Great Saturday for Malaysian squash as Ameeshenraj and Sivasangari shine

KUALA LUMPUR: It was a great Saturday for Malaysian squash as, apart from S. Sivasangari's eye-catching win at the London Classic, C. Ameeshenraj captured the Liverpool Cricket Club Open crown.

World No. 16 S. Sivasangari stunned seven-time world champion Nour El Sherbini of Egypt 11-9, 11-9 to reach the semi-finals in London.

A few hours later, world No. 134 Ameeshenraj upset No. 89 and seventh seed Viktor Byrtus of the Czech Republic 11-6, 11-3, 11-5 in the final to win the US$15,000 prize purse at the Liverpool Cricket Club Open.

Ameeshenraj, 20, stunned three higher-ranked players, including world No. 70 Ben Smith of England and No. 71 Mazen Gamal of Egypt in the tournament.

"Honestly, I'm speechless. Being a US$15,000 champion sounds good.

"I am working hard in Bristol and have been getting the results in these last few months.

"I am glad my hard work had paid off," said Ameeshenraj, who is expected to break into the top 100 when the latest world rankings are released on Tuesday.

Ameeshenraj also thanked the crowd in Liverpool for their amazing support.

"The Liverpool crowd… I'm telling you, every time I felt a bit tired, the adrenaline just kept me going, and they were amazing all week."

National coach Ajaz Azmat said he is proud of Ameeshenraj's performance in Liverpool.

"He is currently the best backup player in the country. He created a few upsets, and this is a good sign."

Meanwhile, top seed Hafiz Zhafri came out short at the Hollolan Kuntokeidas Open in Finland on Saturday, losing 11-7, 11-9, 11-5 to seventh seed Omar El Torkey of Egypt in the final.

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