Junior Cup 2011
30 Jun - 04 July, Cologne, Germany
Finals day roundup
With over 2,000 matches played, it all came down to 8
finals involving 16 elite junior squash players representing
4 out of 34 countries. Tournament Director Martin
Reich would like to thank all the people involved:
competitors, Parents, coaches and supporters.
I would like to thanks you all for your involvement in the
Pioneer and I hope you all enjoyed the celebration of
squash, hospitality and party. Not only do all competitors
get souvenirs but the top winners gain substantial prize
money and HiFi equipment. It is pretty much the the best
paid junior event in the World.
Also, coaches and player get complimentary courts during the
event and with a huge thanks to our catering team, I believe
you are the best fed guests on the European circuit.
It would not be possible to stage this event without
thanking the sponsors, Pioneer, Oliver, Dunlop and Lunemans
Leiwagen as well as our very generous hosts the ACR Sports
Centre run by Wolfgang.
See you all next year"
The Pioneer Party
Draws & Results
Monday, Finals Day: Fred Lane in
B13 Final: Youssef
Ibrahim (Egy) bt Blal Nawar (EgyY)
8/11, 11/6, 8/11, 11/9, 11/9
Ibrahim wins all-Egyptian clash
Ibraham won his
first Pioneer title after defeating the highly rated
Egyptian Blal Nawar.
In a real shot-for-shot affair, each took their chances and
had many opportunities to win the match. The deciding factor
was strength of character and although Blal was very
confident, he made errors at the crucial times.
Contrastingly, Youssef was calm and highly focussed.
Saying after the match, "This is a great win against my good
friend Blal who I went to see straight after the match to
make sure he was ok. I'm really happy to win this title and
hope I can carry on to the British Junior Open in January
and do as well."
Nadeen Koth (Egy) bt Elise Lazarus (Eng)
11/1, 11/6, 11/2
Koth too strong for little Elise
Lazarus at 10 years
old from Redbridge, exceeded all expectations to reach her
first Pioneer final but was always up against it when
playing one of the top Egyptians Nadeen Koth, who
plays out of Wadidegla club in Cairo.
The match was a one-sided affair lasting only 25 minutes.
Nadeen was simply too strong as she peppered the court with
low fierce lengths and consistently tight drop shots from
the T. More like a pro, she hit 12 cross court nicks.
on her win Nadeen said "This is my first Pioneer and it
feels great. Elise was a real fighter and I know she'll be
there to win it next year. I think my semi-final against
Saskia Beinhard was tough as she took me to 3/2.
"After coming 5th in the British Junior Open, I wanted to
get some European experience as I am 13 next week and need
to prepare fro U15s. I'm off to the Dutch this week and hope
to play my Egyptian team mate, No1 Egyptian Habiba Muhamed
and see if I can play as well as today."
Tsun Hei Yazu (Hkg) bt Diego Elias (Per)
4/11, 11/9, 8/11, 16/14, 11/6
G15 Final: Maria Fernanda Vazquez (Mex) bt Elin
11/9, 11/5, 11/9
Vazquez sweeps away Harlow
Robert Forde on the U15 Girls final
At the final hurdle, Elin Harlow's superb serve and clinical
finishing was swept asside by the Mexican wave that is
Maria Fernanda Rivera Vazquez.
Both girls started nervously but the Mexican's awesome
athleticism constantly pressurised Elin's shot making and
although today her hair was under tight control, Elin's
executions were not and she lost a close first 11/9. The
second was all 'Hot_Mexican' to win 9/4 and stayed that way
right up to 10/5 in the 3rd. In annoyance, Elin smacked in a
nick, Maria hit four in the tin trying for a quick finish
and suddenly it was a tense 10/9.
The Mexican wave then switched to maximum unstoppable tidal
mode and finished the job 11/9. She is certainly a good
prospect though Elin, when she gets those legs really
motoring, will be right behind.
