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Sports

April 5, 2015

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Brilliant Maria wins Bahria Town Squash crown

ISLAMABAD: Maria Toorpakai Wazir became the first Pakistani girl to win a $10,000 WSA Tour title when she stunned top seed Siyoli Waters of South Africa in an epic five-game thriller in the final of the 2nd Bahria Town International Women Squash championship on Saturday.
Watched by a packed to capacity crowd at Bahria Town’s Safari Club here, Maria came out a 11-9, 11-7, 6-11 10-12, 12-10 winner in a nerve-wrecking battle to produce one of the finest results for Pakistan squash in recent times.
Maria won the first two games with ease, but Waters came back strongly to force the match into the decider.
Maria was all pumped up in the final game that saw her making early inroads to take a commanding 7-3 lead. At that point, top seed Waters, who is ranked 34th in the world, started playing aggressively.
With the help of a couple of unforced errors from Maria, Waters caught up with her opponent at 7-7. The world No 71 Pakistani did not lose heart and adjusted her game, managing a couple of points to get clear again.
The South African again caught Maria up at 10-10. This was where Waters hit the tin and allowed Maria to come within a shot of the title that the Pakistani player grabbed in a masterly manner.
The Bahria Town title has brightened Maria’s chances to improve her ranking ahead of the British Open.
“I played today with an ankle injury which I sustained in the semi-final (on Friday),” Maria said. “However, icing and other measures helped me get comfortable ahead of the final. I am happy to have won the title,” Maria said.
She praised her opponent for fighting back after going two games down and stretching the final into the fifth game.
“Siyoli is amongst the top-ranked players in the world. Her recovery after going two games down was really creditable.
“I am pleased with how I played today and succeeded in hitting the winners where it really mattered,” Maria said.
Waters praised the quality of the game in

the final, saying Maria played well and made full use of the home advantage. “The final was really a closely-contested affair. Maria seized her opportunities well,” she said.
Acting Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Saeed Muhammad Khan, who was the chief guest on the occasion, presented the prizes to the finalists.
Also present on the occasion were Pakistan Squash Federation’s Senior Vice President AVM (Retd) Razi Nawab and Bahria Town’s Vice Chief Executive Commodore (Retd) Mohammad Ilyas.

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