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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Nicol offers timely advice to Malaysian juniors

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British Junior Open: Malaysian hopes boosted by David’s wise words

WORLD number one Nicol David has called on the Malaysian juniors to channel any nervous energy effectively at the British Junior Open next week, as they bid to join a litany of past and present world number ones who have achieved success at the year-opening event. 

Seven-time world champion David, a winner in every age category at the British Junior Open, visited the ‘stars of the future’ earlier this month and believes the juniors need to concentrate on combating any anxiousness on-court to make a name for themselves at the prestigious junior event. 

“Some of them will be competing in the British Juniors for the first time and naturally they will be nervous,” the 30-year-old told The Star.

“It is okay to be nervous actually, as long as they know how to use it to their advantage and enjoy themselves once they go on court. Most importantly, even though it’s just the junior level, they need to learn how to take it one match at a time.

David’s advice comes nearly 14 years on from winning her fifth and final British Junior Open. And while the Penang-born David realises the enormity of the challenge facing the Malaysian nationals, she is confident they can enjoy success in Sheffield next week.

“I spent some time with them before the Hong Kong Open and it was nice chatting with them as they were all so keen and so willing to learn.

“I gave them an idea on what it takes to be a professional squash player and it’s good to see that they are willing to step out of their own comfort zone.

“I sure hope that I managed to inspire some of them and I definitely hope that they give their best at the British Juniors because overall, they are a pretty good bunch,” added the 2010 Commonwealth gold medallist.

Malaysian hopes fall on the young shoulders of reigning Boy’s Under-15 champion Ng Eain Yow, who has moved up to the Under-17 category and is seeded second. Meanwhile, 14-year-old Sivasangari Subramaniam leads the challenge in the girls section and is seeded first in the Under-15 category.

Source: The Star

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