Fernanda Rivera Vazquez, now Pioneer U15 champion, is the
first ever Mexican winner for the tournament who, when she
played last year finished in 32nd place after meeting the
No1 seed in the first round.
Recalling this she said "I never expected to win but the
draw worked well for me and I have put extra work in this
year to make sure I'm strong for this group. My plan was to
fight for everything and technically, my drop shot from the
T as very consistent and tight. I felt Elin was too
impatient and I worked on that.
"My coach Jorge Baltazar Ferreira (PSA Pro) kept me on-track
with what I needed to do. Once I knew I was in control, I
really enjoyed the match and playing for the audience."
Maria plays and trains at her club 'Evolution Squash' in
Mexico City where she does six hours of solo per week,
playing the pro players and her coach.
"After every training session, I like to play my coach in
the belief that one day I will beat him. I am 15 in
September and have had a great year winning the Canadian
Junior Open and doing really well in the US Junior Open.
There aren't many juniors in my club, so it would be nice
for other kids to follow what I've done."
Osama Khalid Khalifa (Egy) bt Martin Svec (Cze)
11/8, 8/11, 11/5 11/6
G17 Final: Haidi Lala (Egy) bt Pansy Chan (Hkg)
12/10, 11/5, 9/11, 11/6
Haidi wins again
Haidi Lala picked up her second Pioneer title today after a
dominant performance against Pansy Chan from Hong Kong.
Heidi is growing into one of the best juniors in the World
these days after spending many years on the European circuit
based on the renowned Egyptian junior system.
knew nothing about my opponent today," Said Haidi, "and in
the first it became very clear that she was great at the
back so I had to go for it and build for short-game winners.
I suppose I did boast too much and also fell asleep in the
third to let her take a game back after I made 6 unforced
"She also kept trying to slow the pace down and drag me into
her game but I stuck to my strategy which is what I've
always been taught. Pansy was very clever and I had to think
all the time to out-play her"
Haidi is also a WISPA player and plays on the World circuit
as time allows but her main aim is to succeed in being
accepted into one of the main Universities in the United
"I have my eye on Harvard, Pennsylvania and Dartmouth
amongst others and I'm hoping my success in sport will help
gain the credit from the college coaches and be recommended
by them. I am studying hard and expect to pass the entry
level academically too. I hear the squash is amazing there
and great fun."
Heidi Knows where she wants to be in life saying "Studying
in the USA at elite level is my dream and I hope my success
feeds back to the right people."
P.S "I must say your English is amazing Haidi" (Fred)
Emily Whitlock (Eng) bt Maria Elena Ubina (Usa)
11/6, 11/4, 11/5
B19 Final: Declan James (Eng) bt Tom De Mulder (Bel)
11/3, 11/8, 11/9
Two in a row for James
James won his second consecutive European Super Series
event today at Cologne's ACR Centre defeating Tom De Mulder
in straight games. In a repeat of the German Junior Open,
the two boys met again in what was in all honesty a
one-sided affair. And, after five days of squash, neither
wanted to make it a drawn-out affair.
Declan adopted the same strategy as in Germany which was to
keep it safe and simple. Tom also not wanting to take his
chances was drawn into Dec's game and trapped into long
rallies where Declan would eventually kill a loose ball deep
into the back.
"I was really confident today," admitted the winner. "Even
after the party last night, I got back to my room and had a
good night's rest. I decided not to mix it up today and just
play safe against Tom as I did in Germany. I made sure he
was drawn into my game which made him very defensive and
eventually forced errors. I know it wasn't exciting squash
but I've got the trophy and the title which is really
important to me."
Whitlock took the premier girls' event today in Cologne
after beating Maria Ubina, the top USA girl in the U19
Maria was always on the defence from Emily's renowned
straight, attacking game. Maria was constantly trying to
wrong-foot Emily but with too few angles to play with,
should just simply couldn't create enough chances. Emily did
make a some errors but Maria made more.
Emily seemed to be forcing Maria to take risky shots and it
simply forced errors from the young American.
