celebrated a double family triumph as Aira and Aifa Azman became the
first sister act to claim British Junior Open titles in the same
year on an extraordinary finals day, which saw England celebrate two
home titles for the first time in over two decades.
Aira Azman capped off her scintillating run in this year’s
tournament as she claimed a five-game victory in the G15, after
Egypt’s Sana Ibrahim was disqualified for being in sick on court in
It was an unfortunate set of circumstances for the Egyptian second
seed, who had clawed her way back into a nail-biting tie after
recovering from two games down before Azman was handed an 11-8,
11-5, 10-12, 6-11, 4-2 victory.
But her disqualification warranted Azman’s jubilation, as the [5/8]
Malaysian became the lowest-seeded player to taste BJO glory at the
University of Birmingham’s 500-seater arena on Sunday – which will
stage squash at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
And there was more joy for the Azman family as Aira’s older sister,
Aifa claimed her third BJO crown after winning the G17 final with an
11-7, 11-5, 11-9 victory over the USA’s Marina Stefanoni .
was also a good day for England, as Jonah Bryant and Sam Todd
claimed BJO titles in the B13 and B15 finals respectively – the
first time the country has achieved the feat since Iain Higgins won
the B19 and Tania Bailey claimed the G16 in 1995.
Second seed Bryant claimed the biggest global title of his junior
career with a 3-0 triumph over top seed Islam Kouratam in the B13,
wrapping up proceedings 11-2, 11-5, 11-6 in an impressive 22
"I've dreamed about this ever since I got to the semi-finals last
year and lost," said second-seeded Bryant.
"I've trained for 12 months for this tournament so I'm really happy.
"I tried to keep focused as much as possible and if I let the
Egyptian back in he could have won. So I was so happy to keep that
concentration and close it out 3-0."
It means England have now celebrated two B13 champions in the last
three years, with Bryant’s older compatriot Todd having achieved the
feat in 2016.
And it was Todd himself who consolidated on his own BJO success by
securing an 8-11, 16-14, 11-0, 14-12 in 37 minutes victory over
India’s Neel Joshi [3/4].
means Yorkshireman Todd becomes only the second Englishman this
century to win two British junior titles following his under-13
success in 2016 and follows James Willstrop into the record books
after his Pontefract team-mate lifted the under-17 and under-19
titles in 2000 and 2002 respectively.
"I am just so happy. I am now half way to winning all the age groups
and I just want to carry on like James did,” said Todd.
"I had to vary the pace a lot against Neel and reset the rally and
it's something I've been working on back at Pontefract."
Egypt’s Mostafa Asal  had not dropped a single game heading into
his final against top B17 seed Omar El Torkey and maintained that
perfect record with a 3-0 victory over his Egyptian counterpart,
winning 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 to claim his maiden BJO crown.
the G19, Malaysian Sivasangari Subramaniam justified her top seed
status with an entertaining win over Japan’s Satomi Watanabe  to
bring the curtain down on her junior career with a 12-10, 11-7, 11-9
win in just over half an hour.
Marwan Tarek added to the B17 crown he won at last year’s tournament
by sealing a 3-0 victory over Victor Crouin  in the B19, to deny
France a BJO winner. The top seed – who saved two game balls in the
second – battled to an 11-6, 13-11, 11-7 win in 48 minutes.
Elsewhere, Amina Orfi and Ahmed Rashed made history as the No.1
seeds became the first ever juniors to take home a BJO U11 crown.
Orfi overcame her Egyptian counterpart and second seed Janna Galal
11-3, 11-2, 11-1 to celebrate a remarkable tournament in which she
did not drop a game.
It was a harder victory, however, for Rashed, who recovered from a
game down to seal a 3-1 victory over a determined Mohamed Zakaria
[5/8], 9-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-3.
“I feel so excited to have won the first British Junior Open Boy’s
Under 11,” said a relieved Rashed.
