 9/16th seed Leo Au Chun-Ming of Hong Kong. A
fast-paced match, Seung went point for point with Au before
losing the crucial points at the end of each set. Otherwise,
Team Korea dropped only one game as Se Hyun Lee, Seung Taek
Lee and Nyeon Ho Lee move on.
The men's second round, in addition to the women's first
round, is set to start at 4pm today at the Nicol David
International Squash Center in Penang.
round Nyeon Ho Lee (KOR) bt Yuta Fukui (JPN) 11-9, 12-10,
Chen Ching-Han (TPE) bt Yasir Issadeen (SRI) 11-7, 11-9,
Elvinn Keo Jinn Chung (MAS) bt Ammar Abdukareem Al-Tamimi (KUW)
4-11, 11-2, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7
Samuel Kang (SIN) bt Robert Andrew Garcia (PHI) 11-8, 9-11,
Ahmad Al-Zabidi (JOR) bt Marcus Phua (SIN) 11-8, 11-9,
Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt Chen Shu-Kai (TPE) 11-4, 11-3,
[9/16] Choong Kam Hing (MAS) bt Richard Espinola (PHI) 11-4,
Navid Malek Sabet (IRN) bt Soni Ramdhani (INA) 7-11, 11-8,
11-8, 6-11, 11-6
Muhd Addeen Idrakie b. Bahtiar (MAS) bt David William Pelino
(PHI) 11-9, 11-3, 11-3
Wong Hon Fung (HK) bt Chang Chun-Yu (TPE) 11-3, 11-2, 11-4
SeungTaek Lee (KOR) bt Ken Okada (JPN) 13-11, 7-11, 11-6,
[9/16] Waqas Mehboob (PAK) bt Huang Cheng-Yao (TPE) 6-11,
11-7, 11-6, 11-9
[9/16] Leo Au Chun-Ming (HK) bt Seung Joon Lee (KOR) 11-8,
Ahmad Al Saraj (JOR) bt Mohammad Hossein Sanaee (IRN)
Se Hyun Lee (KOR) bt Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN) 11-4, 11-1, 11-7
The newly-renamed Nicol David International Squash Centre
(NDISC) will host its first international squash event in
Penang—the 16th Asian Individual Squash Championship 2011
with the participation from 13 Asian countries, from 26–30
This will be the first Asian Individual Championship held
separately from the Team Championship title, now held
highlight of this tournament will be the participation of
the world’s top women’s player, Dato’ Nicol David who
will be defending her individual title, this time on home
ground with the support of the home crowd.
"It’s great that the 16th Asian Championship is being hosted
in Penang, and to play an event in the squash centre named
after me will certainly be a whole different experience. I’m
looking forward to inviting all the asian squash players to
Other local Penangites who will be playing in this
tournament are Low Wee Wern and Ong Beng Hee.
Mr. Lim Guan Eng, the Honorable Chief Minister of
Penang who is also the PBA Group of Companies’ Chairman,
said this would be an opportunity for the people of Penang
to enjoy world class squash in action in the very hometown
of Nicol David.
"With the world class centre (NDISC), we hope that more
squash tournaments will be held in Penang. As we know,
Penang has produced the world’s top ranked player, we hope
to produce more young players and this championship will be
a showcase for the young and upcoming world class players,"
A total of 15 countries will be participating in this year’s
championship with the addition of new challengers from
Indonesia, Philippines and Jordan. As with the 15th Asian
Squash Championship 2010 in Chennai, India—spectators will
also witness top players from Malaysia, India, Pakistan,
Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Iran,
China and Chinese Taipei. Iraq has regrettably withdrawn
from this year’s championship.
This championship is jointly organized by the Squash Racquet
Association of Malaysia (SRAM) and the Squash Rackets
Association of Penang (SRAP). The event will be broadcasted
live on Astro Arena, channel 801. The sponsors for this
tournament are PBA and Nusmetro.