A good weekend's work Emily and good luck at the World
Juniors in two weeks' at Harvard USA where she is seeded
- down to the finals
Fred Lane reports
The semis have drawn to an end
and everyone is getting ready for the party & disco.
 Declan James (Eng) bt Mike McCue (Can)
11/4, 11/3, 11/7
 Tom de Mulder (Bel) bt  Jerome Dadot (Fra)
11/5, 11/6, 11/9
Girls U19 (final 13.30)
 Emily Whitlock (Eng) bt  Hanna Williams (Eng)
11/4, 11/2, 11/3
Maria Ubina (Usa) bt  Elvira Bedjai (Fra)
11/8, 11/5, 11/5
Boys U17 (final 12.45)
 Osama Khalid Khalifa (Egy) bt  Dylan Murray (Usa)
11/8, 11/5, 11/5
 Martin Svec (Cze) bt  Manuel Wanner (Sui)
11/7, 3/11, 9/11,
Girls U17 (final 12.00)
 Haidi Lala (Egy) bt  Marie Stephan (Fra)
Pansy Chan (Hkg) bt  Nele Gilis (Bel)
11/9, 11/7, 11/8
Girls U15 (final 11.15)
Maria Fernandez Rivera (Mex) bt  Kip Quiney (Eng)
11/6, 11/5, 11/4
 Elin Harlow (Wal) bt  Matilde Lauridsen (Den)
11/6, 11/5, 11/4
Boys U15 (final 11.15)
Tsun Hei Yazu (Hkg) bt  Lucas Wirths (Ger)
11/9, 11/7, 11/6
Diego Elias (Per) bt [9/12] Abdel Rahman Zaher (Egy)
Girls U13 (final 10.30)
Elise Lazarus (Eng) bt Hana Moatez (Egy)
7/11, 12/14, 11/9
 Nadeen Koth (Egy) bt  Saskia Beinhard (Ger)
11/2, 11/13, 11/9, 11/3
Boys U13 (final 09.45)
 Blal Nawar (Egy) bt  David Zeman (Cze)
Youseff Ibraham (Egy) bt Mark Richmond (Eng)
It’s a Whitlock – Ubina final
Whitlock secured a 11/4 11/2 11/3 win in the Girls' U19
semi-final against the re-emerging Welsh/English talent
Hannah Williams who has had a storming tournament but was
‘outsquashed’ by her club mate on this occasion.
In the opposite side of the draw, Maria Elena Ubina swept
through the draw, beating off all the seeded players to
reach her first Pioneer final. In the second semi-final she
was simply too strong for the French girl Elvira Bedjai
winning 11/8 11/5 11/5.
Vasquez surprises in Girls U15
package of the whole tournament, Maria Fernanda Rivera
Vasquez from Mexico swept aside four top seeds including the
No1 seed to reach her first ever Super-Series final.
prestigious talent demonstrated some great ‘Nicol David’
style stroke play to final make it through the semi-final in
the morning after defeating England’s Kip Quiney 11/6 11/5
The match was by no means easy and Kip is a really solid
player who fought all the way.
Elin Harlow of Wales against (“Super”) Matilda
Lauridsen of Denmark was always going to be a clash of
styles. Elin has the best serve in the entire tournament
(watch her and learn) and, given the chance, kills the ball
is more methodical, has a good backhand drop and knows what
to do with a loose ball. A nervy start by both girls
produced a tight first game but Elin, with her trademark
serve, generally dominated to win it 11/6. The second was
similar but Super Matilda started to show better discipline
and, despite losing the game 11/5, she was definitely
starting to impose herself on Elin.
Sure enough, the 3rd saw matilda’s pressure make Elin hit a
series of awful cross courts which Matilda Clinically put
away. Elin’s drop shots also deserted her, though she later
claimed that this was mainly due to a hair malfunction. 11/5
Elin was now under real pressure but maintained that great
serve and straightened up her play and hair. Super Matilda
stayed with her and played some great drops. The 4th got to
9 all when Elin produced a winning serve followed by a
clinical forehand drop, gravely ignoring her once more
wayward hair. We will see more of Super Matilda though.
