• Tecnifibre British Junior Open 2009 • 02-06 January, Sheffield  •  

Finals Day 2006

TODAY at the BJO: Day FIVE, Fri 6th Jan 2006
Steve Cubbins reports from Sheffield          photos by Fritz Borchert and Steve Cubbins

A fabulous finals day in Sheffield saw Egypt claim six British Junior Open titles as France and Malaysia captured one each ....

G19  [2] Lina El Tannir (Egy) bt [1] Raneem El Weleily (Egy)
              2/9, 10/9, 9/7, 9/6 (39m)
B19  [1] Ramy Ashour (Egy) bt [2] Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak)
              9/0, 9/6, 9/0 (29m)

G17  [1] Camille Serme (Fra) bt [3/4] Wee Wern Low (Mas)
              9/4, 9/6, 9/6 (27m)
B17  [2] Mohamed AA Reda (Egy) bt [5/8] Joe Lee (Eng)
               9/5, 9/4, 9/3 (41m)

G15  [1] Heba Alaa El Torky (Egy) bt [3/4] Laura Gemmell (Can)
             9/5, 9/2, 9/0 (22m)
B15  [1] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt [3/4] Adel Zarka (Egy)
             8/10, 9/5, 3/9, 9/6, 9/4 (51m)  

G13  [3/4] Yan Xin Tan (Mas) bt [1] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)
              5/9, 9/7, 9/1, 9/2 (41m)
B13  [3/4] Karim Fathy (Egy) bt [3/4] Hamza Bokhari (Pak)
             9/3, 9/2, 9/4 (29m)

Draws & Results

En Bref issue 5


Boys U19
[1] Ramy Ashour (Egy) bt
[2] Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak)       9/0, 9/6, 9/0 (29m)


World Junior Champion Ramy Ashour added the Drysdale Cup to his growing collection of honours as he turned in a spectacular performance in the final, completely outplaying Aamir Atlas Khan in a repeat of their world junior final.

Ramy was just unstoppable in the first as he produced winner after winner, hardly using the same shot twice as he blitzed the Asian junior champion.

But Aamir is a fighter, and he came out determinedly in the second, helped by a couple of early errors from Ramy, and started to run the Egyptian's shots down as he established a 5/1 lead.

As Ramy started to work his way back, lengthening the rallies, the game developed into a real battle, both players using all four corners of the court with shotmaking and retrieving of the highest quality.

Work his way back Ramy did, getting the better of several long rallies, taking the lead and going 2/0 up as Aamir hit two poor tins to finish the game.

From the start of the third it was clear that the Ramy of the first game was back. Aamir din't do anything wrong, there was just nothing he could do to stem the winners flowing from the Egyptian's magic racket.

At 5-0 they exchanged four cross-court dropshots each, and as Ramy finished the rally with a drive that left Aamir stranded, the friendly pat on the head that the Pakistani returned with a smile told us that the match was all but over.

Very soon it was over, and Ramy Ashour had the Drysdale Cup in his hand ...

"Remember, I told you I had lots of shots I hadn't used yet, but I brought them all with me today.

"My nature is that I like to play in front of lots of people with the pressure on, and I got off to a great start, I was playing really well, going for my shots and they were all working.

"I think I relaxed a bit at the start of the second, but I managed to pull it back, and in the third all my shots started to come back and I won well in the end.

"I'm very happy!"

Girls U19
[2] Lina El Tannir (Egy) bt
[1] Raneem El Weleily (Egy) 2/9, 10/9, 9/7, 9/6 (39m)


World Junior Champion Raneem El Weleily suffered her first defeat in Sheffield for five years as Lina El Tannir, in her last year as a junior, won her first BJO title.

Raneem started well, her drops and boasts forcing Lina to do most of the work, and to make most of the errors. From 2-all she took the first game convincingly, and the pattern continued as she went 6/1 up in the second.

Lina was trying to increase the pace of the game, hitting the ball much harder than Raneem, trying to keep her to the back, and it started to pay dividends. The rallies were longer and Lina was able to pick her time to attack.

She worked her way back, levelled at 6-all, and saved two game balls before taking the game 10/9 as Raneem's high lob drifted out.

Lina started the third better, as Raneem started to make uncharacteristic errors, quickly reaching 8/3. Raneem worked her way back to 7/8 before Lina's drive from the back wall hit her opponent's leg on the way to the front wall ... stroke and game to Lina.

Raneem started the fourth with a flurry of errors - six tins in a row, and they weren't just down, they were well down. Again she started to come back, more due to her opponent's nervousness and errors than her own good shots.

Lina's first match ball saw Raneem reply with a typical winning boast, her second with an untypical drop into the middle of the tin.

Lina's reaction was clear ... disbelief and uncontrollable tears of joy as she went straight to her mother.

Raneem will be deeply disappointed to lose, but know that she can play much better than this ... Lina can become a senior happy in the knowledge that she is a British Junior Open Champion ...

"I'm so happy ... I just can't believe it. This is my first British Open title and my last, as I'll be too old next year."

Girls U17
[1] Camille Serme (Fra) bt
[3/4] Wee Wern Low (Mas)      9/4, 9/6, 9/6 (27m)


As top seed the pressure was on Camille Serme to perform, and perform she did.

These two have a similar game, and the start of the first was close, with points traded in long rallies, reaching 4-all. Although similar in height, Camille possesses more power in her shots, and the pressure started to force errors from Wee's racket as the French girl took the first 9/4.

