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National Squash Player S. Sivasangari Makes History With London Classic Win

National Squash Player S. Sivasangari Makes History With London Classic Win

S. Sivasangari bested World No. 2 Hania El Hammamy of Egypt at the GillenMarkets London Classic Squash on Monday.

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National squash queen S. Sivasangari made history after she emerged as the champion of the inaugural edition of the GillenMarkets London Classic Squash on Monday.

The 2022 Asian Games champion defeated world number two Hania El Hammamy of Egypt in an 11-9, 5-11, 13-11, 12-14, 11-8 result at the gold-standard Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour at Alexandra Palace, London.

There’s no word to summarise it but I’m very pleased with how I handled myself this week by beating the top ten players three times. They’re all really good players.

S. Sivasangari

The win sees World No. 13 Sivasangari taking home a cash prize of US$17,598 (RM83,141).

It was Sivasangari’s second win over Hania in six meetings and the title might see her break into the world’s top 10 for the first time in her career.

En route to the final, Sivasangari defeated world No. 1 Nour El Sherbini of Egypt in the quarter-finals and world No. 4 Nele Gilis of Belgium in the semi-finals.

Sivasangari was involved in a road accident in 2022 which almost prematurely ended her career.

However, she managed to rebound thanks to the support from her family, coaches, and sponsors. Their belief in her made her believe in herself.

There were times I doubted myself, but I tried to push hard and take it a day at a time, and the hard work is paying off.

S. Sivasangari

She also attributed her victory to mental training under her mental trainer, Jesse Engelbrecht.

After her triumph over Gilis, Sivasangari said Engelbrecht helped her reset before the next game.

It felt like five hours on court! It was crazy. Gilis is a fighter. She fights for every point like we saw in the fourth. I kept believing in myself and stayed focused. I mixed things up and moved her around the court to earn the points in the fifth. I am glad that I achieved it.

S. Sivasangari

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim congratulated Sivasangari for her victory.

Sivasangari’s journey in squash started when she was only 8

Hailing from Sungai Petani, Kedah, Sivasangari started playing squash when she was eight years old. She started playing on the Professional Squash Tour in 2014 and began coaching young players in 2018.

The former student of SMK Sultanah Asma obtained her GCE Ordinary Level from Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science (Mass Communications/Media Studies) at Cornell University.

She continued playing squash while pursuing her studies in an Ivy League school. She represented her varsity, earning #1 for the Cornell Varsity Women’s Squash Team throughout her four seasons.

She was named a four-time 1st-Team All-American and 1st-Team All-Ivy Athlete. In 2022 and 2023, she was the Ivy League Player of the Year.

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