Tecnifibre British Junior Open 02-06 January, Sheffield    

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Thu 6th, FINALS Day 2011                            Steve Cubbins in Sheffield

Six for Egypt as Emily does it
at last for England ...

G13: [1] Habiba Mohamed (Egy)
bt Andrea Lee Jia Qi (Mas)
               11/3, 11/8, 12/10 (22m)
B13:  Eain Yow Ng (Mas) bt [1] Saad El Din Ihab (Egy)
               11/7, 8/11, 10/12, 11/5, 11/4 (48m)

G15: [2] Salma Hany (Egy) bt Laila Omar (Egy)
               11/6, 11/4, 9/11, 6/11, 11/5 (43m)
B15: Mohamed El Gawarhy (Egy) bt Yousseff Makarim (Egy)
               11/4, 11/8, 11/5 (24m)

G17: [2] Emily Whitlock (Eng) bt Yathreb Adel (Egy)
               8/11, 11/1, 4/11, 11/8, 11/6 (50m)
B17: Mazen Gamal (Egy) bt Moustafa Bayoumy (Egy)
               11/8 , 11/9 , 11/7 (33m)

G19:  [2] Nour El Tayeb (Egy) bt [1] Amanda Sobhy (Usa)
                11/6, 12/10, 11/7 (28m)
B19:  [2] Ali Farag (Egy) bt [1] Amr Khalid Khalifa (Egy)
                 11/7, 11/4, 11/6 (34m)

Draws & Results

the Galleries

G13: [1] Habiba Mohamed (Egy) bt
Andrea Lee Jia Qi (Mas)             11/3, 11/8, 12/10 (22m)

Habiba too strong

Just as in yesterday's semi-final, Habiba Mohamed's fate lay in her own hands in today's first final. The Egyptian top seed can hammer the ball with ferocity, but is prone to errors too.

In the first game Malaysia's Andrea Lee Jia Qi was simply overpowered, but she held her own for the next two games, her more accurate game starting to pay dividends as she pushed Habiba deeper into the court, forcing more errors.

Point for point in the second, it was Habiba who found the extra from 8-all to double her lead.

Andrea led 3/0 and 5/2 in the third, Habiba recovered to lead 7/5 and 9/7, but it was the Malaysian who reached games ball with a pair of strokes as Habiba hit hard but loosely.

She couldn't convert it though, and it only took Habiba one chance to power away a winner to set the ball rolling for Egypt.

B13:  Eain Yow Ng (Mas) bt [1] Saad El Din Ihab (Egy)
               11/7, 8/11, 10/12, 11/5, 11/4 (48m)

Ng notches one up for Malaysia

The Boys U13 final was between the two outstanding players of the event, and they dished up a wonderful final for the packed crowd at Abbeydale. Excellent squash, compelling rallies, little in the way of involvement from the referee, and as much emotion and tension as you'd like.

Ng, who plays a very mature, controlled game, took the first but the top seeded Egyptian managed to keep the pace higher in the second and third games, taking the Malaysian just enough out of his comfort zone. Ihab pulled away from the middle of the second, then took four points in a row from 8/10 down in the third to take the lead.

Ng controlled the next two games though, pushing the ball to the corners, denying his opponent the attacking space he thrives on, although it certainly wasn't for lack of effort that Ihab couldn't regain a grip on the match.

In the end Ng ran out a deserving winner, and boy were he and the Malaysian contingent delighted about it!

G15: [2] Salma Hany (Egy) bt Laila Omar (Egy)
               11/6, 11/4, 9/11, 6/11, 11/5 (43m)

Salma salvages the title

It was all looking so easy for  Salma Hani in the Girls U17 final. Leading two games to nil, the second seed was in total control and a three-nil win was surely coming up.

Controlling the rallies, forcing Laila Omar into the sort of desperate defending she was doing yesterday, and picking off winners apparently when she felt like it, Salma's win looked assured.

But, just as she did yesterday, Laila found something extra, stopped defending and started to make Salma work for the first time. She got off to a good start in the third, and by the end of it she was looking confident, Salma shaking her head wondering where it had gone wrong.

At 8/5 in the fourth Laila needed to stop the blood from a grazed knee, but the interruption didn't stop her momentum as she quickly took the game on the resumption to set up a decider.

A tight opening to the fifth, and slowly the momentum changed again. From 2-all Salma edged ahead, as much on determination as on skill this time. 4/2, 7/4, 9/5.

Match ball came to a rather generous stroke at the front of the court, the title came at the end of a rally where Salma had her opponent scurrying from corner to corner, finally getting her out of position and putting away an unchallenged dropshot with an emphatic YES!

