KUALA LUMPUR: Aifa Azman is now the youngest-ever Malaysian winner on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tour.
The 16-year-old pulled off the historic feat by producing a top-notch performance to beat senior Andrea Lee 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 in the women’s final of the Malaysian Tour Squash Circuit (SSJM) No. 2 at the Royal Selangor Club yesterday.
Winning her maiden PSA title was certainly a coming-of-age performance by the Kedahan.
Aifa has eclipsed national No. 2 S. Sivasangari, who was 17 when she bagged her maiden PSA title in 2016.
“I played a lot better today compared to the semi-finals when I faced Jemyca (Aribado of the Philippines),” said Aifa.
“Against Jemyca, I was just so nervous. Today, I wasn’t nervous at all against my senior Andrea. The pressure was not on me.
“I’m really happy to finally win my first PSA title.
“I’ve been targeting a win for a long time.
“I didn’t get many lucky breaks last year and I only made the semi-finals, so I was more determined this time.
“It’s definitely been a great month for me, especially with my third British Juniors title earlier. But I hope this is just the start because I want to win more.”
Aifa has a chance to double her tally when she competes in the SSJM No. 3 at the NSC Squash Centre in Jalan Duta from Jan 30-Feb 2.
She is seeded eighth and takes on a qualifier in the first round.
Meanwhile, there was no joy for national No. 4 Mohd Syafiq Kamal after he fell short in the men’s final.
The world No. 89, who was bidding for his third career title, blew a 2-1 lead to lose 4-11, 11-9, 11-9, 4-11, 5-11 to Pakistan’s Asim Khan.
It is world No. 127 Asim’s second straight title. He also won the SSJM No. 1 in Seremban last week.
Men: Asim Khan (Pak) bt Mohd Syafiq Kamal (Mas) 11-4, 9-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-5.
Women: Aifa Azman (Mas) bt Andrea Lee (Mas) 11-6, 11-7, 11-9.