KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s former world number seven Ong Beng Hee is the only Malaysian to have survived the first hurdle of the 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions (TOC) qualifying round, the first Men’s World Series of the year, being held at the Grand Central Terminal, New York
The 34-year-old Penangite, the qualifiers’ top seed and looking to get into the main draw, beat local player Chris Hanson 11-8, 11-6, 10-12 and 11-6, according to a report on the tournament’s website www.tocsquash.com.
Beng Hee, who did not compete in a professional event since the Men’s World Championship last November, will meet Mohd Ali Anwar Reda of Egypt who defeated Shawn Delierre of Canada 14-16, 11-6, 11-8 and 11-9 in the second round.
His team mate, who is the new national number one, Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan, and independent player Mohd Asyraf Azan failed to get past their first hurdle in the qualifiers.
Mohd Asyraf lost 11-4, 11-0 and 11-8 to the qualifiers’ second seed Mazen Hesham of Egypt while Mohd Nafiizwan retired from the match after securing the first set 11-2 while playing against Mexico’s Alfredo Avila.
According to the website report, 2014 PSA World Champion Ramy Ashour has been forced to withdraw from the TOC due to injury while England’s former world number one James Willstrop, who underwent a hip surgery in September 2014, has been ruled out following a setback to his injury recovery.
In the women’s event, Malaysia’s squash queen and world number one Datuk Nicol David will return to action for the first time since clinching her eighth world title in Egypt last month.
The 31-year-old Penangite, who is also the defending champion, will start the campaign alongside national number two Low Wee Wern on Monday. – BERNAMA