“The first game didn’t go very well, but then I thought, ‘I want to
win this British Open – I can do it,’ and I came back in the last
In the G13, Sehveetrraa Kumar won the battle between two [3/4]
finalists, as the Malaysian overcame Fayrouz Abouelkheir (Egy) to
win the title with a 3-0 victory, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9.
“I felt pretty nervous, but I stayed strong and confident,” said a
“I thought I played well, but the opening was quite tough but after
that I thought I could handle it.”
Malaysia had produced four finalists for the first time in the
tournament's 39-year history. And they duly produced a clean sweep
of titles, capped off in superb fashion when highly-rated
Sivasangari Subramaniam ended her junior career with victory in the
girls' under-19 event. Egypt also picked up four titles.
But the day belonged to the sisters from Kedah as Aifa Azman blitzed
to her third British junior title with a commanding straight-game
performance over American top seed Marina Stefanoni, a multiple
junior title winner, to win the girls' under-17 title.
Her younger sister, Aira, also took the girls' under-15 title after
Egypt's Sana Ibrahim was disqualified for being ill on court in the
deciding game of a thrilling match. The pair matched brothers
Mohamed and Marwan Elshorbagy, the Egyptian siblings who won two
boys' BJO titles in 2010.
Aifa, who now steps up to under-19 level, said: "I had to be
confident this time after losing to her two years ago.
"I'm so happy to win this and now I want to win all the age groups.
Having a sister means there is less pressure and we are always there
for each other and before each match. It's a dream."
Earlier, young Malaysian Sehveetrraa Kumar beat Egypt's Fayrouz
Abouelkheir to the girls' under-13 title and signal the greatest day
of her short career.
Egypt certainly didn't have it all their own way during the 2018
edition. For the first time in eight years no Egyptian made the
final of the girls' under-19 showpiece final as Subramaniam beat
Japan's Satomi Watanabe, who was also playing her last junior match.
Meanwhile, the boys' under-19 finalists will surely be facing each
other in future years on the PSA World Tour after Egyptian Marwan
Tarek and Victor Crouin of France set up a repeat of last summer's
world junior championships.
The 17-year-old from Cairo made it a double with a convincing
performance against Crouin, who was aiming to become the first
Frenchman to win a title since Gregory Gaultier in 2001. Victory
made it a Dunlop British Junior Open treble for Tarek.
Earlier, the top two seeds Omar El Torkey and Mostafa Asal contested
the third successive all-Egyptian final in the boys' under-17
category. And it was Asal who prevailed with an explosive 11-4,
11-6, 11-5 victory.
England also enjoyed a successful week as two Englishmen won titles
for the first time since 1995.
Sam Todd won his second BJO title following a composed 3-1 win over
an impressive Neel Joshi of India, while Jonah Bryant took the boys'
In the tournament's first ever under-11 age category, the two finals
proved to be all-Egyptian affairs.
Amina Orfi, the top seed, etched her name into the event's 39-year
record books when she beat compatriot Jana Galal.
Fellow top seed Ahmed Rashed then came back from a game down to beat
Mohamed Zakaria as both players showed unerring skill for such
Day four of the 2018 Dunlop British Junior Open saw two
Englishmen reach a final for the first time in 16 years, after Sam
Todd and Jonah Bryant ensured they were the only English
representatives left to make the finals.
Todd  (right) overpowered Ahmed Marzouk (Egy) [5/8] 3-1 to set up
a last-two encounter in the B15 with India’s Neel Joshi [3/4], who
held his nerve to overcome Malaysia’s Muhammad Amir Amirul Azhar 
Bryant  survived a valiant comeback from Egypt’s Kareem Badawi
[3/4] where he will face another Egyptian in the form of top seed
Islam Kouratam .
It means an English duo have reached the finals for the first time
since James Willstrop and Peter Barker achieved the feat in 2002,
when they both contested the B19 final.
on playing his part in history, Bryant (left) said: "It was tough
going to five after being two-nil up, but I managed to get it back.
