Sivasangari climbs five rungs No. 17, eyes top 10

KUALA LUMPUR: Squash player S. Sivasangari has climbed five spots to world No. 17 in the PSA Tour women's rankings — her best achievement since returning to action from a career-threatening road accident in January.

Sivasangari, who recorded several notable feats this year, including winning two gold medals at the Hangzhou Asian Games, entered the top 20 in the world following her sensational victory at the Hong Kong Football Club (HKFC) Open last week.

The Kedah-born is currently the second highest Asian player in the world rankings after Japan's Satomi Watanabe at No. 16.

For the record, Sivasangari is merely one rung below her career-best ranking of No. 16, achieved in July last year.

Sivasangari is currently playing in the Hong Kong Open, and a decent showing will definitely earned her enough points to equal or go beyond her career-best ranking with the world rankings updated weekly.

The 24-year-old has beaten several top-ranked players this year, including world No. 7 Nour El Tayeb of Egypt, 12th-ranked Sarah-Jane Perry of England and No. 15 Sabrina Sobhy of the United States this year.

Sivasangari is hailed as Malaysia's best hope for a medal when squash becomes an Olympic sport at the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Rachel Arnold is the second-highest-ranked Malaysian on the tour at No. 31, followed by Aifa Azman (No. 30), Aira Azman (No. 50), and Ainaa Amani (No. 63).

In the men's world rankings, Asian champion Ng Eain Yow, who reached the final of the HKFC Open, moved up two places to No. 19. His career-best ranking was No. 17 — achieved in January last year.

Veteran Ivan Yuen is ranked No. 62, followed by Addeen Idrakie (No. 65), Syafiq Kamal (No. 88), and Sanjay Jeeva (No. 96).

National coach Ajaz Azmat believes both Sivasangari and Eain Yow will break into the top 10 of the men's and women's rankings within 18 months.

"We anticipate that they can achieve this within 18 months, provided they play in 21 tournaments each from January next year to June 25, 2025," said Ajaz.

"Of course, their performance during this period will be crucial in achieving the target.

"We are proud of their current accomplishments. Both players could have entered the top 20 earlier had they not skipped several PSA Tour tournaments during the Hangzhou Asian Games in September.

"Sivasangari and Eain Yow will definitely be inspired, and I hope they will capitalise on their success to achieve more significant milestones in their careers."

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