Wednesday January 2, 2013
Sanjay hopes to prove seeding wrong
By KNG ZHENG GUAN
PETALING JAYA: Sanjay Singh Chal (pic) ended the year on a high and he hopes to keep it that way at the British Junior Open squash championships which begin in Sheffield today.
Having won the Under-19 crown in the Pontefract Junior Open in West Yorkshire, England, on Sunday, Sanjay’s confidence is sky high.
“But it’s not going to be easy because I did not get a good seeding in Sheffield ... just joint ninth-16th,” said the 17-year-old Sanjay. “It will be a tough tournament with several strong players. I’m looking to make the last 16 first and take it from there.
“To do that, there are a few aspects of my game which I need to improve, namely my mental strength, as well as speed and aggression. I also need to develop a stronger desire to win because it will help me through tough moments,” he added.
Sanjay will face either a local qualifier – Scott Young or Ross Pretorius – and a win will see him take on Kuwait’s Yousef Saleh in the second round.
If he makes the third round – the last 16 – he will be up against joint fifth-eighth seed Shehab Essam of Egypt.
Besides Sanjay, the other Malaysian competing in the Under-19 category is Gurshan Singh, who faces a tough first round match against joint ninth-16th seed Matt Sidaway of England.
Sanjay enjoyed a good season last year despite having to prepare for his SPM examinations. He won the KL International Junior Open as well as the SportExcel Circuit.
The Sarawakian, who idolises former international Mohd Azlan Iskandar, also competed in a few Professional Squash Association (PSA) tournaments. His best result was making the quarter-finals of the Royal Lake Open in August.
“Playing in the senior tournaments has been beneficial because the game is very different at junior level. It has taught me to be more matured, especially in decision-making. I’m looking forward to using what I have learned at the British Juniors.
“I hope to do well in Sheffield. My aim is to win a spot in the Asian Junior Team Championships in February as it will be my last junior outing,” added Sanjay.