Sunday, May 26, 2024

British Junior Open: Elkalaawy hoping to fulfill ‘ultimate dream’

Nada Elkalaawy targets final hurrah at British Junior Open in Sheffield

World number 98 Nada Elkalaawy is targeting a clean sweep of European junior trophies this year, with the British Junior Open offering the 18-year-old a final opportunity to achieve a life-long ambition.

Nada, the highest-ranked WSA-ranked English player competing in Sheffield, has featured regularly in the year-opening tournament throughout her junior career with the top prize so far eluding the teenager.

But after competing for the first-time on the WSA Tour in 2013, she will be hoping for a change of fortunes when she kick-starts her campaign on Thursday. 

“It has been my ultimate dream to win the BJO title because I’ve played this tournament so many times,” the Surrey-based player told England Squash & Racketball. “The furthest I’ve got was third place [in the 2011 U17 championship].”

The Alexandria-born youngster will need to overcome a litany of Egyptians players to achieve her life-long dream, with the top four seeds hailing from her country of birth. 

But as Elkalaawy explains, she is well acquainted with top seed Mariam Metwally and second seed Yathreb Adel, having played them regularly before relocating to London in 2010. 

“We’ve all played each other so many times whilst I was still back in Egypt and it has always been very close between us,” said the joint fifth seed.

Despite missing the second part of 2013 after suffering a torn ankle ligament and shin splints, Nada made her England debut at the World Junior Championships after a two year wait to receive UK citizenship.

And after stepping up her road to recovery with a quarter-final berth at the London Open last month, the full-time architecture student is already targeting some ambitious objectives for the New Year. 

“My goals for 2014 are winning the British Junior Open, the English Junior Championships and the European Junior Championships,” she revealed. “Also, I want to be in the world’s top 50.”

Source: England Squash & Racketball; Pictures by Steve Cubbins (SquashSite)

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