10 March 2019

Ainaa slays top seed Jessica to reach girls' Under-19 final
Media Title: Sunday Star
Section: Media & Marketing
PETALING JAYA: National junior player Noor Ainaa Amani Ampandi (pic) exacted sweet revenge on her way to the girls' Under-19 final in the first-leg of the CIMB Foundation National Junior Circuit.

The 16-year-old was on point as she defeated top seed and Sabahan Jessica Keng 8-11, 13-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8 at the Nicol David International Squash Centre in Penang yesterday.

Still fresh in Ainaa's mind was the defeat she suffered at the hands of Jessica in the Under-17 final of the National Junior Championships in Bukit Jalil last month, but she clearly put that behind with her superb win yesterday.

"It was not my best performance today (yesterday), but I was satisfied with it as I managed to get a win against her," said Ainaa.

"I was a bit nervous having to play her because she's very good, but I focused on her weaknesses and tried to push her hard by bringing the play more to the back of the court. She started to make a lot of mistakes and I capitalised on it."

Now Ainaa, who will t u rn 17 on March 18, will be looking to reward herself with an early birthday present when she clashes with her national teammate and second seed Ooi Kah Yan.

It will be a tough battle for Ainaa as Kah Yan is two years older.

"She is my senior and I have lost to her several times before so I will have to work very hard, but I have trained with her many times before and I know what I need to do to win," said Ainaa.

"I really want to beat her and prove my quality.

"It will also be a much happier birthday if I can win.this title."

Meanwhile, in the boys Under-19 event, Amir Amirul Azhar failed to advance into the final as he lost to Danial Nurhaqiem Sharul Nizam. Danial will face-off with Duncan Lee for the title.

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