B15: [1] Mohamed El Gawarhy (Egy) bt
Yousseff Aboul Makarim (Egy)          11/4, 11/8, 11/5 (24m)

Gawarhy makes it three for Egypt

Top seed Mohamed El Gawarhy claimed his first BJO title with an impressive and assured display over compatriot Yoesseff Aboul Makarim.

Makarim had survived a five-game thriller yesterday, but could never get a foothold in today's match as Gawarhy controlled affairs from the outset.

Makarim's only glimpse of an opening came as he brought the score back to 9/8 in the second, but Gawarhy soon snuffed that out and a good start in the third presaged the inevitable end.

G17: [2] Emily Whitlock (Eng) bt Yathreb Adel (Egy)
               8/11, 11/1, 4/11, 11/8, 11/6 (50m)

Whitlock wins one for England

It's been a long wait - since James Willstrop in 2002 to be precise - but the hosts finally have another BJO champion as Emily Whitlock won a thrilling Girls U17 final against Yathreb Adel.

The Egyptian had ousted the top seed in a marathon 81-minute semi-final yesterday, but didn't appear to be feling any effects from that as she took the first game, which went point for point to 8-all before Adel pulled clear.

It may have been Dad Phil's mid-game advice of "up the pace a bit" which helped Emily in the second, which she waltzed away with 11/1.

Had the tide turned? Not a bit of it, back came Yathreb, matching Emily's second game performance as she retook the lead.

It was a good match this. Any thoughts that at 14 - she was still eligible to defend her U15 title - Yathreb would be no match for Emily had long since been dispelled, and the final two games were compelling, at times frantic, with the crowd and the referee getting involved all along the way.

Yathreb took a 3/0 lead in the fourth, Emily came back to level at 5-all, then took the lead 7/5 and 9/6. Emily thought she had game ball when Yathreb's pickup was called not up, but the referee over-ruled. Drama, tension ... oh yes.

It only took two more rallies for Emily to level the match, and then we were into a decider. Nothing to separate them now, 2-all, 5-3 Yathreb, 5-all, 6-all. Lots of lets.

From there Emily surged ahead, rifling a low crosscourt for 8/6, taking advantage of a lucky mishit to fire away another one for 9/6. A no let that Yathreb couldn't believe and it was match ball.

It's a good job Emily won it at the first attempt, the crowd probably couldn't have taken any more! Well done Emily, and well done Yathreb too ...

B17: Mazen Gamal (Egy) bt Moustafa Bayoumy (Egy)
               11/8 , 11/9 , 11/7 (33m)

Mazen makes it four

Sorry guys, only caught the very end of this match after processing Emily's photos.

But from all accounts it was a high-class encounter with Gamal, whose speed around the court and improvised shotmaking is reminiscent of Ramy Ashour, just had the edge in each game.

G19:  [2] Nour El Tayeb (Egy) bt
[1] Amanda Sobhy (Usa)           11/6, 12/10, 11/7 (28m)

No need to be nervous, Nour

Amanda Sobhy has looked on top form all this week, while Nour El Tayeb has looked be;low her best, vulnerable, and by her own admission, nervous.

In this repeat of their World Junior Final meeting in Germany, the tables were turned from the start. It was the Egyptian looking calm, confident, unflustered and untroubled as she stroked the ball around, picked off her opponent's shots and forced her into errors.

Sobhy needed to change her game, and she did, coming out for the second hitting the ball harder and lower, and now she was calling the tunes, going 6/1 and then 10/4 ahead.

But Tayeb responded. She upped her pace too, and gradually worked her way back into it. A couple of careless errors from Sobhy helped her along the way, a tin took it to 10/8 and now it was getting interesting again.

Two long, tough rallies both ended with Sobhy hitting a tight ball out and we were level. Another long rally, a drive glued to the wall and it was game ball to Tayeb. A final tin and an unlikely two game lead was the Egyptian's.

Again Amanda started strongly in the third, but only 4/1 this time. Nour levelled at 4-all, and she was looking confident again, Amanda the nervous one.

It was tight, of course it was, but Nour edged ahead, 7/5 9/7, 10/7 on a low crosscourt that forced Amanda to tin, then a marvellous long drop to finish, and the double U17 champion had graduated to become U19 champion and complete the full BJO set.

There was no great celebration at the end, just quiet satisfaction. See, Nour, no need to be nervous at all ...

B19:  [2] Ali Farag (Egy) bt [1] Amr Khalid Khalifa (Egy)
                 11/7, 11/4, 11/6 (34m)

Farag fells Khalifa

The final match of the 2011 BJO saw another top seed, another World Junior Champion, beaten.

In another repeat of the last World Junior Final, the tables were turned as Ali Farag, beaten 3/1 in that Ecuador final, led from start to finish with Amr Khalid Khalifa struggling to get a foothold in the match.

Farag, as fast as ever, never allowed his opponent that foothold and emerged a worthy winner, claiming his first BJO title in his last appearance in the event.

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