NATIONAL coach Peter Genever has tipped Low Wee Wern to see off a host of young Egyptian challengers in the battle to succeed Nicol David as the World No 1.
In a survey by Squash Player Magazine, Genever was the only expert out of four interviewed to predict Wee Wern as a future World No 1.
Three of the four thought Nicol will reign at the top at least until 2017 with Egypt national coach Omar El Borolossy the only one thinking that Nicol would not even figure in the top-10 by then.
Wee Wern, 24, rose to a high of fifth in the world rankings this year before slipping back two rungs but played a pivotal role in helping Malaysia make the final of the Women’s World Team Championship for the first time last week.
National No 2 Wee Wern defeated World Championship runner-up Nour El Sherbini in a crucial semi-final tie with Egypt to make that possible.
Genever expects Wee Wern to make it to the top of the world in five years’ time when the Penang-born player will be 29.
“This does not include Nicol, but if squash got into the 2020 Olympics, I believe she will play on and look to crown an extraordinary career with Olympic gold,” said Genever.
“Otherwise, Wee Wern’s natural ability and hard graft will take her to the top. Nouran El Gohar (the Egyptian world junior runner-up), if she adds subtlety to her intensity, or Nour El Sherbini, if she stays injury-free, could be serious contenders for the pinnacle.
“The strength in depth is improving rapidly and there are exciting times ahead for the women’s tour.”
El Borolossy picked Nour, 19, to be the world’s top player in three years’ time and does not think Nicol will carry on playing for more than two years.
“Nicol David will remain at the top of her game for at least one more year,” he said. “Nour has a complete game and will keep maturing and improving. She will reach her full potential in two years.”
Nicol has held the world’s top ranking since August 2005 and shows no signs of slowing down as she heads into the World Championship in Cairo next week looking to win an eighth world crown.
Genever’s predicted top-five in five years’ time is Wee Wern, Nouran, Nour El Sherbini, Nour El Tayeb and American Amanda Sobhy in that order while El Borolossy’s top-five picks in three years’ time are Nour El Sherbini, Raneem El Weleily, New Zealand’s Joelle King, France’s Camille Serme and Nouran.
By DEVINDER SINGH - NST