RISING Egyptian star Habiba Mohamed, just 14 years of age, pulled off a shock win in the Malaysian Tour Squash Circuit Grand Finals in Kuala Lumpa to become the youngest ever winner of a WSA title.
The teenager from Alexandria, took down Hong Kong’s Tong Tsz-Wing 11-4, 11-8, 11-6 with an impressive display full of energy, guile and muturity far exceeding her tender years.
Habiba is one of the fastest rising stars in the game, already a three-time British Junior Open champion and semi-finalist at this year’s Women’s World Junior Championship. She now replaces fellow Egyptian Nour El Sherbini as the youngest winner of a WSA trophy.
The final victory looked on the cards after Habiba defeated Malaysia No. 3 Delia Arnold in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Habiba, who stands as tall as Delia, was just too powerful late in the game, winning the match 12-10, 1-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-6 to charge into her first ever WSA Tour final.
And she showed her prowess to take the first set 12-10.
That jolted world No. 31 Delia into action and she stormed back to snatch the next two, 11-1, 11-4.
The teenager however was not fazed and showed her physical side, throwing Delia off focus to take the fourth 11-8 before going one better to finish off the match with aplomb.
“I’m really happy because this is my first time making the final of a WSA event,” said Habiba.
“I’m only 14, so this is a really good experience for me.”
A disappointed Delia said that the turning point came in the fourth set as she lost focus due to a fair bit of pushing and shoving.
“There was some banging around on court and I just lost focus,” said Delia.
“But full credit to her, she played really well and I was just unlucky in the end I guess.
“This is not how I wanted to finish the tournament, especially before the Hong Kong Open (Dec 1-8).
“But I’ll look through the video recording and see what went wrong,” added Delia.
Tong Tsz Wing overcame another Egyptian teenager – Nadine Ayman 11-7, 11-7, 3-11, 11-9, in her semi final.