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Monday, April 12, 2021

Low is praying for dad and playing for pride

Lee Hortonhttps://squashmad.com
Former Sun, Mirror, People and Sunday Express sports executive. Knows a bit about newspapers and the art of talking a good game. Brighter than some but a way to go to match others.

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Malaysia’s No.2 Low Wee Wern, who reached the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Open in 2011, will  have her dad on her mind when she begins her campaign in this year’s event  in 10 day’s time.

Her father Eric Low, 58, has been hospitalised  for the past month after being diagnosed with liver cancer.

“Doctors cannot operate because his liver cancer is in the last stage. However, I pray that he will recover,” said Wee Wern, who reached a career high ranking of six in March.

Wee Wern will be accompanied by her coach Aaron Soyza for the first time at a tournament as she hopes to get the better of her nemesis and Asian Individual champion Annie Au of Hong Kong.

The Penang-born Wee Wern, who was the top seed, was upset by Annie 3-1 in the final of the Asian Individual Championships in Islamabad in May.

For the Hong Kong Open, Wee Wern, who is seeded seventh, will open her campaign against a qualifier.

And the Malaysian is expected to face world No. 17 Annie in the second round.

The 23-year-old Wee Wern, ranked ninth in the world, said that she would go all out to avenge her defeat against Annie.

“I have not met Annie since losing to her in the final of the Asian meet,” said Wee Wern.

“Although it is not going to be easy to beat her in her own country, I feel more confident with my coach there.

“Aaron has helped me improve my game and break into the top 10 in the world rankings,” said Wee Wern, who has been coaching under Aaron in Penang for the last 12 years.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s squash queen and world No. 1 Nicol David will be gunning for a record eighth Hong Kong Open title.

The 30-year-old Nicol will face a qualifier in the first round. She is expected to meet England players sixth seed Jenny Duncalf and fourth seed Alison Waters in her draw.

Bearing any upsets, Nicol is likely to square off with second seed Laura Massaro of England in the final.

In the men’s competition, veteran Ong Beng Hee is the only Malaysian in the main draw.

The 33-year-old Beng Hee, however, will face a daunting task against Malaysia Open champion and seventh seed Peter Barker in the first round.

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