He’s [Kareem] really good, I had to keep him at the back or I would
have lost. I’m really happy to be in the final – I’m buzzing to be
All in all, Sunday will see 10 Egyptian players take to the glass
court in a bid for BJO glory, with representation from the North
African country in all but two of the categories – the G17 and the
G19 – while the G11, B11 and B17 categories comprise of all-Egyptian
Sunday’s last round will also feature an exciting sister-act as Aira
and Aifa Azman both triumphed – with [5/8] seed Aira ousting
England’s Katie Maliff [3/4] in a five-game B15 thriller, as she
triumphed over a higher-seeded player than herself for a second
after her victory, Azman (right) said: “It was hard, I was 2-1 down
and then levelled but in the last game I was 8-10 down but I kept
trying to remain positive and managed to turn it around. It's great
to reach the final!"
Sana Ibrahim  awaits Azman in the final, who ousted Habeba El
Dafrawy [3/4] 3-0.
There was further British heartache in the G19 as England’s Elise
Lazarus [5/8] bowed out against Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramaniam
, who marched through to the final where she will face Japan’s
Satomi Watanabe . The Japanese player reached her first BJO final
after dispatching England’s Lucy Turmel [3/4] in a 3-1 victory to
end the British National Junior champion’s hopes.
Meanwhile, the G17, B19, B17 and B13 finals will all be contested by
the top two seeds in each category.
In the G17, Aifa Azman (Mas)  kept the possibility of a double
family BJO celebration as she overpowered Egypt’s Jana Shiha [3/4].
She will be met in the final by high-flying Marina Stefanoni ,
who caused further British upset as she ended Georgia Adderley’s (Sco)
promising run in the tournament with a straight-game victory.
It took top B19 seed Marwan Tarek (Egy) just 31 minutes as he
recorded a comprehensive 3-0 victory over compatriot Mostafe El
Serty [3/4] to keep his hopes of a successive B19 title alive.
Standing in his way will be France’s Victor Crouin , who eased
past Mexico’s Leonel Cardenas [5/8] 3-0 in what will be a repeat of
last year’s B19 final.
The B17 will be a battle between the impressive Omar El Torkey 
and Mostafa Asal .
But it is a rather different story in the G13 category, which will
see two [3/4] seeds lock horns as Fayrouz Abouelkheir toppled her
Egyptian counterpart Lojayn Gohary , coming from a game down to
claim a 3-1 victory. Malaysia’s Sehveetrrra Kuma also stunned second
seed Malak Taha (Egy) in straight games to ensure the G13 is the
only category where neither of the top two seeds feature.
Meanwhile, the BJO’s first ever B11 and G11 finals will consist of
all-Egyptian showdowns. In the boys’ category, Ahmed Rashed  was
made to work by Christian Capella (USA) [5/8], as the Egyptian was
forced to battle from two games down to win 3-2, while Mohamed
Zakaria [5/8] overcame physical battle with Malaysia’s Nickhileswar
And the G11 proceedings went according to seed as the group’s top
two seeds also advanced. No.1 Egyptian seed Amina Orfi kept up her
pristine 3-0 record in the tournament as she overcame America’s
Whitney Wilson [3/4] in straight sets to face compatriot Janna Galal
galvanize Malaysian spirit to secure semi-final showdowns Aira Azman
[5/8] (right) inspired a series of strong Malaysian showings as she
ousted top G15 seed Nour Khaled Aboulmakarim to book her place in
the semi-finals on day three of the 2018 Dunlop British Junior Open
Azman, the 2017 Asian Junior U13 winner, fought back heroically from
a game down to secure a 3-1 victory, winning 5-11, 11-0, 11-7, 11-8
and seal a semi-final spot, where she will meet England’s Katie
It means the G15 category is the only group where the No.1 seed does
not feature in the last four.
