PETALING JAYA: Aifa Azman just can’t wait to travel around the globe with her sister Aira, the Asian Junior Under-19 champion, and become established professionals.
Aifa, 20, has been playing on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour events for almost two years while Aira, who is also registered as a PSA player, has not become a full-time professional.
However, her success in the Asian Junior in Pattaya on Sunday is an indication that the 18-year-old has the potential to become as good as her sister or even better if she continues with her progress.
Aifa believes that it will be good to start competing in tournaments together once Aira graduates from the junior scene.
“Aira has a lot of potential and in fact, her attacking skills are better than mine. If we can play on the PSA circuit together, we can progress faster,” said Aifa.
“I know her strength and weaknesses and we will be able to support each other while we’re on the tour. This support is necessary as sometimes we will be away for months and it’s always good to have a member with similar goals, with you.
“There have been so many siblings who have done well and we too want to achieve big things in squash. If we keep working hard, I believe both of us can try to make it to the top 20 in the future.”
Aira has another year to play in the junior events before she turns full-time pro. She may not be able to play in the Tour right away and may have to play in the lower tier events (challenge and satellite tours) first.
Aifa is currently ranked 28th in the world and is able to compete in the PSA World Tour events.
“It may take some time before we can both play in the World Tour but I believe Aira will rise up the ranks fast. She is very determined and a fighter,” added Aifa.
“Not only the PSA circuit, we are also looking forward to playing in the doubles.
“Actually, our combination is good and we can start looking forward to competing in the doubles at the worlds and Commonwealth and Asian Games in future.”
Aira’s current target is to go for the world junior crown when the tournament is staged in Nancy, France from Aug 11-21.
Her path however will not be easy as Egyptian players are expected to be the frontrunners in Nancy.
Winning may be tough but Aira, who is brimming with confidence, will not be a pushover when she competes in the world juniors.