Saturday January 19, 2013
Nafiizwan fails to make main draw of Tournament of Champs in NY
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Asian champion Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan failed to qualify for the main draw of the Tournament of Champions in New York on Thursday.
The Malaysian, ranked 33rd in the world, was expected to beat world No. 39 Adrian Waller of England, but the national No. 2 fell 7-11, 11-6, 11-13, 8-11 in the second round of the qualifiers.
Waller will face fourth seed Hisham Ashour of Egypt in the first round of the main draw.
The 26-year-old Nafiizwan was disappointed with his performance especially in the third set.
“I had match point in the third set after taking a 10-4 lead and strongly believed that I would win the set to take a 2-1 lead.
“But I fizzled out and made so many errors to allow Adrian to collect six straight points to level the score at 10-10,” said Nafiizwan.
“Adrian took 11-10 lead and I level the score 11-11 but he collected two points to win the match. In the fourth set, I gave my best but Adrian attacked relentlessly to win the set.
“I had the chance to beat him but I blew it because I could not maintain my game,” said Nafiizwan.
With Nafiizwan failing to secure a place in the main draw, Malaysia’s challenge hinges on veteran and national No. 1 Ong Beng Hee.
Ranked 20th in the world, Beng Hee, who will turn 33 on Feb 4, will open his campaign against qualifier and world No. 45 Campbell Grayson of New Zealand in the first round.
England players James Willstrop and Nick Matthew are the top two seeded players in the men’s category.
The men’s competition offers US$115,000 prize purse while it’s US$25,000 in the women’s category.
The women’s competition begins on Monday with Malaysia’s Delia Arnold meeting sixth seed Amanda Shoby of United States in the first round.