Tecnifibre British Junior Open 2009 02-06 January, Sheffield    

Finals Day 2005

 
Each of the four boys finals was between Egypt and Pakistan, with Egypt also having players in three Girls finals.
Boys U19:
[2] Basit Ashfaq (Pak) bt [9/16] Tarek Momen (Egy)
     
 10-8, 7-9, 9-2, 9-1 (62m)

Basit claims Drysdale Cup
Steve Cubbins at Abbeydale      

Basit Ashfaq completed a great afternoon for Pakistan, taking the Drysdale Cup with with a hard-fought victory over Tarek Momen, giving Pakistan three of the four boys' titles.

Punishing rallies were the order of the day in the early part of the match, with Basit's power and reach countered by Momen's speed and retrieving abilities. Momen reached 8-7, but couldn't take it as Basit claimed the game 10-8.

A similar story in the second, but this time the Egyptian held on to level the match. From then on though, it was a different story.

There was a series of lets at the start of the third, Momen doing most of the asking, and at 3-1 down the referee declared "play on" when the Egyptian wanted to clean his glasses for the umpteenth time. Two rallies later he cleaned them anyway, and received a conduct warning for his trouble.

It seemed the Egyptian was tiring, taking his time between rallies and asking at every opportunity. Basit took full advantage, raced to 4-1, 6-1, 8-2 and took the lead.

Late back on court for the fourth, Momen started 1-0 down to a conduct stroke, and looked dispirited during the game. Basit kept up the pressure with short kills and driven lengths, quickly reaching 6-1. A final long, disputed rally, then the Pakistani raced away again, finishing the match off to the delight of his team-mates and coaches.

The headline was going to be "Basit lifts the cup ...", but in his excitement the new champion managed to drop the famous trophy not once, but twice!
An assured champions' speech finished off a great week in Sheffield, and another chapter was written into BJO history.

Girls U19 :
[2] Joshna Chinappa (Ind) bt Tenille Swartz (Rsa)
 
     3-9, 9-3, 9-6, 9-3 (44m)

This was Joshna's Year

Winner of the U17 title two years ago, runner-up in the U19 last year, Joshna Chinappa took the next logical step when she became the British Open U19 Champion, finally ending the run of unseeded South African sensation Tenille Swartz.

Swartz started strongly, chasing down everything that Chinappa could throw at her and putting in great drops and testing boasts when she was given the opportunity. A 6/2 lead became 8/3, although it took three game balls before the South African clinched the first 9/3.

Chinappa started the second driving Swartz to the back, but anything loose was still being punished. The pressure was beginning to tell though, and although Tenille was still chasing everything, errors were beginning to creep in. 3/1, 6/3, an error and a stroke and it was game ball to the Indian, taken at the first attempt. One-all.

Another quick start by Joshna in the third, 5/2 then two strokes - one harsh, the crowd thought - took it to 7/2. Tenille was still full of running, but there was less to chase now as Joshna's game tightened up. A horrible error on Joshna's first game ball let Tenille back in, and she clawed her way back to 8/6, saving four more game balls before the serve was tinned on the sixth. 2/1 and Tenille looked to be tiring.

The fourth was all Joshna. The Indian's smooth, graceful style had finally subdued the South African's all-action game. Two long drops, three dying lengths, a cross-court deception and a stroke made it 7/0. Tenille was still fighting, and pulled two points back before a winner off the serve and a trickle boast brought 8/3, match ball.

That was saved, but this was Joshna's year, and on the second attempt the Indian team had a title to take back home for the third year running.
 

VIDEO: The Last Point




 



 




Joshna with coach Cyrus Poncha

 

Girls U13 :
[3/4] Nour Mohamed El Tayeb (Egy)
bt [3/4] Abdel Megid (Egy)  9-3, 9-5, 7-9, 9-2 (36m)

Boys U13:
[5/8] Farhan Zaman (Pak) bt [3/4] Fouad Khalifa (Egy)
         9-2, 9-0, 9-0 (17m)

Honours shared in U13

Honours were shared in the U13 finals, with Pakistan and Egypt claiming a title each. In the girls match El Tayeb went 2-0 up, but after Megid pulled back a tight third game it seemed that a long match was on the cards.

But El Tayeb refocused, took the fourth quickly, and with it the title.

In the boys final Khalifa simply found Zaman too much to handle. The Pakistani kept the Egyptian on the back foot for the whole match, winning point after point with deceptive winners.

 



Boys U15:
[3/4] Shohaib Hassan (Pak) bt [3/4] Ahmed Osama Hawas (Egy)   10-8, 10-8, 9-1

Girls U15:
[3/4] Heba Alaa Ahmed (Egy) bt [2] Alia Magdy Balbaa (Egy)        9-3, 9-2, 9-6  (24m)

Great Timing For Heba's First Win
Steve Cubbins at Abbeydale

An Egyptian winner was guaranteed in the first final to be played on Abbeydale's glass court, but which of the two friends would it be?
 
It was even at the start, with the taller second seeded Balbaa leading 2-0 and 3-2, but after those first few points the game quickly turned.

Ahmed, shorter and quicker around the court, started to find her range with long drop shots and delicate boasts, which Balbaa struggled to retrieve. From 2-3 down the first game quickly became 9/3 to Heba.

The pattern continued in the second. Both were going short at every opportunity, but Ahmed was faster to the ball and her drops were that bit tighter. It was quickly 7/0, and although Balbaa rallied briefly Ahmed took the game 9/2.

In the third Balbaa changed tactics, keeping the ball to the back, and it paid dividends as errors started to flow from Ahmed's racket. 6/1, and it looked like a comeback was on the cards.

But it was snuffed out on a series of quick points - no let, stroke, stroke, error, another stroke and suddenly it was 6-all and the tide had turned again.

An exquisite long drop, another no let and a final tight drop and Ahmed let out a delighted "Yes!" as she clinched the title.

"We play each other all the time in Egypt," she told me afterwards, "but that's the first time I've ever beaten her!"

Exquisite drop shots, and exquisite timing ... well done Heba.

 

Girls U17:
[1] Raneem El Weleily (Egy) bt [5/8] Annie Au (Hkg)
      9-6, 10-8, 9-2 (32m)

Second title for Raneem

Raneem El Weleily retained her U17 title with a straight game victory over Hong Kong's Annie Au, last year's U15 champion.

The Egyptian's strength an placement were a notch above Au's, who held her own during many contested rallies, but it was El Weleily who was in control for most of them, taking the first two games 9-6 10-8.

The pressure began to tell in the third, with Au being pushed to all corners of the court before the inevitable winner or too-tight shot came from the Egyptian's racket.

So two U17 titles for El Weleily to go with her two at U15 and one at U13, and she will be a force in the U19 next year. Au still has another shot at this title and few would bet against her adding to her tally in 2006.


Boys U17:
[2] Omar Abou Zeid (Egy) bt [3/4] Bilal Zaman (Pak)
      9-5, 9-3, 9-0 (27m)

Another Title Retained

The Boys U17 title also went to Egypt, with Omar Abou Zeid also retained the title won in 2004.

The tall, powerfully-built Egyptian proved too strong for Zaman, dominating the match from the start and finishing in style.

 



Raneem with her mother and brother - NICE FEEDBACK


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