Dawn News

After historic entry, Maria Toor exits British Open

Maria Toor Pakay - File photo
Maria Toor Pakay. -File photo

LONDON: Women's squash world number one Nicol David had little trouble moving past Pakistan's Maria Toor Pakay in her first-round match at the British Open late Tuesday.

The legendary Malaysian beat Pakay, who became the first Pakistan-born woman ever to reach a British Open main draw after upsetting the seedings in the qualifying competition, in straight sets.

Pakay was unable to pose much resistence against the world's leading player and lost the match in 20 minutes, with a 11-2, 11-3, 11-6 scoreline.

Earlier, the 21-year-old left-hander from Peshawar overcame Emily Whitlock, the European junior champion, by 11-5, 4-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7 in a 46-minute struggle which ended in the English player's first defeat in any competition since January.

It followed another lengthy Pakay tussle on Sunday when she also went the full distance, on that occasion with Lucie Fialova of the Czech republic, before squeezing through 11-6, 6-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-4.

Pakay, who was named as the young player of the year on the women's tour in 2007 and received the Salaam Pakistan Award from the President Pervez Musharraf in the same year, will now play the biggest match of her life in the O2 arena, the world's most popular entertainment venue.

Carla Khan, another Pakistan international, also played in the British Open main draw, but unlike Pakay, was born in England and earlier represented England. The grand-daughter of the legendary Azam Khan, four times British Open champion, Khan changed loyalties to Pakistan in 1999.

Earlier three of the Egyptian front-runners, Amr Shabana, the four-times former world champion, Ramy Ashour, another former world champion, and Mohamed El Shorbagy, the former world junior champion, all came through after hard first round tussles in the men's event.

Shabana, who attributes his revitalised attitude and desire to delay retirement to his three- and four-year-old daughters, fought back with guts and discipline to win 11-7, 7-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-6 against his brilliantly fast-moving compatriot Tarek Momen.

Ashour claimed he “had learned about me” during the long drawn out recovery from injury which continued with a 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 16-14 win over Daryl Selby, the former British national champion. He had to save four game points to avoid a deciding game.

Similarly El Shorbagy came back from 3-8 and 7-9 down in the fourth game to avoid being taken to a decider against the athletic French qualifier Mathieu Castagnet in a 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 12-10 victory.

Later the top-seeded James Willstrop joined the Egyptian trio in the second round. The world number one from England overcame Simon Rosner, the top 20 German, by 11-3, 11-5, 11-7 to earn a meeting with his former England colleague Alister Walker, now representing Botswana.

Walker eased into the meeting with Willstrop with a 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 victory over Englishman Chris Simpson.

World and British Open champion Nick Matthew begins his campaign on Tuesday with a first round against Max Lee, a qualifier from Hong Kong.

