Wednesday October 3, 2012
Rising star Wee Wern aims to strike it big in US Open
PETALING JAYA: National No. 2 Low Wee Wern’s star keeps on shining. The Penangite has climbed a rung to the world No. 9 spot in the latest Women’s Squash Association (WSA) rankings.
Despite losing to new world No. 2 Laura Massaro in the first round of the Carol Weymuller Open in New York last week, Wee Wern received good ranking points as she fell at the qualifying stages last year.
“It’s been a great year so far and I’m really playing so much better now,” said Wee Wern in a telephone interview from New York.
“I suffered a painful loss to Laura in New York and she went on to win the tournament. Climbing up another rung is really wonderful ... it gives me a real sense of belief that I’m actually up there with the best.
“I’ve always known that I could match the top girls. It’s great to have finally broken through and be constantly challenging them.”
There was more great news for team Penang as national junior champion Vanessa Raj soared 39 spots to break into the top 100 for the first time. She is now ranked 93rd in the world.
The 16-year-old Vanessa received a massive boost after making the second round of the Malaysian Open last month, taking out world No. 49 Olga Ertlova in the first round.
The 22-year-old Wee Wern’s next competition is the US Open which begins in Philadelphia tomorrow.
The unseeded Wee Wern’s first-round opponent is Egyptian world No. 3 Raneem El Weleily, a player she narrowly lost to in the Malaysian Open.
If she beats Weleily, her quarter-final opponent will probably be sixth seed Annie Au of Hong Kong, with Massaro a potential semi-final rival.
All eyes will also be on world No. 1 Nicol David, who is seeking to avoid a rare third straight defeat.
The 29-year-old has a favourable draw, with the main threat in her half coming from England’s Jenny Duncalf and Egyptian teenager Nour El Sherbini.