Next up for Elin, The Mexican. Who will waver?
Newcomers in Boys U15 final
boys U15 semis is now all complete at Kautz with newcomers
making it all the way to the final. On the show court was
the German hopeful Lucas Wirths competing with Hong
Kong new boy, TSun Hei Yazu, a smooth, precise player
displaying immense craft and patience.
Overall, he was simply too consistent for Lucas and was able
to contain everything that was thrown at him. Lucas was on
his top game but always chasing TSun. After a grueling 50
minutes, Tsun closed the match out 3/0.
On court 3, was titanic battle between 14 year old Peruvian
Diego Elias and the highly experienced Abdel
Rahman Zaher from Egypt.
Both players showing incredible speed, agility and skills to
make it nip-and-tuc all the way. Both boys are the tallest
in the draw and were able to tag each other on the T whilst
trying outwit each other at the front and back corners.
Eventually unforced errors and stamina were the telling
factors which gave Diego the winning edge.
Diego, father and friends were absolutely ecstatic to get
this far since this is his first ever visit to European
December, I won both Canadian and USA Junior opens so felt I
needed to go further and see who else is out there in the
World as my country is very small in squash terms,” he said
after the match.
“I had to run a lot to beat Abdel and I had no idea how fit
he was. The first game was hard as I was so nervous, with a
big crowd and a top Egyptian to battle against. My coach was
a massive help, reminding me of where I was scoring points
and making errors and most of all, telling me to be patient.
All credit to Abdel, he fought all the way.”
Looking ahead to the final Diego says “I’ll just give it my
best shot. If it’s not good enough, I still have the Dutch
next week and of course the British Junior Open in January
which I would love to win as past winners often go on to
become World Champions.”
When asked about turning out for the Disco tonight, Diego
took one look at his coach and said “I’ll just be sleeping
in my room!!!”
Quarters: Lucas goes 2 better this year
German Squash superstar Lucas Wirths reaches the Pioneer
Semis after a thrilling match against unseeded Egyptian Omar
El Tahery, winning 11/7 11/6 9/11 9/11 11/7.
The first game was almost error free for the German number
one and most points scored came from superb drop shots.
Lucas took the second but met much greater resistance from
Omar. There were many long rallies but now Lucas was trying
to force the win and errors began to creep in. He closed the
game out with a superb cross court drive deep into the right
corner and Omar couldn’t find a ‘9 iron’ to dig it out.
the third, Omar picked up the pace and forced Lucas into 5
unforced errors. Omar displaying wonderful racket skills
took the third and fourth in strong style. It looked like
the match was turning on its head and with the massive
Egyptian support Omar was on a roll! However, Omar, sat back
in the 5th and in no more than 3 minutes found himself 5/0
down. Lucas then tried to drop-shot his way to winning the
match but Omar was too sharp.
The remainder of the match was who could keep their nerve.
Lucas holding his lead, Omar chasing the game which saw long
sporadic rallies. Loose shots and hurried drop shots. The
key factor was Lucas simply made fewer errors and closed the
final game to win the match.
He was thrilled saying “ Last year I came 11th and in 2009 I
came 1st in the U15s so I’m more relaxed these days and feel
I have a chance to make a Pioneer final again. I don’t know
anything about my next opponent Yazu but if I stick to my
game, I will give myself the best chance.”
Draws & Results
Day 4 Photo Gallery
Overheard in the
In the spirit if an international tournament, it isn’t
unusual to overhear a passing remark by a junior which,
after thinking, is quite funny. Such as…
“My fake tan stayed on pretty well”
“I use my hair straighteners to dry my kit”
“Does your nail varnish glow in the dark?”
“Hit the ball hard. If that doesn’t work, hit it harder”
Osama Khalid Khalifa
Saturday - another Williams Roller-Coaster
The morning’s highlight was undoubtedly the girls U19
between Hannah Williams (Wal) and Catherine Finlayson (Eng)
– a classic Williams' Roller-Coaster of fantastic shots,
awful errors, high emotion and wayward fringes.