The quarter-final day also saw five British players seal semi-final
spots, while Malaysia also celebrated the same number who remain in
contention to reach Sunday’s final.
was double family joy as Azman’s older sister Aifa (left) also
progressed in the G17, where the second seed will face Jana Shila (Egy)
[3/4]. Elsewhere in the group, current British National Junior U17
champion Georgia Adderley (Sco) [3/4] earned a 3-1 triumph over
China’s Chan Sin Yuk [5/8] and awaits what promises to be an
exciting showdown with top seed Marina Stefanoni (USA).
continued to dominate the B19, where British National U19 champion
Tom Walsh [5/8] came up short against Mostafa El Serty [3/4] in his
quarter-final five-game thriller. El Serty will face a tough task in
last year’s champion Marwan Tarek , who looks in pole position to
defend his crown – having yet to drop a game in the tournament.
Victor Crouin is the only male French player to feature in a BJO
semi-final, where he faces [5/8] Leonel Cardenas (above), the
current US Junior Open U19 champion.
G19 is the only category where an Egyptian player does not feature –
and home fans will have much to cheer about after English duo Elise
Lazarus [5/8] and Lucy Turmel [3/4] (left) advanced to the last
four. British National U19 champion Turmel faces an in-form Satomi
Watanabe (Jap)  who ensured there would be no hat-trick of
English women by overpowering Jasmine Hutton [5/8] in straight
games, while Lazarus will face No.1 seed Sivasangari Subramaniam.
Tushar Shahani (Ind) [9/16] remains the lowest-ranked seed to reach
a BJO 2018 semi-final, where he will face high-flying Omar El Torkey
 who has set to drop a game in the B17, while El Torkey’s
compatriots Yehia Hesham Fathy Elnawasany [5/8] and Mostafa Asal 
will do battle for a final spot.
Double US Junior Open champion Sam Todd (Eng) cruised through to the
B15 last four and confirmed his status as favourite to win the
group. The Englishman will meet Egypt’s Ahmed Marzouk in the last
four, after the [3/4] seed halted India’s Arnaav Sareen’s [17/32]
fairy tale run in the tournament with a feisty 3-1 victory.
Meanwhile, the other G15 semi-final promises to be a hotly-contested
all-Egyptian affair, as Habeba el Dafrawy [3/4] takes on Sana
In the G13, Loyjayn Gohary  overcame her Egyptian counterpart
Alya Omar [5/8] to set up another compatriot encounter with Fayrouz
Abouelkheir [3/4], while Malak Taha (Egy)  set up a clash with
Malaysian Sehveetrraa Kumar [3/4].
Pakistan’s Muhammad Humza Khan [5/8] produced a mesmerising
performance in the B13, battling all the way to claim an epic
five-game thriller against Omar Azzam [3/4] as he ousted the
Egyptian 8-11,11-9, 11-9, 2-11, 11-8 to seal a last four spot
against top seed Islam Kouratam.
And Jonah Bryant  ensured there will be an English representative
elsewhere in the group, with Kareem Badawi (Egy) [3/4] standing in
his way of reaching the final.
Ahmed Rashed  sailed through to the last four in the B11, where
he will face England’s Dylan Roberts [5/8], while the USA’s
Christian Capella [5/8], will play Malaysia’s Lee Hong Wong [3/4].
France’s Lauren Baltayan [5/8] is the only European representative
left in the G11, after overcoming Charlie McCrone [3/4] to advance
to the semi-final stage. She will play second seed Janna Galal (Egy).
Elsewhere in the G11, top Egyptian seed Amina Orfi kept up her
pristine 3-0 record so far in the competition and will face
Malaysia’s Whitney Wilson [3/4] for a place in Sunday’s final.
Day two of the Dunlop British Junior Open confirmed the dominance of
junior Egyptian squash, after at least one player from the country
reached each of the quarter-finals across the tournament’s ten
A total of 35 players from the North African country will battle it
out on day three of the tournament in Birmingham, with a remarkable
eight ties featuring all-Egyptian duels.
The G13 sees no fewer than five Egyptians reach the third round,
while the G19 sees the poorest representation of the country with
Ingy Hammouda [3/4] the sole candidate left flying the flag.
Top seed Marwan Tarek remains on course to defend his B19 crown as
the 2017 champion sailed through to the quarter-finals, where he
will face compatriot Mostafa Montaser (Egy) [5/8]. British Junior
champion Tom Walsh [5/8] (right) also reached the last-eight, as did Victor Crouin (Fra) , who ended Nick Wall’s hopes with a 3-0 triumph to
equal his best ever run in the tournament.
