Tecnifibre British Junior Open 2009 02-06 January, Sheffield    


TODAY at the BJO: Daily reports from Sheffield
Sat 6th Jan, FINALS DAY
Steve Cubbins reports from Sheffield

G13: Nour El Sherbeny (Egy) bt Salma Esmat (Egy) 
           9/0, 9/3, 9/1 (21m)
B13: Nasir Iqbal (Pak) bt Fadi Tharwat (Egy)   
           9/4, 10/9, 9/5 (41m)

G15: Olivia Blatchford (Usa) bt Wee Nee Low (Mas)
          9/5, 6/9, 2/9, 9/7, 9/2 (39m)
B15: Amr Khalid Khalifa (Egy) bt Nousherwan (Pak) 
          9/3, 9/5, 9/2 (38m)

G17: Heba El Torky (Egy) bt Alia Balbaa (Egy)
           9/1, 9/6, 9/1 (22m)
B17: Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt Andrew Wagih (Egy)
           9/4, 9/3, 9/3 (40m)

G19: Raneem El Weleily (Egy) bt Camille Serme (Fra)
          9/2, 9/2, 6/9, 3/9, 9/1 (48m)
B19: Omar Mosaad (Egy) bt Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak)
          9/5, 6/9, 9/2, 9/2 (62m)


All the Presentation Photos
Omar makes it Three

B19: Omar Mosaad (Egy) bt Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak)
          9/5, 6/9, 9/2, 9/2 (62m)

Twice under seventeen champion, and now Omar Mosaad holds the Drysdale Cup.

The opening exchanges were long and fierce, and although the Omar Mosaad took the first game, he then needed to weather a strong comeback by Aamir Atlas Khan.

The Pakistani took the second, but by the middle of the third Omar was working his opponent around the court, putting in drops when required, and slowly started to build a winning game. As Aamir seemed to tire he stepped up the pace, ultimately winning the last two games quite comfortably to keep the famous old trophy in Egyptian hands.

"I'm so happy to win this very important title, I can't believe it.

"I played very well. I made a few errors at the start, and he hit a lot of winners in the second, but in the third and fourth I played well. Amr slowed down as I think he was getting tired.

"I hope in the next year to get into the top ten of the world rankings, and in two years to be number one.

"I want to than my sponsors, my coach Mohd Mosaad and my family. I'm so happy ..."


Raneem makes amends

G19: Raneem El Weleily (Egy) bt Camille Serme (Fra)
          9/2, 9/2, 6/9, 3/9, 9/1 (48m)

Another five-game final, and what a thriller. Raneem looked on course for a comfortable win as she took the first two games comfortably, with Camille looking nothing like the player who had cruised through to the final so easily.

But come the third France's European Junior Champion was on show again, dictating the rallies and easing to a6/1 lead. She reached game ball at 8/4, but it took eight nervous efforts to convert it.

To cries of "Allez Cam," she continued in the same vein in the fourth, going 5/1 and 8/3 up. This time she converted at the first game ball, but what an effort it took.

Raneem won the rally at least seven times, but Camille would not budge. Front to back, back to front she went, she really, really, wanted this point and she got it when Raneem tinned a dropshot. The French team rose as one.

But the effort had taken its toll. Raneem came out in the fifth firing in drops from the start, killer drops, and Camille was struggling to get them.

A final dying length gave Raneem her seventh BJO title, and the relief, the delight at erasing the memory of last year, her solitary failure, was evident to see.

"I made a good start, but when she started coming back I thought I might not win.

"I couldn't move but I had to win, there was no way I was going to lose, I was thinking about last year all the time.

"One more junior tournament to go, then I can throw away my goggles forever!"

Olivia the comeback queen

Olivia Blatchford (Usa) bt Wee Nee Low (Mas)
          9/5, 6/9, 2/9, 9/7, 9/2 (39m)

Olivia Blatchford started this match well, and finished it well. What went wrong in the middle is something I'm sure her new coach Malcolm Willstrop will be having a word with her about!

The American took the first playing controlled squash, but from the middle of the second started finding the tin as often as the strings. To be fair, Wee Nee was playing some pretty good squash at this point, but still a lot her points were being gifted to her.

After Wee Nee levelled she took a quick lead in the third, which was converted, and went 7-0 up in the fourth with Olivia hitting tin after tin. It was all over, surely.

Well, no. Olivia switched instantly from being out of sorts to being on top form, and her long drops, volleys and boasts were all working again.

She breezed through the next nine points to level, and carried on in the same vein in the fifth, finally winning it with a dying length that left Wee Nee scrambling in vain in the back corner.

A fantastic comeback, and boy, were the Blatchford family delighted ...

