Wednesday, 25 May 2016 | MYT 10:01 PM
Ivan (front) created a major upset in the HKFC International after beating Max Lee in the first round.
PETALING JAYA: National No. 2 Ivan Yuen looks to have recaptured his old form as he knocked out top seed Max Lee in the first round of the US$25,000 (RM102,000) HKFC International squash championships in Hong Kong.
The 25-year-old Ivan had played poorly in Malaysia’s campaign at the Asian Team Championships two weeks ago. Despite being the team’s skipper, he lost three matches as Malaysia crashed out in the quarter-finals.
But the world No. 59 was on song on Wednesday, pulling an impressive 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7 win over world No. 16 and home favourite Max.
Ivan, who came through the qualifiers, took a 2-1 lead before Max nicked the fourth set to force a decider.
Despite trailing 5-1 in the fifth, Ivan managed to claw back to seal his spot in the quarter-finals after 69 minutes.
“After going 5-1 down in the fifth, I just told myself to give it everything … the pressure was definitely on Max,” said a delighted Ivan.
National coach Ong Beng Hee, who trains Ivan, was also pleased with the player’s ability to bounce back.
“He was very disappointed after returning from Taiwan, but we spoke about it … he knows he has the support from me and the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM),” said Beng Hee.
“I’m so pleased that he’s finally playing to his true potential.”
Ivan, whose best result this year was reaching the semi-finals of the Qatar Circuit No. 3 in March, will meet Australian Rex Hedrick for a place in the semi-finals.
World No. 57 Hedrick also came through a five-setter, beating eighth seed Yip Tsz Fung of Hong Kong 5-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-4.
National No. 1 Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan is also in the quarter-finals after packing off India’s Mahesh Mangaokar 11-2, 14-12, 11-7.
“I played well in the first and earned the crucial points in the second and third, which made the difference,” said third seed Nafiizwan, who faces Egyptian qualifier Mazen Gamal next.
In women’s event, national No. 2 Delia Arnold powered through after beating Hong Kong qualifier Vanessa Chu 11-9, 11-2, 11-2 in just 21 minutes.
Former world No. 5 Low Wee Wern, however, was outgunned 1-11, 3-11, 3-11 by India’s world No. 19 Dipika Pallikal.
FIRST ROUND RESULTS
Men: Mazen Gamal (Egy) bt Declan James (Eng) 11-7, 8-11, 12-10, 11-5; Paul Coll (Nzl) bt Abdulla Al Tamimi (Qat) 11-6, 11-4, 14-12; Adrian Waller (Eng) bt James Huang (Tpe) 11-8, 11-3, 11-5; Mohamed Reda (Egy) bt Wong Chi Him (Hkg) 8-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-3; Rex Hedrick (Aus) bt Yip Tsz Fung (Hkg) 5-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-4; Leo Au (Hkg) bt Tayyab Aslam (Pak) 11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9; Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas) bt Mahesh Mangaokar (Ind) 11-2, 14-12, 11-7; Ivan Yuen (Mas) bt Max Lee (Hkg) 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7.
Women: Joshna Chinappa (Ind) bt Salma Hany (Egy) 11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8; Rachael Grinham (Aus) bt Tesni Evans (Wal) 10-12, 14-12, 11-4, 6-11, 12-10; Annie Au (Hkg) bt Liu Tsz Ling (Hkg) 12-10, 18-16, 7-11, 10-12, 11-8; Delia Arnold (Mas) bt Vanessa Chu (Hkg) 11-9, 11-2, 11-2; Dipika Pallikal (Ind) bt Low Wee Wern (Mas) 11-1, 11-3, 11-3; Jenny Duncalf (Eng) bt Nicolette Fernandes (Guy)11-4, 11-4, 6-11, 11-3; Donna Urquhart (Aus) bt Carmen Lee (Hkg) 11-3, 11-6, 11-7; Joelle King (Nzl) bt Joey Chan (Hkg) 14-12, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8.