The G19 features a strong contingent of English women with Lucy
Turmel [3/4], (left) Elise Lazarus [5/8] and Jasmine Hutton [5/8] all still
in the running. Lazarus will face Ingy Hammouda [3/4]. Meanwhile,
Hutton set up a date with Japan’s Satomi Watanabe , who continues
her fine form following her best showing at the recent World
Championships in Manchester.
Elsewhere, 2017 British Junior champion Georgia Adderley (Sco) [3/4]
joins England’s Alice Green [5/8] as the last two Brits standing in
the G17. Green faces a tough battle against 2016 BJO winner Aifa
Azman (Mal) , while No.1 seed Marina Stefanino (USA) 
confidently booked her place in the last-eight with a convincing
straight-game victory over Shenha Sivakumar (Sing) [9/16].
High-flyer Omar Torkey (Egy)  has yet to drop a game in the B17
and will aim to maintain that pristine record against England’s
Jared Carter [9/16]. Hot on both their heels will be Egypt’s Mostafa
Asal , while at least one Indian player is guaranteed to reach
the semi-finals, as Saksham Choudhary [9/16] and Tushar Shahani
[9/16] prepare to battle it out against each other after dispatching
Malaysia’s Shahrul Izham Nurhaqiem [3/4] and England’s Lewis
Anderson [5/8] respectively in Round 4.
Meanwhile, last year’s finalist Sam Osborne-Wylde (Eng) [9/16] could
not avenge his BJO heartache in a repeat of the 2017 final against
winner Ireland’s Denis Gilevskiy [5/8], who set up a last eight
showdown with Muhammad Amir Amirul Azharin (Mal)  in the B15
after he fought from a game down to edge Ismail Mansour [9/16] 3-1.
Nour Aboelmkarem 
(right) spearheads the Egyptian charge alongside
compatriot and 2016 champion Sana Mahmoud Ibrahim  in the G15.
The top seed is set to face an intriguing match-up with Malaysia’s
Aira Azman [5/8], while Kirstie Po Yui Wong (Hk) [17/32] could
produce the biggest shock of the tournament yet when she faces
England’s Katie Maliff [3/4].
The G13 boasts the highest contingent of Egyptian players as the
country dominating the quarter-finals with five players, while
American Khushi Kukadia [9/16] and Malaysain pair Sehveetrraa Kumar
[3/4] and Thanusaa Uthrian [5/8] will be bidding to end their
Egypt’s Islam Kouratam  and England’s Jonah Bryant  wasted no
time in securing their last-eight berths in the B13, where the top
Egyptian seed faces qualifier Muhammed Ammad (Pak), who has enjoyed
a superb run in the tournament so far. Bryant will face Hong Kong’s
Jat Tse [17/32] who is also playing some impressive squash.
Meanwhile, the G11 last-eight features a quartet of Egyptians who
will battle it out for a semi-final spot – including top seed Amina
Orfi – while home hero, Charlie McCrone [3/4] will fly the flag for
England when she locks horns with France’s Lauren Baltayan [5/8] in
the only last-eight European tie.
And the top five seeds in the B11 complete an exciting quarter-final
line up which has it all – an all-Egyptian showdown, two home hopes
in Englishmen Jude Gibbins and Dylan Roberts while Christian Capella
(USA) [5/8] – the lowest ranked player left in the group – will
relish his underdog status to rattle Malaysia’s Lee Hong Wong [3/4].
opening day of the Dunlop British Junior Open (BJO) saw an array of
thrills and spills as 620 budding young squash stars took to the
courts across Birmingham to welcome the 2018 edition of the historic
tournament in style.
Youngsters from 39 countries as far away as the USA and Australia
travelled to the BJO’s new home in Birmingham, to begin their quest
to become British Junior Open champion.