Hannah started well with hard clean hitting to go well up,
only to start damaging the tin and losing a close opener.
Catherine was more disciplined and more accurate. After a
sever talking to by Phil Whitlock, Hannah got back to some
better basics, left the tin undamaged and won the 2nd.
Catherine responded with better length and some excellent
front left kills which Hannah Had now obligingly enabled her
to play. But Hannah dug in and scraped it to go 2/1 up and,
at 5/2 in the 4th she looked in control. As expected,
however, the William’s Roller-Coaster came around again.
Catherine really tightened her play and again dominated to
go 2 games all.
The growing crowd was engrossed. After an even more intense
‘Whitlock talking-to’ and particular vocal encouragement of
all the Welsh squad, Hannah managed to edge ahead 5/2 and
again, looked in control. Both players’ legs were now
looking decidedly wobbly (not to mention their fringes) but
Catherine found some extra strength and discipline to yet
again turn the tables.
In a prime example of what has turned Hanna’s (and no doubt
many others) father Aled to more and more drink, she managed
to spray balls everywhere except near any wall and Catherine
suddenly and deservedly led 10/6. Four match balls!!!
But, just as Aled was about to open another bottle, Hannah
bravely ignored her ‘wayward fringe’, hit some balls near
walls and suddenly, it was Catherine who made the errors,
allowing Hanna to clinch an unlikely 13/11 victory in the
All credit to the less experienced Catherine. We will surely
see more of her in the future. Aled had a well-deserved
celebratory drink. All aboard for the next Williams'
Draws & Results
Day Two Photo Galllery
- seeds start to fall
Fred Lane reports
Pioneer is now in full swing with all 580 competitors
involved and over 600 matches to be played. All courts were
fully in use until 12 midnight Friday, with additional
matches being played at Kautz.
The most notable performances came from USA, France and
England. The Egyptians cruising through as usual.
In both U19 girls and boys, all top seeds progressed with
firm favourites, Declan James and Emily Whitlock
looking in great form, each with comfortable wins.
In the match of the tournament so far, Taminder Gata Aura
of England defeated a higher seeded player, Damien
Volland of France in 5 games.
The match lasted well over 80mins with some excellent
retrieving and ‘gut busting’ rallies been displayed.
Taminder thought back from 2-0 down to level the match by
playing patient squash, and then saved an amazing four match
balls in the 5th from been 10-6 down and a future three
match balls in the tie break to secure his place in the last
16, with a well deserved 18-16 win over the highly rated
says, “ I feel like I really deserved the win, I pushed
incredibly hard from been 2-0 down but I stayed disciplined
and let Damien make the errors. I have the crowd, especially
‘Beef’ to thank for all the support, when I was tired these
guys gave me the lift I needed!”
In boys U15s, 25/32 seed T Sun Hei Yazu from Hong
Kong ran through 11/3 11/6 11/5 against 3/4 seed Jules
Cremoux (Fra). Other top seeds; Miko Äijäaynen (Fin),
Lucas Wirths (Ger), Hosam El Tokhy (Egy) all
progressed to last 16.
Hosam made hard work of his match with Jarett M Odrich (USA)
who did play exceptional squash to take one game but could
not compete with the variety of shots and speed of Hosam.
The match finally closed out 11/6 11/7 7/11 11/9. Another
notable result was Adam Turner (Eng) seeded 2, who was
beaten by Diego Elias from Peru 11/6 11/9/ 11/7 in an
uncompromising display of disciplined simple squash by the
The U17 boys; top seed Osama Khalid Khalifa
progressed safely but will need to be on his best game later
playing Ho Wai Yeung (HKG) in the last 16 who looks
incredibly useful but unknown in Europe. Claudio Pinto
(Por) the only junior who also plays for the senior
national team, ran out an easy winner.
interesting dilemma emerging from this tournament is the
number of unseeded high quality players competing at all
levels. History as shown this event turns up winners from
In the U17 boys, looking at the current form, I would put my
money on an all-Egyptian final with possible even-money on
Dylan Murray or one Hong Kong player getting to the
final. The game to watch Saturday in the last 16 could be
Martin Svec (CZE) versus Hisham Salem (Egy). It
could be a thriller!
