FINALS

ē World Junior Squash Championships 2009  ē 29 Jul - 08 Aug ē Chennai ē  

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Sun 2nd, Day Five, Individual Finals

Finals: 

[1] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt [2] Ivan Yuen (Mas)     11/9, 12/10, 11/2 (36m)

Nour El Sherbini (Egy) bt [4] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)                  5/11, 11/7, 11/6, 11/5 (31m)
 

Shorbagy still the Champ

Mohamed El Shorbagy is still the world junior champion. The Egyptian world #17 beat Ivan Yuen in straight games, fending off a strong challenge from the Malaysian second seed before storming through the third game to retain the title he won in Zurich last year.

Sherbini is the youngest ever
 
An Egyptian double was guaranteed with an all-Egypt girls' final, and history was made when Nour El Sherbini came from a game down to beat compatriot Nour El Tayeb, becoming the youngest junior girls' world champion, beating Nicol's record by well over two years ..

Photo gallery & video clips to follow ......

[1] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt [2] Ivan Yuen (Mas)
          11/9, 12/10, 11/2 (36m)

Shorbagy still the Champion

It was a repeat of their British Junior Open final earlier in the year, and it was the same result. Ivan Yuen pushed the defending champion for two games, really pushed him.

Both started the match playing patient, long squash, content to feel each other out and wait for the opening. And it was pretty even, Shorbagy generally in front, but never by much. He reached game ball at 10-8, tinned the next shot, then won a humungous rally to take the lead.

Ivan took a great start to the second, 5-0, although in truth Shorbagy gifted him that lead with four tins. The Egyptian tightened up, started to peg back the lead, eventually levelling at 9-all. By now he was hitting the ball ferociously hard, and Ivan was struggling to stay in the rallies, being stretched to the limit.

Shorbagy again to to ten first, hit the tin to lose that chance, won another monster rally to get to 11-10 then punched away another winner to double his lead.

And that was that really, the third was no contest. Shorbagy started with two stunning nick winners, Ivan, under pressure on every shot, tinned the next four. It was all over very quickly, no wild celebrations from the Egyptian camp, just great satisfaction at a job well done.

"Iím really happy to win this WJ. This is year was much harder than the last one. I can just say that this is was my hardest week ever I had in my life. I just couldnít sleep properly for one day, so Iím really glad that I won the tournament.

"Me and Ivan had a very tough first two games today and I was really glad to win them. He is a very good player and very fair and Iím sure heíll get to the top in psa very quickly if he keeps training hard.

"I would like to thank my dad and my mum a lot, they did really a lot for me and winning this title again, itís just a small thing I can do for them.

"Jonah, he is a very special man to me, he did a lot for me in the past three years and without him I would have never dreamed to do what I have done till now in squash. He taught me lots of things and Iím still learning every day from him something new. He has so much of experience and he gave me so much from his experience. He is sooooo special for me and heíll always be.

"I came back to Egypt one month before the WJ and I was training with Amir Wagih. He was taking me every day and giving me every day a session at eight in the morning I really worked hard with him before the tournament, so thanks to him so much too. Whenever Iím back in Egypt I always go and train with him.

"I would like to thank the Egyptian squash federation too. They really understand how to make the players concentrate during the tournament and they do everything for us, so I have to thank Assem Khalifa a lot.

"I have still one more junior tournament, which is the British, and then Iíll be done with the juniors and I really want to finish my junior career with a win so hopefully I can win that again.

"Anyways it was my last WJ title, really happy to do it like Ramy and win it twice and hopefully itís going to be an Egyptian next year who wins it."

 



"So happy, and so proud.

"Nour's been playing since she was six, we knew she was a talent and thought she might be able to win the British Junior Open a few times, and she's won that three times already.

"But I never would have believed I would see this moment, world champion already ... but then, she likes breaking records !


Nour's Father

Nour El Sherbini (Egy) bt [4] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)
                 5/11, 11/7, 11/6, 11/5 (31m)

The 13-year-old World Champion

All the talk at the start of the day was "would she be the youngest ever if she won?" Searching through the stats of the previous twelve winners said yes. Nicol David won it just short of her 16th birthday, Nour El Sherbini is four months shy of her 14th, so emphatically, yes.

But those stats looked like being redundant after the first game. Nour El Tayed seemed to have a plan, bringing Shernini to the front, then despatching the ball to the back  for a winner. And it worked like a dream, giving her the first game 11/5 with Sherbini unable to get into the match.

And so it continued into the second, Tayeb built a 6-2 lead and Sherbini seemed to have no answer.

But then something changed. Perhaps Tayeb was hitting it looser, perhaps Sherbini found the answer, I couldn't tell. But what was obvious was that for the first game and a half Sherbini couldn't get onto the 'T', for the next two and a half games Tayeb simply couldn't get her off it.

And if you give Sherbini time on the ball on the 'T' you're dead, her drops, volley-drops and volley-kills are deadly, and she started using them to great effect.

She stormed back to take the second, and raced through the third and fourth. Now it was Tayeb who didn't have any answers. Sherbini was simply too good, simple as that.



"I'm so happy!

"After losing the first I remembered how I came back when I was down against Heba, and that gave me the belief I could do it again. I kept telling myself I could do it, and I did!"

Finals Day in Chennai ... preview

We're down to the finals, and a world championship beckons for four young hopefuls.

Mohamed El Shorbagy has been here before, winning the title last year in Zurich, and at the time never expected a chance to defend the title. The WSF's decision to run the championships annually (a biannual event is intrinsically unfair on 50% of players, who don't get the chance in their 'best' year) gave him the opportunity to become only the second player to win it twice (after Ramy Ashour).

In January the Egyptian, already ranked #17 in the world, successfully defended his British Junior Open title, but he found defending it harder than winning it the first time. His opponent in the final in Sheffield is the same as today's, Malaysian Ivan Yuen.

Ivan won the Asian Junior Championship here in Chennai later in January, and has been playing well here, so a good final looks in store.

While the boys' final features the top seeds, the girls' final is one that few would have predicted, unless you knew the players involved.

Nour El Tayeb has won the British Junior Open at U13, U15 and U17 levels, and has been preparing for these championships since winning in January in Sheffield. She didn't play in the ATCO Junior Open in May, although she was there throughout the event. "I'm training ... for the worlds," she said then.

So it may have been a great disappointment for the hosts when she beat top seed Dipika Pallikal yesterday in the semis, but it wasn't as great a surprise as the seedings suggested.

In the ATCO Junior Nour El Sherbini came of age. How can you come of age at 13, you may ask, but she truly did come of age in squash terms, reaching the final of the WISPA event (becoming the youngest ever WISPA finalist) and so nearly beating Engy Kheirallah, who has been #14 in the world, in that final.

On the way she beat Heba El Torky, seeded two here, in straight games, and she beat Heba again in the quarter-finals here, although she had to save two match balls before doing so. 

So she may be unseeded, but she's won the British Junior Open every time she's entered (three titles and counting), and there's nothing to suggest she can't become the youngest ever world champion (and she has five more chances at it).
  

Draws & Results

Photo Galleries

Extras #3
Worst Nightmare,
Guess Who, Gridlock

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