Day one culminated in a mixture of comprehensive victories, cagey
openings and minor upsets across the competition’s 10 categories,
including the inaugural Under 11s.
were no significant surprises at the top of the tree in the B19, as
No.1 seed Marwan Tarek (right) safely secured his third round berth
with a 3-0 triumph over Australia’s Nicholas Calvert, while the
Egyptian’s compatriot, Ahmed Elmashad  also followed suit with a
straight-game victory over Spain’s Pablo Quintana Estevez.
Ireland’s Patrick McElroy [17/32] ousted Pakistan’s unseeded Zeeshan
Zeb 11-6, 14-12, 5-11, 12-10 in a four-game thriller which lasted an
hour on court, but there was better news for Zeb’s countryman
Mansoor Zaman Jnr, as the unseeded player produced a dominant
performance to secure a 3-0 victory over England’s Curtis Malik
[9/16] in straight games.
It was a positive first day from the B19 English contingent, with
2017 BJC champion Tom Walsh [5/8] (left) easing to a 11-3, 11-9, 11-3
victory over Spain’s Sartus James Hall, while James Whyatt [17/32]
and Adam Corcoran [9/16] also progressed.
The USA stole the limelight in the G19, as Elizabeth Lentz [17/32]
ended Egypt’s Zeina Khaled’s hopes [5/8] of progressing, coming out
on top in straight games.
And there was more cheer for Lentz’s compatriot, Claire Aube, who
defeated Ashita Benghra (Ind) [9/16] 3-2.
Top Egyptian seeds Omar El Torkey  Mostafa Asal  and Aly
Eltokhy [3/4] all enjoyed victories in the B17, where they will be
joined by compatriot Karim Abelalim [5/8] and Malaysia’s Shahrul
Izham Nurhaqiem [3/4], while BJC U17 winner England’s Lewis Anderson
[5/8] saw off Wee Ming Hock of China 11-7, 11-7, 11-6.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Adele On Ying Fung [17/32] produced a minor
upset in the G17 with a 3-0 victory over England’s Engy Aly [9/16],
while Jessica Keng Jia Hui (Mas) [17/32] also caused an upset by
beating Italy’s Cristina Tartarone [9/16] in straight games.
But there were comprehensive victories for Scotland’s Georgia
Adderley [3/4], Malaysia’s Aifa Azman  and Egypt’s Jana Shila
[3/4], who all made it through.
the B15, top seed and double US Junior Open champion Sam Todd (left)
secured a third round berth with a comfortable 3-0 victory over
Belgium’s Nathan Masset, while Joachim Han Wen Chuah (May) [17/32]
had to muster every last ounce of energy as he saw off Ville
Ruismäki (Fin) in an epic five-game encounter, 5-11, 11-4, 11-4,
Elsewhere, it took Egypt’s Ahmed Aly [3/4] just 15 minutes to wrap
up proceedings 11-1, 11-1, 11-0 over Junaid Khan (Pak), while South
Africa’s unseeded Dean Venter held his nerve to defeat Ameeshenraj
Chandaran (Mal) [17/32] in just over an hour, coming through 11-8,
11-9, 8-11, 11-13, 13-11.
And in the G15, England’s Amy Pullen [17/32] came from a game down
in a scintillating English duel with BJC U13 champion Asia Harris
(Eng) [9/16], edging through 3-2.
In the lower age groups, the G13 saw Aishwarya Khubchandani (Ind)
[17/32] beat Renee Wing Wu (Hkg) [9/16] 11-7, 11-13, 11-6, 11-3,
while unseeded B13 competitor Muhammad Ammad (Pak) ousted Yusuf
Sheikh (Eng) [5/8] 11-4, 11-2, 11-7 in one of the biggest upsets of
There was another surprise when unseeded B13 contender Javier Emilio
Romo Lopez (Ecu) secured a sensational 3-2 win over Mason Menin
Meanwhile, in the inaugural Under 11s category, all the top seeds
sailed through bar 9/16 seed Blake Lee (USA) who was ousted by Abdul
Fahmi Abd Basir (Mas) following a topsy turvy five-setter 11-6,
9-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-5.