In the U17 girls, top seeds Haidi Lala (Egy),
Marie Stephan (Fra), Kristyna Alexova (Cze),
Nele Gilis (Bel) all progressed safely and if my money
was on this draw, I would put my week’s wages in Haidi who
is already a ‘Rising Star’ WISPA player. Alicia Mead
(Eng) versus Nele Gilis could be the match to watch today in
this age group.
In the ACR Centre, the U15 girls saw the shock result of
Mexican, Maria Fernanda Rivera Vazquez taking out the
top seed Tinne Gilis (Bel) 11/9 11/8 11/2. It isn’t unusual
that a Mexican arrives to a junior event and upsets the
draw. In 2009 Alfredo Avilia beat No2 seed Gregory Marche in
the British junior Open first round.
the U15 girls, top seeds; Kip Quiney (Een),
Matilde Lauridsen (Den), Elin Harlow (Wal) all
progressed without dropping games. Unfortunately, based on
the Mexican trend, I can’t bet on the outcome of this age
group final but on form, Elin would expect to win in three
in Monday’s final as long as her demons(Welsh Dragons) don’t
eat her first.
The U13 boys shows many unknown newcomers all wanting to
make a name in ESF squash. Notable matches included No2 seed
John Ayto (Bel) being knocked out by 25/32 seed Mark
Richmond (Eng), and No2 seed Frenchman Victor Crouin
defeated by unseeded Hammas Ahmed Tarar(Pak).
Looking finally at the U13 girls, a Round-Robin competition
looks to be very competitive but seemingly looking good for
Elisa Lazarus (Eng).
Day One Over in Cologne
Fred Lane reports
One is now complete at the ACR Centre where unlucky first
round matches started at 7pm, with the final matches
completed well into midnight. Unfortunately the additional
day was necessary due to the extraordinary number of
The weather here has been an unusual mix of heavy rain and
tropical sunshine, leaving the courts very humid and
challenging for all players.
The tournament has seemed to become a regular meeting place
for current World professionals and past masters helping out
youngsters and nationals teams from around the globe.
such as Geoff Hunt (Legend, 6 times British Open
Champion), David Palmer (ex World Champion and
British Open winner, supporting the USA team), Fiona
Geaves (Ex England Player), Robert Forde helping
the Welsh, Paul Johnson (Ex world #4 famed for
commentary in the recent Commonwealth Games), John
Ransome (Ex England player working with Paul Johnson),
Mark Chaloner (ex England player now working in the
Cayman Islands, Mark Hornby (Ex England player, work
with the Norwegian team).
Of course Phil Whitlock
arriving Friday with Emily after a gruelling trip back from
her PSA tournament in France.
Walker in Charge
Senior Player Alister Walker is also taking a well
earned break helping the Odrich boys, Jarret (U15 boys) and
Parker (U17 boys) from the USA ranked 21 and 30 respectively
in the USA.
Ali commented “It’s their first trip here and to be honest,
I’m really enjoying taking time off the tour and using what
I’ve learned to help other aspiring players. It is highly
Jaret progressed to the second round but Parker lost in
three in his first match, commenting “I didn’t play as well
as I know I can but Ali is great to work with and a real
inspiration for us”.
Parker commented, “We are learning a lot from this
experience and we will push through here in Cologne and
max-out in the Dutch Junior Open next week”.
Alister sees the opportunity for the USA to build and become
a leading nation in squash:
“At the moment, beyond squash being a springboard only for
College and Varsity squash, I see there needs to be a shift
in culture which embraces squash beyond college. One way of
doing this is through ex professionals exporting their
skills from Europe to USA and developing the squash
Ali also pointed out “Our challenge will be to persuade
young athletes to become professional players.” It is quite
evident when looking at this event that the USA is becoming
a highly attractive career option for top pros looking to
become professional coaches.
