Pakistani squash trailblazer Maria Toorpakai Wazir will be hoping to fend off fierce competition to retain her title at the 3rd Bahria Town International Women’s Squash Championship, PSA W15 title in Islamabad when the tournament begins on Thursday February 25.
Benefitting from the expert stewardship of former World No.1 Jonathon Power in her corner, Toorpakai claimed the Bahria Town International title in April 2015 and in doing so made history as the first female Pakistani player to win a PSA W10 crown.
Seeded third for this event, the Pakistani No.1 will play Aika Azman in round one and will expect to progress smoothly into the latter stages of the event.
Toorpakai will face tough competition from several top 100 players in the main draw, including top seed Liu Tsz-Ling. Hailing from Hong Kong, Tsz-Ling enjoyed a remarkably successful 2015, emerging victorious from four PSA World Tour events including the JSW Indian Squash Circuit Chennai title in October.
As an established top 50 player, Tsz-Ling will have her eyes firmly fixed on the tournament’s ultimate prize but she will need to beat Egypt’s Nada Abbas in the opening round.
Nadine Shahin leads the Egyptian challenge in Islamabad and the 19-year-old rising star is the number two seed for the event. The World No.45 will be hoping to continue her blistering form after clinching consecutive PSA World Tour titles in the Malaysian Tour Squash IX and X in November 2015. Shahin faces Hong Kong’s Carmen Lee in the first round and will be looking to begin her path to the final.
Vanessa Chu will also pose a threat to the tournament favourites in Islamabad after showcasing some impressive form in the latter part of 2015, overcoming Australia’s Sarah Cardwell to secure her third PSA World Tour title at the Mackay Open in November 2015. The World No.51 will lock horns with 18-year-old Pakistani wildcard Sadia Gul in round one and will look to avoid an unexpected upset.
Other notable entrants include World No.61 Tong Tsz-Wing and Egypt’s Nouran El Torky.
A wealth of Pakistani talent will compete in the qualifying rounds with many up-and-coming players hoping to emulate the unprecedented success of Toorpakai, who is the country’s greatest ever female squash player.
Main Draw: PSA W15, 3rd Bahria Town International Women’s Squash Championship, Islamabad, Pakistan
 Nadine Shahin (EGY) v Carmen Lee (HKG)
Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) v  Amina Yousry (EGY)
 Lee Ka Yi (HKG) v [Q] Sammer Anjum (PAK)
[Q] Aika Azman (MAS) v  Maria Toorpakai Wazir (PAK)
 Vanessa Chu (HKG) v [WC] Sadia Gul (PAK)
[Q] Catur Yuliana (INA) v  Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG)
 Nouran El Torky (EGY) v [Q] Rushna Mehboob (PAK)
Nada Abbas (EGY)  Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG)