Thursday, November 30, 2023

England’s Asia Harris meets top seed after surviving scare in World Juniors

By JANE BALL (Squash Mad Reporter)

England’s Asia Harris narrowly avoided a surprise defeat in the 2022 WSF World Junior Championships in Nancy when she beat Canada’s Maria Min 3-2 after going two games down and overturning two match balls.

Harris meets top seed Kenzy Ayman of Egypt in the last 16 and knows she will need to avoid the kind of slow start that could have produced costly against Min.

England’s 9/16 seed Harris started slowly and Min had taken a deserved two game lead before the World No.121 from Yorkshire struck back with a crushing 11-1 win in game three.

Despite what should have been a morale-boosting win in that third game, Harris was in deep trouble as she slipped to 9-4 down in the fourth, before eventually recovering – saving two match balls along the way – to level with a 12-10 win before edging the tightest of fifth games with another 12-10.

Afterwards, Harris said: “I’ve always been quite a good fighter and I think going two games down actually helps in the long run because it makes me think ‘there’s an opportunity here and I’m going to lose if I don’t buck my ideas up.’

“So to be two game balls down and two match balls down, I think I’ll benefit a lot from this and it’s something to take into my next games.”

Elsewhere in the women’s draw it was a comfortable day for the top seeds, who all progressed to the next round tomorrow courtesy of 3-0 wins, with the Egyptian trio of Ayman, Amina Orfi and Fayrouz Aboelkheir beating Belgium’s Chloe Crabbe, France’s Lauren Baltayan, and England’s Amelie Haworth.

Malaysia’s Aira Azman beat the USA’s Kyushu Kukadia to set up an all-Malaysia clash with 9/16 seed Sehveetrraa Kumar.

British Junior Open champion Torrie Malik (seeded 5/8) meets Anahat Singh today with the 14-year-old sensation fresh from her appearance for India at the Commonwealth Games.

Malik enjoyed a comfortable straight-games win over Spain’s Ona Blasco, 11-7, 11-5, 13-11, while Singh (9/16) beat England’s Emma Bartley 11-5, 11-4, 11-8.

Juan Jose Torres Lara of Colombia downs Egypt’s 3/4 seed Kareem El Torkey in Nancy

Juan Jose Torres Lara produced the shock of the tournament so far as the unseeded Colombian stunned Egypt’s 3/4 seed Kareem El Torkey 3-2 in a rollercoaster encounter to progress to the last 16 of the 2022 WSF World Junior Championships.

Torres, 17, had looked impressive in a 3-0 win over Canada’s Joseph Tooth on Thursday and yesterday his form went up another level as the World No.630 made the perfect start to recover from 9-8 down to an 11-9 winner in the opening game.

The second game, too, went to 9-9, before Torres forced his way into a morale-boosting 2-0 lead with a second 11-9 win.

El Torkey came back well and won the next two games 11-7 and 11-4 to take the match into a fifth.

The Egyptian seemed to have weathered the storm and looked set to complete the recovery when he led 8-4 in the fifth game.

Torres, however, dug in and took advantage of mistakes from the Egyptian to pull back from 9-7 down to an 11-9 win, sparking wild celebrations from the Colombia bench.

Torres said: “I love my country, I’m so proud of it and I feel that helps me a lot. Especially in tournaments like this, where Egypt is normally the best country, beating them with my country (name) on my back helps motivate me so much.

“I’m of course feeling tired, but so happy and excited for the next match. I played really good in the first two games, but then my fitness went a bit and he was gaining confidence, but then in the last game I gained confidence again, I started playing my game and figured out a way to win. The crowd was helping me a lot.”

Torres will face Krishna Mishra in the last 16 after the Indian came back from two games down to beat the USA’s Tad Carney 3-2.

Elsewhere, the top two seeds, Pakistan pairing Hamza Khan and Noor Zaman, safely progressed to the next round, with Khan comfortably beating Korea’s Joo Young Na and Zaman coming from one game down to edge past Switzerland’s David Bernet 3-2.

The last of the top seeds, 3/4 seed Finlay Withington of England, recorded a comfortable 3-0 win over Hong Hong’s Tsz Shing Tam to set up a last 16 clash with India’s 9/16 seed Arnaav Sareen.

England’s Jonah Bryant (9/16) fought back from 2-1 down in games to beat France’s Melvil Scianimanico 11-8 in the fifth.

Ireland’s Denis Gilevskiy powered past Oscar Curtis of Australia and meets 5/8 seed Rowan Damming of The Netherlands.

For the hosts, 9/16 seed Brice Nicolas will carry the hopes of the home crowd as the sole French player left in either draw after he beat Canada’s Jacob Lin 3-0.