Ali reminds us “If we look at
the Grand Central PSA event in New York, it is now the
largest event in terms of TV audiences, viewers and
sponsorship revenues. This is helping to raise the profile
of the game over in the States.”
top seeds who were in action in the U19 and U17 boys
proceeded comfortably on Thursday evening. The most notable
matches included Osama Khalid Kalifa (Egy), No1 seed
beating Petr Zatrepalek (Czech) 3/0 in the U17s and Dylan
Murray (USA) progressing in 21 minutes against Christian
Steffenson (Den) 11/4, 11/3, 11/3.
Currently being coached by Mark Chaloner, Dylan showed some
great skills power versus control often working the opponent
under pressure to eventually wrong-foot him. Christian
struggled overall with his movement but his volleying did
show signs of promise. Overall, Dylan’s class and experience
In the U17 boys, No2 seed Martin Svec (Czech)
progressed easily 11/1, 11/2, 11/0 against the German,
Gernot Scmitz, No3 seed Saad Shahid made it through
11/3, 11/6, 11/8 versus Jack McCord.
Later in the evening Alex Noakes (Eng) 25/32 seed
playing Thomas Wingshot (USA) was caught up in a titanic
classic first round ‘banana skin’ match. Thomas took the
first 7/11 after displaying a lot of creative shot play and
displaying fewer errors than Alex. The second set off at a
rapid pace with both boys chasing everything. Alex finally
reducing his errors and winning 11/9.
The match ebbed and
flowed into a 5 setter after 55 minutes, Alex eventually
gained his first match ball at 11-10 in the 5th after
showing pure grit to pull back 3 match balls. Unfortunately
for Alex, Thomas finally pulled through 13/11.
There were no top seeds playing on day 1 in the U19s however
there were still some spectacular matches. Charlie
Johnston and Daniel Hockborn of England
respectably both won in straight games, displaying an array
of ‘class’ racket skills and creativity with a solid line
and length game to fight off their opponents!
Sam takes the stage…Again!
Pioneer tournament Celebrity Sam Burton arrived back
at the Pioneer to ‘Take-the-Stage’ again but this time in a
coaching capacity for some of the new England players such
as Emma Stallworthy and Bradley Whitbread.
Sam is a real inspiration when following his journey in
squash. When he was a junior, he was known as ‘Beefy’ for
his heroics on and off the court carrying a weight of no
less than 16 stone 2lbs. Wanting to prove he could change
his life and truly enjoy squash, Sam embarked in a programme
of fitness diet and match play to eventually reduce his
weight to a fighting 11 stone.
He now trains full-time and is hoping to compete on the PSA
circuit in the future.
Sam adds, “Well, obviously its great to be back at this
year’s Pioneer, it's my favourite tournament. I’m here to do
some quality training and to coach and pass on my experience
as an elite player to other younger athletes."
Draws & Results
Focus on Swizerland
Over half of the Swiss
players come from the highly respected club, Kriens in
Central Swizerland and the rest from clubs such Uster.
This year sees a notable absence of girls in the Swiss team.
This could be seen as quite a gloomy picture for their
federation, but digging a little deeper, the main problem
seems to be the timing of this event.
U17 & U15 coach Marcel Arnosti explains:
“It simply clashes with the school timetable and girls are
most affected in Switzerland and we would have more boys
too. It’s a real problem as all our top players love this
event and would like to come. Maybe the organisers and ESF
could look at this?”
Key players for the Swiss are; Siewerdt Joel in the
U19 boys, Manuael Wanner in the U17 boys. In the U15
and U13 age group, all players are new to the event and
Manual adds, “These player will be coming through in the
next year or two.”
