BUKIT JALIL, July 4 — All eyes will be on Low Wee Wern as she takes part in the National Squash Championships at the Bukit Jalil Squash Centre tomorrow, her first competitive match since November 2016.
The former world No. 5 has had three surgeries on her left knee since 2015 which has kept her out of action for more than a year and seen her ranking drop from a high of five to 253.
She first realised she had torn her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in March 2015 and an operation was done in May 2015.
She returned to play in December that year, made it back to the top 24 in the world before tearing her ACL again in November 2016 just before the team was ready to leave for the Women’s World Team Championship in Paris.
She had a procedure called ‘2-Stage operation’ in December 2016 and April 2017 in England to fix her knee and after several scuppered attempts to make a comeback, she now has a clean bill of health and her participation in the Asian Games hinges on her making the finals of the national championships.
“I’ve felt ready for some time now, so to finally get on court and play some competition is a great feeling,” said Wee Wern who won silver at the 2014 edition in Incheon, South Korea.
“However I haven’t had any warm up or build up matches till today which puts me at a disadvantage.”
There are only two slots for the singles event and Nicol David, the defending champion, takes one slot.
That leaves S. Sivasangari, Rachel Arnold, Aifa Azman and Wee Wern to battle it out for the second spot and Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) have told the girls the winner of the nationals will most likely take it.
At the moment Sivasangari, 19, is the second highest ranked player in the country at 40.
She’s the top seed at the nationals while Wee Wern’s the second seed. Despite that, Wee Wern’s ready for the fight.
“I’m not afraid of grinding my way out from the bottom and making my way back up the ranks,” said the 2014 Asian Games women’s team gold medalists.
“I will be taking one match at a time and the goal is to build up a good momentum from here on. This will be a start for me and I am ready for the challenge”
The last time Wee Wern played at the national championships, from November 17-20 of 2016, she did so without knowing she had no meniscus in her left knee.
Despite that, none of the youngsters could beat her as she reached the finals where she eventually lost to Delia Arnold 11-9, 11-2, 11-9 in 52 gruelling minutes.
Wee Wern plays Zoe Foo Yuk Han at 6pm.