Malaysia stop all-Egyptian semi-finals
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
AMELIA HENLEY, England’s sole representative in the last eight of the in the VDC Dental-Care WSF World Junior Squash Championships, fell to number two seed Hania El Hammamy as the Egyptian bandwagon rolled on in Bielsko-Biala, Poland.
Henley, one of the 5/8 seeds, from Kent, lost 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 in a high-quality encounter which underlined Egyptian’s global supremacy at this level. “I expected it to be tough and it was,” said the 15-year-old from Cairo who is ranked 43 in the world. “I had to really fight to win this match.”
El Hammamy now faces compatriot Rowan Reda Araby, an 11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8 winner over Malaysian Andrea Lee.
However, there will be Malaysian interest in the women’s last four after Sivasangari Subramaniam denied the event an all-Egyptian semi-final line-up for the first time in four years. The 17-year-old from Kedah twice came from behind to record a 6-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7 victory over 5/8 seed Amina Yousry.
“We played in Pakistan last year and I lost 11-9 in the fifth, so I knew it was going to be tough and this one could have gone either way,” said the jubilant 3/4 seed pictured above. “Really, really happy to make the semis.”
Subramaniam progresses to meet top seed Nouran Gohar, the world No.5 from Egypt who crushed New Zealander Eleanor Epke 11-1, 11-1, 11-3.
For the second time in 24 hours, Egyptian men’s favourite Saadeldin Abouaish survived a five-game marathon before claiming his place in the men’s semi-finals of the World Squash Federation event in the Polish city of Bielsko-Biała.
The match against Benjamin Aubert, a 5/8 seed from France (both pictured above), was the first and last of the quarter-final session at Enjoy Squash – which was poised at 6-4 to Abouaish when Egyptian’s racket clipped the Frenchman’s face, and play was stopped for treatment. After a while it was decided to continue with the other matches and resume when Aubert had recovered.
On resumption, Abouaish quickly closed out the first game before losing a close second – which involved another clash on the head and another blood injury break for Aubert!
At 1-2 down for the second day in a row after Aubert took the third, the Cairo-based 18-year-old raced through the fourth to set up a decider. Aubert fought back from 0-4 down to level at six-all, but Abouaish ultimately prevailed 11-5, 12-14, 6-11, 11-2, 11-9 after 80 minutes to reach the semi-finals for the second successive year.
“I have never played a match like that before,” said the exuberant Egyptian. “So many stoppages, so long, and such a tough match. I’m relieved to come from two-one down again. I’m sure it was great entertainment – but not great to play in!”
Abouaish will now take on 3/4 seed Israr Ahmed for a place in his first final. Ahmed, also 18 and from Lahore, kept Pakistan’s hopes alive after defeating Egyptian giant-killer Marwan Tarek Abdelhamid, the 9/16 seed who upset Jordan’s 5/8 seed Mohammad Al Sarraj to reach the last eight.
“I am really happy to be in the semis,” said Ahmed after his 72-minute 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 7-11, 11-5 victory over the 16-year-old. “That was a tough match. He is a very good young player and I had to work very hard to win.”
Hopes of Japanese interest in the semi-finals for the first time ever were dashed when Egypt’s Youssef Ibrahim Abdallah beat Yokohama-based Ryunosuke Tsukue 11-7, 2-11, 11-6, 11-8.
“It took me a while to get used to the conditions – it’s very hot and bouncy today – and to his hard-hitting style,” said the 3/4 seed from Cairo. “But I was playing well by the end.”
Abdallah now faces Eain Yow Ng, the No.2 seed from Malaysia who reached the semis for the second time in a row after defeating India’s Velavan Senthilkumar 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5.
VDC Dental-Care WSF World Junior Squash Championships, Bielsko-Biała, Poland
 Saadeldin Abouaish (EGY) bt [5/8] Benjamin Aubert (FRA) 11-5, 12-14, 6-11, 11-2, 11-9 (80m)
[3/4] Israr Ahmed (PAK) bt [9/16] Marwan Tarek Abdelhamid (EGY) 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 7-11, 11-5 (72m)
[3/4] Youssef Ibrahim Abdallah (EGY) bt [5/8] Ryunosuke Tsukue (JPN) 11-7, 2-11, 11-6, 11-8 (40m)
 Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt [9/16] Velavan Senthilkumar (IND) 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5 (44m)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [5/8] Eleanor Epke (NZL) 11-1, 11-1, 11-3 (16m)
[3/4] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt [5/8] Amina Yousry (EGY) 6-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7 (61m)
[3/4] Rowan Reda Araby (EGY) bt [5/8] Andrea Lee (MAS) 11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8 (48m)
 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [5/8] Amelia Henley (ENG) 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (32m)
Men’s semi-final line-up:
 Saadeldin Abouaish (EGY) v [3/4] Israr Ahmed (PAK)
 Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v [3/4] Youssef Ibrahim Abdallah (EGY)
Women’s semi-final line-up:
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [3/4] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS)
 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) v [3/4] Rowan Reda Araby (EGY)
Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com)