Elvinn Keo halts Gurshan Singh’s fine run in Singapore
By Alex Wan – Squash Mad Asian Bureau Editor
SINGAPORE – Elvinn Keo halted the fine run of qualifier Gurshan Singh’s run at the 2016 Old Chang Kee-Marigold Singapore Open when he beat the Perak-born lad in straight games 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 in 25 minutes.
Victory did not come straightforward for the 28-year old as he was forced to fight back from the first two games. In the first, Gurshan Singh was ahead 5-1 and 8-6, but Keo manages to level at 8-a piece before taking two points in a row to take the lead.
It was similar in the second as Singh went ahead to lead 7-3 and 8-6. At 7-8 down, Keo took more initiative and went for his trademark shots with a lot more conviction. That was rewarded with a string of four straight points and a 2-game lead.
Keo did not make the same mistake again the third and from a 2-0 lead, he continued to lead the entire game and after quarter of an hour, booked himself into his second final of the season. The win gives him an opportunity for back-to-back titles, having won the PSA Malaysian Tour in October.
“If I compared against playing him the last time, he has improved quite a bit. He’s also riding on a high and beaming with confidence after his back-to-back wins over his Hong Kong opponents,” said Keo of his opponent.
He went on to add, ”Initially I went along with his pace and that it was not the right thing and the scores in the first two games show, him takin the lead and me having to come back. Each time I had to change the game, upped the pace and be in the front. I’m happy to make it to another final and it will be tough against Tang (Ming Hong) tomorrow. We’ve played a number of times and it’s always been close so I have to be even more prepared tomorrow.”
In the other semi-final, Tang Ming Hong of Hong Kong prevented an all-Malaysian final when he followed up his mammoth win over second seed James Huang with a 13-11, 11-7, 11-9 win over Addeen Idrakie. The pair had met several times prior to today with both winning one each in the last two meetings.
In the first game, it was Addeen who took the initiatives more and go to a huge 9-4 lead. But he manages to lose six points in a row and found himself game ball down, which he saves. He couldn’t sustain that and eventually loses out 13-11.
The loss of the first game after having such a huge lead seem to have affected the confidence of Addeen as he seemed very reactive in the next game in comparison. In the end, it was Tang who played the big points better and closes the second game 11-7.
The third was in Addeen’s favour once again, taking a 8-5 lead but once again fizzling out and loses five consecutive points. He would gain another point before Tang clinches the win and lets out a big shout of delight.
“I started much better today compared to yesterday. I came better prepared and the fact that I have played him before was more comforting. I am also more familiar with his game after the few times we’ve played so the confidence was there. I was down in the first and third and I had to remind myself the game is not over till it’s over,” said Tang Ming Hong who gets into his second $5k final of the season.
SEMI FINAL RESULTS:
Elvinn Keo (MAS) bt Gurshan Singh (MAS) 11-8, 11-8, 11-7 (25m)
Tang Ming Hong (HKG) bt Addeen Idrakie (MAS) 13-11, 11-7, 11-9 (45m)
Pictures by Singapore Squash Rackets Association