KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s number women’s squash player S. Sivasangari is just a step away from ending the country’s eight-year drought in the Asian Squash Individual Championships after marching into the final in Hong Kong today.

Sivasangari, 24, is on the right track to emulate the country’s squash queen Datuk Nicol David who was the last Malaysian player to secure the women’s title as she got past Annie Au of Hong Kong 12-10, 11-7, 11-8 in the 2015 edition in Kuwait.

The last time a national female player won the championship twice in a year was in 2015 through Nicol, who went on to hold the title nine times in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2015.

Sivasangari advanced to her first final of the tournament by dispatching Satomi Watanabe of Japan, 11-9, 14-12, 11-8.

Sin Yuk Chan await the United States-based player in the final after she came from behind to eliminate compatriot Tze Lok Ho 7-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 in four sets.

In the men’s event, World number 17, Ng Eain Yow will also have a chance to defend the men’s title at the 2023 Asian Squash Individual Championship after checking into the final in Hong Kong as well.

Top seed Eain Yow edged home player, Henry Leung, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10, in 42 minutes in the semi final of the tournament held at the Hong Kong Squash Centre.

The 25-year-old will take on world number 115 Velavan Senthilkumar tomorrow after the Indian denied an all Malaysian final affair by creating an upset against veteran, Ivan Yuen.

Velavan survived a 44-minute duel to stun Ivan 11-4, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7 in the other semi final.

Eain Yow clinched his first title of the tournament by seeing off Hong Kong’s Yip Tsz Fung, 11-6, 13-11, 11-9 in the 2021 edition in Islamabad, Pakistan. -BERNAMA

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