KUALA LUMPUR: S. Sivasangari joined an illustrious list of winners of the Ohana Malaysian Open squash tournament when the national junior defeated South African Milnay Louw in the women's final on Saturday.
But 2016 world junior champion Ng Eain Yow faltered in his bid to complete a Malaysian double after being outplayed by Hong Kong's Leo Au 11-6, 11-2, 11-4 for the men's title.
The return of the Malaysian Open after a two-year hiatus, however, was elevated by the encouraging performances of Eain Yow and Sivasangari.
Sivasangari, 18, became the second Malaysian to win the national open after eight-time champion Nicol David, with an 11-9, 11-3, 11-5 victory over Louw.
"I played pretty well today, although when stepping on court for the first game, I was a bit nervous," said World No 47 Sivasangari at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil.
"I started playing well towards the end of the first game and sent the ball to all corners in the second and third. It's my first win in a US$10,000 tournament and it's in Malaysia so I feel really happy. It’s been a good week and month. I feel confident.”
Eain Yow succumbed to a long list of errors against 2015 Asian champion Au, who trailed 6-2 in the first game before reeling off nine points in a row and never looked back.
The defeat brought an end to the 2016 world junior champion's gallant run after entering the tournament on a wild card which included a confidence-boosting win over national champion Ivan Yuen in the semi-finals.
"I don't know what went wrong, to be honest," said Eain Yow, 19, who took full advantage of the withdrawal of his opening round opponent Nafiizwan Adnan to reach the final of a men's US$25,000 tournament for the first time.
"I will try to analyse what happened, but I think it was a good run in this tournament. It was disappointing today, but I'll regroup and look forward to next week's Qatar Classic."