10:42 pm
25 May 2024

Teen Sensation Aifa Storms Into Malaysian Open L16

23 Nov 2021

Malaysia's teen sensation Aifa Azman produced a sizzling performance to storm into the second round of the Women's Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur.

The 19-year-old, who has been on form this year, was on song as she took out world No.47 Mayar Hany of Egypt 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 on the opening day of action at the National Squash Centre, Bukit Jalil.

It was a superb showing from the world No.69 who dominated proceedings from the start and did not allow Mayar a chance to get back into the game.

It also brought Aifa's impressive win-loss record to 12-1 this year.

"I was a little nervous in the first game because Mayar was indeed the higher ranked player," said Aifa.

"But I knew I needed to get my rhythm back and once I did that, I just maintained the same rhythm and intensity to finish it 3/0.

"It definitely feels awesome to play in a bigger event like this and it's definitely a very good win for me today.

"For me the target was always to score upset wins over the higher ranked players and I definitely got the job done for a start.

"But it's definitely going to get tougher going forward and I'm definitely very excited for the next round."

Aifa goes on to meet third seed Yathreb Adel, also of Egypt, for a place in the quarter-finals.

National No.2 Rachel Arnold also progressed after beating Hong Kong's world No.50 Tong Tsz Wing 11-2, 5-11, 11-9, 11-5.

The world No.43 meets Australia's Donna Lobban in the second round.

Meanwhile there was no joy for Chan Yiwen and Ooi Kah Yan, who both bowed out in the first round.

Yiwen found the going tough against Egypt's Hana Ramadan as she lost 8-11, 3-11, 9-11 while Kah Yan, a late entrant following several withdrawals, lost 9-11, 6-11, 4-11 to Egyptian Menna Hamed.

Another major upset saw Hong Kong's world No.59 Lee Ka Yi topple Egypt's world No.34 Mariam Metwally 11-7, 7-11, 11-4, 12-10.

The 27-year-old meets top seed and world No.8 Salma Hany of Egypt in the second round.

In the men's event, the Malaysian trio of Syafiq Kamal, Addeen Idrakie and Darren Rahul Pragasam put up a good effort but fell short against higher-ranked opponents.

National No.3 Syafiq lost 7-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-3 to Spain's Bernat Jaume while Addeen lost 9-11, 9-11, 11-6, 4-11 to Hong Kong's Yip Tsz Fung.

Darren, who is making his Malaysian Open debut, started strongly but faded off as he fell to a 11-9, 3-11, 5-11, 2-11 loss to world No 41 Ramit Tandon of India.

National No 2 Ivan Yuen however came through with a 7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-3 win over compatriot Ong Sai Hung and meets national No 1 Ng Eain Yow, who enjoyed a first round bye, in the second round.

The main upset of the opening round was produced by Egypt's Mazen Gamal with the world No 70 taking out USA's world No.43 Todd Harrity 4-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-7.