Thursday March 14, 2013
Nafiizwan hopes to achieve his double with a little bit of luck
KUALA LUMPUR: National No. 2 squash player Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan is on a double mission this year.
He wants to retain his Asian title in Islamabad in May and to break into the top 30 in the world rankings.
The Terengganu-born player won the Asian title in Penang two years ago after he upset team-mate and four-time Asian champion Ong Beng Hee in the final.
However, Nafiizwan, who has been a professional player for the last nine years has been struggling to break into the top 30 in the world.
His best ranking to date was at No. 30 which he achieved last December.
He has not done well in the Professional Squash Association (PSA) circuits this year and his ranking has dropped to 39 this month.
He played in two tournaments and crashed out in the first round in both the North American Open in Davenport in January and Kuwait PSA Cup last week.
The 27-year-old Nafiizwan admitted that it has been a struggle to improve on his ranking.
“I have not performed in PSA tournaments lately because I just don’t have the luck. I either face a tough opponent in the early rounds or I fall sick just before a tournament,” said Nafiizwan.
“I am training hard and also want to be mentally stronger when playing against higher ranked players. I hope to do well in PSA tournaments this year starting with the KL Open this month,” said Nafiizwan, who will feature in the qualifying rounds.
The last two years he played in the main draw and reach the quarter-finals.
National No. 1 Ong Beng Hee and national No. 3 Mohd Asyraf Azan will feature in the main draw of the men’s competition. Asyraf has been given a wild card.
Nafiizwan said that he would go all out to defend his Asian title although he would be seeded fourth based on his world rankings.
“I will face a strong challenge from Pakistan and India players in Islamabad. And it is never easy playing in Pakistan but nothing is going to stop me from winning my second Asian title,” said Nafiizwan.