Squash: Low sets her sights high

Low Wee Wern (right) returning a shot against Lee Ka Yi in the Singapore Squash Open women's final yesterday. The former world No. 5 won 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 at the Kallang Squash Centre.
Low Wee Wern (right) returning a shot against Lee Ka Yi in the Singapore Squash Open women's final yesterday. The former world No. 5 won 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 at the Kallang Squash Centre.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Malaysian wins Singapore Open for fifth title since July, wants to improve for bigger events

Low Wee Wern's victory at the Tecnifibre Singapore Squash Open yesterday was her fifth title since returning from injury in July, but the Malaysian believes more work must be done in order for her to return to the top of her game.

The former world No. 5, who beat Hong Kong's Lee Ka Yi 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 in the Professional Squash Association Women's Challenger 5 event, said: "To the general public, I'm winning tournaments but, to be honest, it's five much smaller tournaments than I would have normally played when I was back at the top.

"It's good to be able to win five tournaments but what's more important for me is to be able to get my ranking up (so that I can) play in the bigger tournaments.

"With this win, hopefully it'll help me get to the top 48 in the world, which enables me to play the bigger tournaments - which is where I would like to be."

Low had been sidelined for 21 months due to a knee injury. Yesterday, her 27-minute win over Lee at the Kallang Squash Centre left the latter with no answers.

Said a disappointed Lee: "Wee Wern is a much tougher player and I didn't control the game well and gave her (too many) chances to attack.

"I should have been more patient, because I attacked too early and made several mistakes."

Low, explaining that both were trying to "figure each other out a bit more" in the first game as they were not familiar with each other's games, said: "At the end of the first game, I became more confident and that showed in the second and third, because I got up there and started taking the ball earlier, which didn't give her much time to do anything else."

Low was pleased to finish her last tournament of the year with a win as she revealed how tough her post-injury comeback had been.

Referring to her 11-6, 11-4, 10-12, 11-5 semi-final win over India's Sunayna Kuruvilla, she said: "At crucial times, the decision-making is still not there and I'm not as sharp as I used to be.

"But that will come with time, more playing and more experience. I guess that's slowly starting to come back for me."

While she acknowledged her playing standards are still not where she would like them to be, she is happy with her progress.

"I've had a good training block and good couple of tournaments... Next year will be quite a big year for us, with the Women's World Team Squash Championship in Malaysia (in 2020)," she said.

"My immediate goal is to qualify for the World Championships, which I should do after this win here today... my main target is to get back to competing against the top girls and see how I fare."

In the men's open category of the annual Singapore Squash Open, last year's runner-up James Huang of Chinese Taipei defeated Robert Garcia of the Philippines 11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 12-10 in 55 minutes to claim the title.


Correction note: An earlier version of this story wrongly identified the 2017 runner-up in the men's open category of the annual Singapore Squash Open. We are sorry for the error.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 02, 2018, with the headline 'Low sets her sights high'. Print Edition | Subscribe