Radio silence: S. Sivasangari in Barcelona to reset after sensational London Classic triumph

KUALA LUMPUR: From a tragic car accident that almost prematurely ended S. Sivasangari's promising career, the Kedah-born athlete is now on top of the world following her sensational victory at the London Classic on Monday.

Many now believe that Sivasangari will be Malaysia's brightest prospect for an Olympic gold medal when squash debuts at the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

At the London Classic, Sivasangari outshone the giants in the women's game, upsetting world No. 1 and seven-time world champion Nour El Sherbini, No. 4 Nele Gilis, and No. 2 Hania El Hammamy to win Malaysia's first Gold-level tournament since 2015.

The stars are shining brightly on Sivasangari, and she must now seize the opportunity to continue her rise in the game.

Sivasangari is currently holidaying in Barcelona, Spain, to reset her mind before she resumes her campaign on the PSA Tour.

Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia director Major (Rtd) S. Maniam said Sivasangari wants to rest and catch up with her friends in Barcelona.

"It was a proud moment for Malaysian squash when Sivasangari won in London. She is currently taking a short break from squash in Barcelona.

"Many have phoned me wanting to interview her. She just wants to forget about the world and reset.

"She won't be granting any interviews or replying to messages until next week. She deserves a break. It will allow her to digest what she has achieved and return fresher when she resumes her campaign on the tour."

Sivasangari will now be viewed as a player with the potential to dominate squash.

The Malaysian will be in the centre of attention when she returns to the court for the US$175,000 El Gouna International tournament in Egypt from April 19-26.

Maniam added that expectations will now be higher when Sivasangari plays in tournaments.

"All attention will be on Sivasangari from now on, starting with the Platinum-level El Gouna International. She has to know how to handle the attention and pressure. The important aspect is to just focus on her squash."

Maniam anticipates that Egyptians Nour and Hania will be out for revenge in front of their fans against Sivasangari.

"It is not easy playing Egyptians in their country. The pressure will be on Sivasangari, and she must remain focused on giving her best.

"If she can do it in London, then I am confident she will prevail again in El Gouna," Maniam added.

Sivasangari and Hania will face off in the second round in El Gouna, with the winner likely to take on two-time world champion Amina Orfi of Egypt in the third round.

Sivasangari's other assignments in the first half of the year are the World Championships in Cairo from May 9-7, the Manchester Open from May 22-26, and the British Open in Birmingham from June 2-9.

Sivasangari will return to Malaysia to join the national team before playing at the Asian Team Championships in Dalian, China, from June 12-16.

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