"When I was 7/0 down in the fourth I said to myself 'don't go down without a fight, you never do that'. I knew I had to put it all on the line, fight for every ball and get everything back.

"I had the best time of my life out there!"

"I'm so proud. When she was 7/0 down I was all ready to say 'great job, you played well and did the best you could', and then she suddenly started playing great squash again, I couldn't believe it!"


First of many for Nour ?

G13: Nour El Sherbeny (Egy) bt
        Salma Esmat (Egy)  9/0, 9/3, 9/1 (21m)

Really sorry not to be able to see this final, but from all accounts little Nour El Sherbeny played extremely well.

She's only 11, so has a lot more British Junior Opens in her. "Remember her name," said a proud father after the match. "She's number one in Egypt and many people think she can go on to win many British Open titles, like Omneya and Raneem.

Be sure Sir, we'll remember the name, and when she's back next year we promise to give such talent the coverage it deserves ...

Shourbagy moves up a level

B17: Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt
        Andrew Wagih (Egy)     9/4, 9/3, 9/3 (40m)

Winner of the U15 title last year, Mohamed El Shorbagy emulated the feat of Heba El Torky in the previous final by claiming the U17 championship at the first attempt.

The match was well-contested - it was still one-all in the first after ten minutes - but Shorbagy just held the upper hand for the most part of the match.

Having taken the first he seemed to step up a gear, and while Wagih was still in the rallies, for him it was one of those days when you don't seem to win many of them.

Shorbagy took a quick lead in the third, and the writing was on the wall when he hit an outrageous leaping volley into the nick, then a return of serve which squirted out of the front corner.

The end came quickly, and Shorbagy, who had looked mighty impressive throughout, went first to Jonah Barrington, his coach, then to his delighted parents ...

"I'm very happy to win this title. I was very nervous before the match, Jonah spoke to me, like he always does.

"When I took the first it became easier to play, I still felt fresh and I was going for my shots, and each game became easier but I had to keep my concentration up.

"Andrew and I have played a hundred times, since we were ten, and it's always close. I had to try to keep it away from his backhand dropshot.

"I'd like to thank my mother and father for coming to support me, and Jonah, who I've been working with for four months. We set a target to win this event and I wanted to win it very badly, so I'd like to thank him so much.

Another title for Heba

Heba El Torky (Egy) bt Alia Balbaa (Egy)
     9/1, 9/6, 9/1 (22m)

"I told you last year I would win this title," said Heba Al Torky as she came off court as the new BJO Under 17 champion.

In truth, the final was one her easier matches this week, as last year's U15 champion made the step up to the next level.

Heba had too many shots and too much determination for Alia today. It's not a flowing game as she puts in drops and boasts from every angle, but my, it's effective, and her Egyptian compatriot had no answer apart from a brief spell in the second.

"I played Alia before this tournament and she won, but I wasn't feeling well then. Today I feel great and I was in control form most of the match.  

"My draw was tough and I had a really hard match against Wee Wern who is a very good player. But it feels better to win tournaments when you have tough draws rather than easy ones."

Khalifa claims Egypt's first

Amr Khalid Khalifa (Egy) bt Nousherwan (Pak) 
     9/3, 9/5, 9/2 (38m)

Top seed Amr Khalid Khalifa gave Egypt its first title as he powered impressively to victory over Pakistan's Nousherwan.

The Pakistani looked to be suffering from his 100-minute marathon of yesterday in the early stages, losing the first game quickly and fading after a competitive start to the second.

The Egyptian, sensing victory, raced ahead 6-1 in the third, keeping the pace high and the pressure on as Nousherwan struggled to reach several tight shots.

A cry of "come on, British Open final" form the ranks of Pakistan supporters seemed to urge him on for a final effort, and the next few rallies were fiercely contested with tremendous retrieving on both sided, and more than a few dives from Nousherwan.

It was too late though, and on his second match ball the Egyptian's arms were raised ...


First Blood to Pakistan

[1] Nasir Iqbal (Pak) bt [2] Fadi Tharwat (Egy)   
      9/4, 10/9, 9/5 (41m)

Pakistan claimed the first title of the 2007 BJO, Nasir Iqbal winning the Boys U13 final in straight games against Fadi Tharwat.

Two hard-fought games, with both players hitting and running for all they were worth. Remarkable speed, fitness and skills and remarkably few errors.

The pace told on the Egyptian first, as Iqbal raced to an 8/1 lead in the third. A late rally, but the Egyptian couldn't close the gap as the Pakistan squad acclaimed their first BJO champion for 2007 ...

El Sherbeny in U13 Final

Wee Nee wins U15 semi

Esmat makes U13 final

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