Sunday, April 21, 2024

Beng Hee aiming for one last hurrah at ToC

Beng Hee hoping to recapture the glory days and get 2014 off to a flyer

By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Reporter

Malaysian number one Ong Beng Hee is hoping to roll back the years at the Tournament of Champions and recapture the form which took him to world number seven over a decade ago.

Beng Hee, who will turn 34 next month, fell outside the top 20 last February and offset his victory at the Royal Lake Open in October with six first round exits to higher-ranked opponents last year.

But after adapting his workload and tournament schedule to increase his longevity on Tour, the Kuala Lumpur-based ace believes he can take encouragement from drawing world number 20 Stephen Coppinger in the first round, rather than one of the top four seeds.

“It’s definitely going to be very tough going up against Steve in the opening round, but I think it’s actually a good draw,” the Penangite told The Star.

“I have not been winning too often lately and any draw that doesn’t pit me against the world’s top four is a good draw. I definitely have a chance as this is probably going to be my last year and I have no choice but to win.

“I even left for New York early just to adapt to the freezing cold. This is a big year for squash with so many major tournaments and the schedule from April is very hectic.

“For someone my age, I need to prepare myself better physically and mentally. The only problem now is money because the longer I stay the more I need to spend and it is very costly here.” 

The world number 22 lost in the second round of the 2013 edition of the Tournament of Champions and could meet World Champion Nick Matthew in the last 16. 

Beng Hee will also be competing at the Motor City Open in Detroit, where he will open his campaign against number five seed Omar Mosaad in a repeat of their World Championship encounter in November. 

Source: The Star; Picture by Steve Cubbins (SquashSite)

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