Tuesday March 19, 2013
Young Ivan’s decision to train in Malaysia paying dividends
BY KNG ZHENG GUAN
PETALING JAYA: National squash player Ivan Yuen believes that the decision to stay back home and train is definitely paying off now.
The 23-year-old Ivan revealed that he wanted to go to the United States earlier this year to compete in some tournaments but was not given the green light.
The world No. 73, however, did not mop about missing the opportunity and instead decided to work harder on his game at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil under national elite coach Peter Genever.
And last week, Ivan got it right to win only his second career Professional Squash Association (PSA) title – the NSC Series No. 1 by beating Egyptian youngster Ahmed Abdel Fattah in the final.
“Initially I was planning to go to the US for some tournaments but my request was not approved,” said Ivan.
“Thus I decided that the next best thing was to make use of that time to work hard on my game here ... which is one of the reasons why I started the year only in March.
“I guess that training certainly paid off and now I’m quite prepared for my next tournament – the CIMB KL Open (March 26-31).
“Physically I believe that I am in good shape and I just need to work on my accuracy a little more. It has gotten a little rusty,” added Ivan.
The former Asian Junior champion will certainly need to up his current level if he intends to achieve good results in the KL Open, which will feature four of the world’s top 10 players – Egyptians Mohamed El Shorbagy (No. 5), Karim Darwish (No. 6), Omar Mosaad (No. 9) and Spain’s Borja Golan (No. 10).
With the wildcard to the main draw going to national No. 3 Mohd Asyraf Azan, Ivan will have to earn his place via two tough qualifying matches.
The other Malaysians who will compete in the qualifiers are national No. 2 and reigning Asian champion Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan, youngsters Sanjay Singh Chal, Mohd Addeen Idrakie and former national player Elvinn Keo.
A surprise competitor will be former national No. 1 Mohd Azlan Iskandar, who will come out of retirement just for this tournament.