Saturday, February 4, 2023

Kyle Finch keeps busy in Sheffield

The main court at Abbeydale
The main court at Abbeydale

British Junior Open: Day One report
By DONNA HELMER in Sheffield


Youngsters from 33 countries as far away as Malaysia, Hong Kong and Australia travelled to Sheffield to take part in one of the biggest competitions in the junior calendar.

Day one of the competition witnessed a few upsets during round one and two.

The Boys’ Under 19 event went according to seed with the top three sailing through. British Junior Under 19 champion Kyle Finch [5/8] needed all five games and 63 minutes to dispatch Jonathon Lentz (USA) 11/8, 5/11, 9/11, 11/8, 11/3. Finch went on to endure a further thrilling five-setter in round two, and made a remarkable comeback to oust 17/32 seed Darren Rahul Pragasm 8/11, 9/11, 11/2, 11/6, 11/4.

The first round of the Girls’ Under 19 event saw top seed Hania El Hammamy (Egypt) beat South African Noel Lee 3-0 in just 18 minutes. Meanwhile, England’s highest seed Lucy Turmel beat Leanne Herbert to set-up a second round match against 5/8 seed Andrea Lee (Malaysia).

Boys Under 17 top seed Marwan Tarek (Egypt) advanced to the third round with wins against Daniel O’Sullivan (Scotland) and Enrique Moncada (Mexico). Joining Tarek is British Junior National Boys Under 17 champion Nick Wall of Sheffield, who defeated Andrew Shipley (England) and Elliot Hunt (Canada).
Meanwhile 9/16 seed Utkarsh Baheti of India and unseeded Englishman Benjamin Sockett endured an epic five-setter lasting 99 minutes 11/9, 11/4, 8/11, 12/14, 15/13 which saw Baheti prevail.

Meanwhile, in the Girls Under 17 event, the top seeds progressed through including England’s Alice Green, Elise Lazarus and Eve Coxon.

The biggest upset of the day came in the Boys Under 15 event when 17/32 seed Dana Santry (USA) beat 5/8 seed Ishant Shah of Malaysia in 23 minutes winning ‪11/6‬, ‪11/9‬, ‪11/5‬. Meanwhile, top seed Egyptian Yahia El Nawsany sailed through, as did home hero, and recent US Junior Open Champion Sam Todd [3/4].

Meanwhile the Girls’ Under 15 competition witnessed an upset when 3/4 seed Wong Heng Wai (Malaysia) was knocked out by 17/32 seed Nour Ibrahim [Egypt], losing 9/11, 11/5, 11/7, 11/6.

In the Boys Under 13 event, top seed Egyptian Omar Azzam beat Mukunth Gopalakrishnan (USA) 11/6, 11/6, 11/8 in the second round and will face 9/16 Sheryas Mehta of India in the third round.

The Girls Under 13 competition also witnessed an upset when England’s unseeded Olivia Besant beat fellow countryman Amy Royle [9/16] in 23 minutes, winning 11/7, 12/10, 9/11, 11/3 to set up a third round clash against top seed Aira Azman (Malaysia).

View photos from day one on the official website at and keep up with all the action on the official Twitter and Facebook pages: @bjosquash

Pictures courtesy of England Squash 


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