2022 WSF World Junior Championship, Nancy, France.

Results, 2022 WSF Men’s World Junior Championship, Round of 32:

[1] Mohammad Hamza Khan (PAK) bt Joo Young Na (KOR) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-4
[9/16] Ameeshenraj Chandaran (MAS) bt Muhammad Ashab Irfan (PAK) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-6
[9/16] Jonah Bryant (ENG) bt Melvil Scianimanico (FRA) 3-2: 11-6, 9-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8
[5/8] Mohammed Nasser (EGY) bt Javier Emilio Romo Lopez (ECU) 3-1: 11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 11-4
[5/8] Joachim Chuah (MAS) bt Joe Smythe (NZL) 3-0: 11-7, 11-2, 11-2
[9/16] Sam Osborne-Wylde (ENG) bt Karim Michael (CAN) 3-0: 11-2, 12-10, 11-8
[9/16] Arnaav Sareen (IND) bt Antonin Romieu (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-2, 11-8
[¾] Finnlay Withington (ENG) bt Avi Agarwal (USA) 3-1: 11-7, 5-11, 11-5, 11-6
Juan Jose Torres Lara (COL) bt [¾] Kareem El Torkey (EGY) 3-2: 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 4-11, 11-9
Krishna Mishra (IND) bt Tad Carney (USA) 3-2: 12-14, 3-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-3
[9/16] Denis Gilevskiy (IRL) bt Oscar Curtis (AUS) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-4
[5/8] Rowan Damming (NED) bt Franklyn Smith (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7
Salman Khalil (EGY) bt [5/8] Omar Said Sobhy (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-6
[9/16] Mohamed Zakaria (EGY) bt Laszlo Godde (FRA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-5
[9/16] Brice Nicolas (FRA) bt Jacob Lin (CAN) 3-1: 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10
[2] Noor Zaman (PAK) bt David Bernet (SUI) 3-2: 8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 4-11, 11-4

Results: 2022 WSF Women’s World Junior Championship, Round of 32:

[1] Kenzy Ayman (EGY) bt Chloe Crabbe (BEL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-2
[9/16] Asia Harris (ENG) bt Maria Min (CAN) 3-2: 6-11, 8-11, 11-1, 12-10, 12-10
[9/16] Xin Ying Yee (MAS) bt Moa Bonnemark (SWE) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-7
[5/8] Saran Nghiem (ENG) bt Noa Romero Blazquez (ESP) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-3
[5/8] Salma El Tayeb (EGY) bt Tse Yee Lam Toby (HKG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-6
[9/16] Nardine Sameh Garas (EGY) bt Savannah Margot Ingledew (RSA) 3-0: 11-1, 11-4, 11-6
[9/16] Sehveetrraa Kumar (MAS) bt Yuvna Gupta (IND) 3-0: 11-4, 11-4, 11-8
[¾] Aira Azman (MAS) bt Khushi Kukadia (USA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-8
[¾] Fayrouz Abouelkheir (EGY) bt Amelie Haworth (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-4
[9/16] Lucie Stefanoni (USA) bt Aishwarya Khubchandani (IND) 3-1: 10-12, 11-5, 8-11, 5-11
[9/16] Anahat Singh (IND) bt Emma Bartley (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-8
[5/8] Torrie Malik (ENG) bt Ona Blasco (ESP) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 13-11
[5/8] Malak Khafagy (EGY) bt Madison Lyon (AUS) 3-0: 12-10, 11-8, 11-3
[9/16] Kirstie Po Yui Wong (HKG) bt Ocean Ma (CAN) 3-1: 7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7
[9/16] Caroline Fouts (USA) bt Akari Midorikawa (JPN) 3-1: 7-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-9
[2] Amina Orfi (EGY) bt Lauren Baltayan (FRA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-3, 11-3

2022 WSF Men’s World Junior Championship, Round of 16:

(1) Mohammad Hamza Khan (PAK) v [9/16] Ameeshenraj Chandaran (MAS)
[9/16] Jonah Bryant (ENG) v [5/8] Mohammed Nasser (EGY)
[5/8] Joachim Chuah (MAS) v [9/16] Sam Osborne-Wylde (ENG)
[9/16] Arnaav Sareen (IND) v [¾] Finnlay Withington (ENG)
Juan Jose Torres Lara (COL) v Krishna Mishra (IND)
[9/16] Denis Gilevskiy (IRL) v [5/8] Rowan Damming (NED)
Salman Khalil (EGY) v [9/16] Mohamed Zakaria (EGY)
[9/16] Brice Nicolas (FRA) v [2] Noor Zaman (PAK)

2022 WSF Women’s World Junior Championship, Round of 16:

[1] Kenzy Ayman (EGY) v [9/16] Asia Harris (ENG)
[9/16] Xin Ying Yee (MAS) v [5/8] Saran Nghiem (ENG)
[5/8] Salma El Tayeb (EGY) v [9/16] Nardine Sameh Garas (EGY)
[9/16] Sehveetrraa Kumar (MAS) v [¾] Aira Azman (MAS)
[¾] Fayrouz Abouelkheir (EGY) v [9/16] Lucie Stefanoni (USA)
[9/16] Anahat Singh (IND) v [5/8] Torrie Malik (ENG):
[5/8] Malak Khafagy (EGY) v [9/16] Kirstie Po Yui Wong (HKG)
[9/16] Caroline Fouts (USA) v [2] Amina Orfi (EGY)

Pictures courtesy of World Squash Federation 


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