Canada face mammoth task to qualify for last eight
By KNG ZHENG GUAN, HOWARD HARDING and ALEX WAN – Squash Mad International Correspondents
It’s business as usual as seven of the top eight seeds secured their spots in the quarter-finals of the CIMB Foundation WSF World Junior Team Squash Championships. The only exception is seventh seeds Canada, who suffered a 2-1 defeat to 10th seeds Australia on Monday.
The Canadians did bounce back by beating Japan 3-0 in their Group B tie at the National Squash Centre, Bukit Jalil on Tuesday. But they now face a mammoth task to make the quarter-finals as they need to secure a win against second seeds and hosts Malaysia in their last group game on Wednesday.
Malaysia, meanwhile, continued their romp by blanking Australia 3-0 in their second game.
Aifa Azman, back to action after losing in the semi-finals of the individual competition last Saturday, got the team off to a winning start by beating Alex Haydon 11-3, 11-4, 11-2.
Third string Ooi Kah Yan was briefly troubled by Katie Davies but managed to pull through with an 11-7, 11-9, 11-3 win before Chan Yiwen completed the romp by beating Lee Sze Yu 11-3, 11-4, 11-7.
The hosts are now in a comfortable position to finish as group winners where they will likely meet Group A runners-up Switzerland in the last eight.
“Aifa was in good form today and she didn’t give the Aussies much room to play with. It gives the team a lot of confidence when your No. 1 starts strongly,” said national assistant head coach Andrew Cross.
“Kah Yan on the other hand wasn’t feeling so well. She was vomiting in between games so it explains why her performance was shaky today, but Yiwen played well to finish strongly for us.
“Now we’ll have Canada on Wednesday morning before probably facing Switzerland in the quarter-finals in the evening. We’ll do our best to get ready for two matches with an eye on playing one of the tougher teams in the semi-finals.”
In Group A, top seeds and defending champions Egypt also cruised to their second win by whipping France 3-0. They will wrap up their group matches against the Swiss, who also took their second win by blanking Singapore 3-0.
In Group C, third seeds Hong Kong also safely secured passage into the top eight by beating team debutants Chinese Taipei 3-0 – their third win of the competition. They go up against sixth seeds India to determine the group winner on Wednesday morning.
In Group D, fourth seeds England also earned their third win, beating Sweden 3-0 although third string Katie Wells was taken the full distance before getting past Anna Kaiding 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 3-11, 11-6.
The five-time winners go up against a tricky United States in their last group game in order to determine the group winners.
The US had scored 3-0 wins over South Africa and Korea, and will relish a shot at taking down England in order to get a favourable draw for the quarter-finals.
“We may have gotten through to the quarter-finals but we still want to finish with a win and top the group because it helps us moving forward,” said England coach and former world junior champion Tania Bailey.
“I’m excited to see the No. 1s play. I know the US’ Marina Stefanoni didn’t play so well during the individuals while our Elise (Lazarus) is also a really strong player so that will be an exciting match.
“The first string aside, I know that if my girls play to what I know they can, then they should be able to get past the Americans. It won’t be an easy match but we have trained well and we’re feeling confident going into a tough game.”
The third day will see two matches, the last round of the group matches at 11am followed by the quarter-finals which will start at 6pm.
CIMB Foundation WSF Women’s World Junior Team Squash Championship, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
 EGYPT bt  FRANCE 3/0
Jana Shiha bt Ninon Lemarchand 11-7, 11-4, 11-2
Farida Mohamed bt Yuna Loaec 11-5, 11-8, 11-1
Sana Ibrahim bt Mahe Asensi 11-4, 11-9, 11-1
 SWITZERLAND bt  SINGAPORE 3/0
Ambre Allinckx bt Paige Teresa Hill 11-4, 11-5, 11-5
Cassandra Fitze bt Gracia Chua Rui En 11-5, 11-3, 11-4
Simona Frevel bt Wei Ting Lim 11-5, 11-3, 11-3
 MALAYSIA bt  AUSTRALIA 3/0
Aifa Azman bt Alex Haydon 11-3, 11-4, 11-2
Chan Yiwen bt Sze Yu Lee 11-3, 11-4, 11-7
Ooi Kah Yan bt Katie Davies 11-7, 11-9, 11-3
 CANADA bt  JAPAN 3/0
Charlotte Orcutt bt Erisa Sano Herring 11-8, 11-3, 7-11, 11-8
Molly Chadwick bt Ayumi Watanabe 11-5, 11-4, 11-8
Erica McGillicuddy bt Rafu Takahashi 11-5, 11-7, 11-4
 INDIA bt  IRELAND 3/0
Sanya Vats bt Emma McGugan 8-11, 11-4, 11-2, 11-9
Yoshna Singh bt Emma Lundy 11-7, 12-10, 11-4
Ananya Dabke bt Kelly Byrne 11-6, 11-3, 11-1
 HONG KONG CHINA bt  CHINESE TAIPEI 3/0
Kirstie Po Yui Wong bt Wu Yi-Chen 11-2, 11-4, 11-7
Lee Sum Yuet bt Wang Yuan 11-2, 11-5, 11-1
Heylie Fung bt Hsiao Nai-Wen 11-6, 11-9, 11-0
 INDIA bt  NEW ZEALAND 3/0
Sanya Vats bt Anika Jackson 11-6, 11-9, 11-4
Aishwarya Khubchandani bt Natalie Sayes 11-4, 11-4, 11-4
Ananya Dabke bt Georgia Robcke 11-5, 11-7, 11-6
 IRELAND bt  CHINESE TAIPEI 3/0
Emma McGugan bt Wu Yi-Chen 11-3, 11-5, 11-4
Emma Lundy bt Wang Yuan 11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 9-11, 11-4
Alessia Osborne bt Hsiao Nai-Wen 11-8, 11-4, 11-2
 USA bt  SOUTH AFRICA 3/0
Olivia Robinson bt Faith Panashe Sithole 11-4, 11-5, 11-1
Elisabeth Ross bt Teagan Roux 11-8, 11-4, 11-8
Caroline Spahr bt Helena Coetzee 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7
 ENGLAND bt  SWEDEN 3/0
Elise Lazarus bt Sara Månberg 11-7, 11-4, 11-2
Evie Coxon bt Malin Frank 11-6, 11-3, 11-6
Katie Wells bt Anna Kaiding 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 3-11, 11-6
 USA bt  REPUBLIC OF KOREA 3/0
Marina Stefanoni bt Chae Won Song 11-4, 11-3, 11-9
Olivia Robinson bt Shin Yu Jin 11-6, 11-6, 11-2
Caroline Spahr bt Jang Yea Won 11-3, 11-8, 11-5
 SOUTH AFRICA bt  SWEDEN 2/1
Faith Panashe Sithole lost to Sara Månberg 7-11, 11-7, 5-11, 5-11
Teagan Roux bt Moa Bönnemark 11-9, 11-9, 11-8
Helena Coetzee bt Anna Kaiding 11-3, 11-9, 11-9
Pictures courtesy of #WSFWorldJuniors2019 and Regina Ho