RESULTS: Bahria Town International Women's Squash Tournament,
Bahria Town, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Wazir Wins Maiden Homeland Title
The first WSA World Tour squash event to be held in
Pakistan for almost seven years produced the dream result when
Peshawar powerhouse Maria Toorpakai Wazir won the title
against expectations after overcoming the event's top two seeds.
The Bannu-born 24-year-old was seeded seven in the Bahria Town
International Women's Squash Tournament, the WSA Challenger
10 championship which attracted players from seven countries to
the Safari Club in Bahria Town, Rawalpindi.
World No.58 Wazir made her breakthrough in the quarter-finals when
she ousted second seed Nadine Shahin, the world No.42 from
Hailing from Peshawar, but now based in Toronto where she trains
with former world champion and world number one Jonathon Power,
Wazir went on to overcome Malaysian Teh Min Jie to claim a
place in the 11th WSA Tour final of her career.
Awaiting the local heroine was top seed Siyoli Waters, the
World No.34 from South Africa.
Spurred on by the partisan crowd, Wazir opened up a two-game lead -
but the higher-ranked South African champion battled back to draw
The decider went to a tie-break - but Wazir held her nerve to close
out the match 11-9, 11-7, 6-11, 10-12, 12-10 after 46 minutes to win
the fourth Tour title of her career, but her first on home soil.
"It's an extremely happy moment for all of us, for my family and
entire Pakistani nation,"
said the exuberant Wazir afterwards. "This
was a very beautifully-organised tournament with wonderful
facilities - the squash club was amazing!
"The crowd was very enthusiastic and galleries were all packed. I am
very thankful to the entire Bahria Town team and respected Malik
Riaz for sponsoring the second Bahria Town International Women
"It was a great success for Bahria Town that we had an international
event for women in Pakistan after such a long time, which also ended
"There was a lot of pressure playing on home ground,"
continued Wazir. "Everyone was expecting me
to win and so I did try very hard. I kept my spirit up and stayed
very focussed. I trusted my hard work and my squash skills which
kept me calm, strong and confident throughout the tournament though
I had some very tough matches this week.
"Top women squash players from all over the world participated in
this event. I had the toughest matches against Hong Kong, Malaysia
and playing the final against Siyoli from South Africa. I was 2/0 up
in the final but soon Siyoli had a strong come back and came to
"In the fifth and deciding game we both pushed each other to the
limits but I was blessed with a victory. The match was not only
physically tough but was also very mental. I have learnt a lot and I
am sure everyone had fun and lots of learning.
"Sports are not only a wonderful way of entertainment but also bring
nations closer. On court it might look like good enemies but off we
are best friends. All the international squash players really
enjoyed their time in Pakistan and our nation enjoyed having them
competing in Pakistan as well. I am very happy to win this
tournament and I feel like this is the best gift I could give to my