PETALING JAYA: Aifa Azman is on a roll.
The 16-year-old showcased her ability after entering her third Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tour final in as many tournaments.
The three-time British Junior Open winner even did it in style as she knocked out compatriot and top seed Rachel Arnold in the semi-finals of the Malaysian Tour Squash Circuit (SSJM) No. 5.
The world No. 87, who has never beaten Rachel prior to this, came up with a huge performance as she overcame a 2-1 deficit to win 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6 at the Nicol David International Squash Centre in Bukit Dumbar, Penang, yesterday.
The win certainly justified the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia’s (SRAM) choice of picking Aifa to replace the injured Low Wee Wern for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.
The Kedahan is now eager to snag her third PSA title, having already won the second and fourth legs of the SSJM last month.
She meets second seed Vanessa Chu of Hong Kong, who ended the fine run of Malaysian Nazihah Hanis Abd Razak 11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4, for the title.
“The pressure wasn’t on me today. I’m glad that I finally managed my first win over Rachel as I have always lost 3-2 against her,” said Aifa.
“I’m now really excited to be in a final for the third time ... it will be one more big push for my third title.
In the men’s event, top seed Mohd Syafiq Kamal held off a fierce challenge by fourth seed Sanjay Singh Chal to win 11-9, 5-11, 9-11, 11-2, 11-9.
The 21-year-old lefty takes on Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam, the third seed in the final.
Tayyab had prevented an all-Malaysian final by knocking out second seed Mohd Addeen Idrakie 11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6.
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