Comments (43) Closed

May 15, 2012 08:34pm
Guys: This is how it starts "Women's SQUASH number one....". SQUASH is the second word in the heading. What else do you want?
May 15, 2012 05:28pm
I believe all the comments are baseless , Its not the writer but a reader itself who dindt even bothered to point out which sport is it? Off course its a SQUash because the first sentence says it all "Women’s squash world number one Nicol David will have a surprising first round opponent when she begins her campaign to win back the British Open title here on Tuesday."
May 15, 2012 08:46am
Congratulates Maria. Best of luck for the future as well.
May 15, 2012 10:24am
I absolutely agree. for quite some time I thought it was Tennis, but when I checked the sports, I found it was squash. Amazing people writing amazing articles :))
May 15, 2012 03:35pm
she is actually from Waziristan
May 15, 2012 03:39pm
Does it matter!
May 15, 2012 03:55pm
Great achievement, wish you more success.
May 15, 2012 03:59pm
Even for an article which gives good news/reports (which is rare) readers are trying to find an excuse to complain unnecessarily. So many readers have complained which sports is this and the article is bla bla bla...read the first line people...its written in BOLD letters :p complain complain complain
May 15, 2012 04:19pm
Dear Khan and others who are criticizing the article must have to open their eyes as well as their minds, you all know about other player of other countries but does not even know our own country fellow shame on all of you and also it was mentioned at the start that it is squash. So sad to view ur comments
Mahmood Ayub
May 15, 2012 05:39pm
It is clear that the article addresses squash. But what do they mean she is left-handed? In squash there is no left-handed or right handed.
May 16, 2012 09:58am
It was published before her current match initially .. So if you read the article leaving the news related to her current match you would see they have not mentioned her sport a single time .. I would suggest people to think for a while before bashing others .. one person could have been wrong but not every one saying the same thing.
May 16, 2012 12:47am
That's sad to make it all the way there and have to face the top ranked player first.
Wazir K
May 15, 2012 03:15pm
One needs to put his thought process in the right direction. I think most of the news in Pakistan are Good. Something has gone wrong with us.
May 15, 2012 11:46am
They've mentioned squash in the first line
Suhail Ahmad
May 15, 2012 03:04pm
For some odd reason I remembered Pakistan Day Parade in New York in 1984 that was led by legendary squash player Jahangir Khan and the tallest man of that time Alam Channa. Mayor Ed Koch was also a leader of the parade. At that time, Pakistan was a country that was looked up to all across the globe.
May 15, 2012 11:10am
Oh My! I read the article and been thinking they are talking about Tennis .. but after reading Azam Khan name and searching these players found that they are talking about Squash not Tennis. It would be better to mention name of the game above for people who are not playing it or watching it regularly.
May 15, 2012 11:18am
she is a squash player !!
May 15, 2012 11:50am
"London: Women's Squash world number one...."
Amyn Lakhani
May 15, 2012 11:03am
I am also not sure, which sport, but i assume, it is squash from the scores and few famous names. Dear Editor, plz do not assume, that all your readers are smart and knowledgeable.
May 15, 2012 12:56pm
Hallo Sunshine. Good news refering Pakistan are rare. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Maria. Wish you good luck.
May 15, 2012 09:52am
it would have been nice, if they mentioned which sport they are talking about? is it tennis, squash or badminton for someone who is not familiar with this athlete!!!
May 15, 2012 11:26pm
Goodluck. Go kick some **. Pakistan zindabad :D
May 15, 2012 08:43am
Geat News for Pakistan! Congratualions Maria Toor, Pakay, Carla Khan and all those mentioned in the article. It is a great news for the nation. Wish you all great success and successful career ahead in the companionship of good luck and good health! Ameen! Keep it up! More talent should emerge.
May 15, 2012 05:18pm
She is originally from south waziristan and from wazir tribe.
May 16, 2012 04:11pm
If you are a ardent sports follower, you don't need to look for squash, tennis or any other sport name here. A mention of BRITISH OPEN is enough to let you know which sport she plays.
May 15, 2012 07:39pm
well done maria. credit goes to her parents that belonging to a tribal family(domail, bannu) but they support her so brillantly
May 15, 2012 02:34pm
The second word of the article gives away the game.
May 15, 2012 10:25am
May 15, 2012 10:27am
May 15, 2012 10:35am
yea, at least please mention the sport are you talking about... i dunt know whos she... poorly written article i must say.
May 15, 2012 01:44pm
Oh i dont know Toors exist in Peshawar as well as Toors are Jats of Punjab and Haryana Punjab mostly.
May 15, 2012 11:52am
Well it is written on the start
May 15, 2012 11:52am
Fellows, open you eyes. The article starts with: LONDON: Women’s squash world number one Nicol David will have a surprising first round opponent when she begins her campaign to win back the British Open title here on Tuesday.
Arshad Patel, USA
May 15, 2012 05:59pm
Just like Bhutto family, Aarain, basically from Punjab
May 16, 2012 09:54am
Waqas, Thank you for cursing us without knowing fact but you're too late to comment .. We made a valid point when the story was published yesterday by the respected paper .. As you can see there is no mention of the name of sport after first line which is an update to the old story... Originally it was published before Ms Toor's match with Ms David. Well done to the young talented Maria .. It must have been amazing experience for her to be playing in British Open .. Hope she utilizes this experience further and make it again to the British Open in future.
May 15, 2012 02:26pm
Best wishes from India. Keep it up.
May 16, 2012 04:04am
Of course, they could have added the 'squash' later, as in after the comment by srfraz
Afzal Mahmood
May 16, 2012 04:56am
Thank God she delivered a good name of Pakistan to the world at large. After Obaid Chenoy, Oscar award, its a big achievement for the country.
May 16, 2012 05:03am
there is ...update your knowledge please. The 'Pakistani anchorperson syndrome' where you know nothing still pose as if you know a lot, seems to be catching up with all of us.
May 16, 2012 06:33am
Well done young Maria ! Pakistanis are indebted to your services in the name of thy country.
May 16, 2012 12:18pm
How many of pak people really heard about squash??? 1%. No matter is it for us.
May 16, 2012 02:02pm
With all due respect Mr Wazir, you are blind siding the facts on the ground in Pakistan. A country where no international team wants to visit, has 7-8 reported killings, women are buried alive, has no light, has a convicted prime minister, and a to-be-convicted president, there must be some thing wrong. Either you live in the basement of Bilawal house not knowing what genral public is going through, or you are living out of Pakistan. Tell us the truth.
May 17, 2012 02:55pm
I believe Toor is not a caste, it is itself a name and comes from Mountain Toor, in Sinai desert.