Draws & Results
Record Entries for Pioneer
Fred Lane reports
record number of entries will converge onto the ACR Centre,
for the Pioneer Junior Cup, European Super Series event in
Not only is there a record attendance this year but there
are no less than 34 countries competing from across the
Globe. North America, Canada, Columbia, the Middle East,
Asia and of course Europe are all competing with fantastic
The highest entries come from the USA who continue to grow
their enthusiasm for this event every year. This year they
have 153 entries from all age groups followed by France with
58 and Germany with 54 entries.
Tournament Director Martin Reich explains: "Along
with its growing reputation as the best Super Series event
in Europe, countries really enjoy this event because their
kids are up against unknown juniors from around the World.
This I feel is the main appeal of this event."
Martin continues, "we also have great facilities such as a
camp site, outdoor swimming pool, large fully equipped gym,
badminton, handball and table tennis facilities to help kids
chill out," and he adds, "our competitors enjoy the freshly
prepared BBQ three times per day which makes being here
great all-around value for money for everyone of all
The event is now in its 15th year and can be arguably
considered the best junior event in the World in terms of
appeal to young kids wanting to play five games of squash
over four days and get the chance to play the best in Europe
and the World.
Competitors aged between U13, U15, U17 and U19 will arrive
as part of national teams or simply as individuals looking
to make a mark.
Unlike the British Junior Open and the World
Juniors, anyone who enters this event is accepted which
makes it non-exclusive and truly a marvellous spectacle,
promoting the spirit of taking part at all levels which is
how squash should be.
Looking at the competitors, the Boys U19 will be a
fiercely fought title with unknown Americans, Canadian, Hong
Kong and Pakistan boys eager to upset the seeds.
to form, Declan James (Eng) will be the boy to catch,
hotly pursued by Tom De Mulder (Bel) and Ahmed
Amia (Pak). Wild-Boy Charlie Johnson (Eng) may
offer a flurry of dazzling squash in a bit to upset the
In the Girls U19, Emily Whitlock, the current
British Open U17 Girls champion is certain to take the
honours. Emily, currently ranked No1 in Europe and 56 in
WISPA World rankings will have just arrived from a WISPA
World Tour event in France along with the top French seeds
Melissa Alves and Julia Le Coq.
contenders to push the seeds all the way are Brogan Lane
(Eng), Emily Caldwell (USA), Maria Elena Ubina
(USA) and Camille Lanier (USA).
In the U17 Boys event, the absence of key English,
French and Egyptian players, opens the draw up to Dylan
Murray (USA) and Osma Khalid Khalifa (Egy) and
Saad Shahid (Pak) besides the many new names to this
The U17 Girls, based on current form, the highly
talented Heidi Lala (Egy) along with the hugely
talented Nele Gilis (Bel) would be the match to
Other strong challengers include seasoned campaigner
Tesse ter Sluis (Ned), Katie Tutrone (USA),
Karolinae Holinkova (Cze), Rosie Allan (Sco) and
Eleanor Lake (Eng).
The U15 Boys event is wide open with very talented
rising stars such as Mason Ripka (USA), Miko
Äijänen (Fin), Jules Cremoux (Fra), Adam
Turner (Eng), Karim Ibraham (Egy), Lucas
Wirths (Ger), Adrien Grondon (Fra), and Ahmed
Hisham Salem (Egy).
In the U15 girls, the absence of key Egyptians paves
the way for top Europeans to take the title. Seasoned
campaigner Elin Harlow (Wal) will have a great chance
of progressing far but could be upset by Nele's younger
sister Tinne Gillis (Bel), the No1 European ranked
The Boys U13 is a wide-open event traditionally
dominated by Egypt. Blal Nawar is their top European
ranked player who will be challenged by a very talented
John Atyeo (Bel), Victor Crouin (Fra) and
David Zeman (Cze) but also watch out for England
newcomers Kyle Finch and Harry Falconer.
In the U13 Girls Egyptian Shad Terek Mahmoud
appears to be the outstanding favourite but will face stiff
opposition from Sarah Lauridsen and Carolina
Christiansen (Den) as well as England No1 Elise
Draws & Results