Camille was completely in control at the start of the second, picking of winners with drops, volley drops and boasts to race into a 5/0 lead, and it looked as though the match would be over quickly.

As she has a tendency to do, Camille made a few errors to let Wee back in, but from six-all she recovered to go two games up.

A poor start in the third - three volleys into the tin and two cross-court errors - gifted the Malaysian a 5-0 lead, but once again Camille recovered, forced Wee to retrieve, willingly, from all all parts of the court, and in the end raced through to give France its fourth-ever British Junior Open title.

"Watching Camille playing in the final of such a legendary tournament, I had to be pretty nervous now, didn’t I?

But actually, it’s Camille who reassured me. She directed her final with maestro, and even down 5/0 in the third, she quietly and calmly came back into the game…

"It’s a dream we had in common since we’ve started working together (nearly 10 years already…!).

She works so hard, she deserves this title…"

"Contrary to what the score seems to indicate, the match was never easy! Pressure was present at every second, and every point was important.

"I’m glad I was happy to give my best, I’m extremely happy, it’s the realisation of a big dream, although I’m not sure I fully realise what just happened…

"I would like to thank my coach, Philippe Signoret, my physical trainer, Fred Roualen, and all the people who have supported me, I didn’t realise how many they were …

Boys Under 17
[2] Mohamed A A Reda (Egy) bt
[5/8] Joe Lee (Eng)          9/5, 9/4, 9/3 (41m)


Hopes of a first English title since James Willstrop won the Drysdale Cup were dashed as Egypt's Mohammed A A Reda beat surprise finalist Joe Lee in straight games.

The whole match, each of the three games, followed a similar patters as both players played patient, accurate squash, placing the ball well and retrieving just as well.

But it was always the Egyptian who seemed to find the extra precision, who created the first small opening and despatched it without further ado. Time and again a well-contested rally would end with Reda finding a winner from somewhere and the rally was over.

Reda maintained a slender lead throughout the first, moving clear from 6/4, did the same in the second, and took control early in the third to quash any hopes of a comeback.

Reda was more than delighted with his win, and Lee should be delighted with reaching the final, but I bet he goes home wondering how it just didn't seem to happen for him today ...

"I was trying hard to get him to the back, but he's so tall and takes the ball so early it's difficult.

"When I managed to get him to the back I could use my volleys, but it was never easy.

"This is my second BJO title, I won the U13s, but I'm playing PSA now, at number 148 in the world, and winning this title feels much better, after such a long gap.

"I'd like to thank my coaches Ahmed Matmoi and Anthony Hill, Dr Yasser my physical instructor, and my mother and father and family."


Girls Under 15 
[1] Heba Alaa El Torky (Egy) bt
[3/4] Laura Gemmell (Can)    9/5, 9/2, 9/0 (22m)


Egypt's Heba Alaa El Torky successfully defended her Under 15 title with a comprehensive victory over Laura Gemmell.

The Canadian, taller with a longer reach, faced up the the smaller, faster Egyptian who had a wider array of shots to call on.

The first game was competitive, with both girls able to put the ball away once an opening had been created. The battle was to see who could get to the front first, and the Egyptian was able to do it more often.

Early errors from Laura in the second set the pattern as Heba doubled her lead, and in the third the Egyptian seemed able to hit winners from any part of the court as Laura's challenge faded.

Still, Canadian, US and Scottish Champion plus a British Open runner-up, all inside a month isn't at all bad for Laura, while for Heba the challenge is the Under 17s next year ...

"I started playing Laura's game at the start, but in the second and third I found what was working and kept on playing that way.

"I've played some good matches this week, but last year was harder since it was my first time in the Under 15s.

"When I won last year it was a surprise, but this time I was determined to win, so hopefully I can come back and win more titles."

"She played well. We both have good drops so we tried to drop each other ... she was just better at it on the day.

Boys Under 15  
[1] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt
[3/4] Adel Zarka (Egy)  8/10, 9/5, 3/9, 9/6, 9/4 (51m)


In what was probably the best match of finals day, if not the best squash, Mohamed El Shorbagy prevailed in five games over compatriot Adel Zarka.

Two similar players, both willing to run until they drop, with plenty of incident to keep the crowd both entertained and on the edge of their seats.

Zarka took a close first game but Shorbagy hit back, taking over from the midpoint of the second game.

Both players had a tendency to 'play the ref', sometimes exaggerating their swing trying to get a stroke, and cheekily asking for things even they must have known they wouldn't get, but it was all conducted in good humour on everyone's part.

The start of the third saw a fantastic exchange at the end of a long punishing rally - Shorbagy slipped, and as Zarka went to put away an easy winner Shorbagy's racket popped up from his seated position to flick the ball dead into the corner to everyone's amazement, not least his own.

However Zarka wasn't unduly troubled as he went on to take the second and go 6/0 up in the third. At this point Zarka suffered a painful-looking fall, onto his nose, and despite recovering quickly never took another point in the game.

Shorbagy maintained the momentum at the start of the fifth, and hung on to claim the title.


G13  [3/4] Yan Xin Tan (Mas) bt [1] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)
              5/9, 9/7, 9/1, 9/2 (41m)
B13  [3/4] Karim Fathy (Egy) bt [3/4] Hamza Bokhari (Pak)
             9/3, 9/2, 9/4 (29m)

Unfortunately these matches were on the outside court at the same time as the other finals, so we were unable to cover them, but congratulations to Yan Xin Tan and Karim Fathy, British Junior Open Champions 2006!


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