Five nations shared the spoils at the 2019 Dunlop British Junior Open
finals in Birmingham today as players from Egypt, Malaysia, England,
India and the USA lifted the coveted titles.
Egyptian players claimed five of the trophies on offer, while Malaysia
won two, and there was one apiece for England, India and the USA.
The home crowd’s first opportunity to cheer on one of three Englishmen
contesting a final arrived when Warwickshire’s Abd-Allah Eissa took to
the court in the U13 competition.
And in a pulsating contest that lasted just a minute under an hour, the
second seed edged out Malaysia’s [5/8] Harith Danial Jefri by the odd
game in five (11-7, 9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 14-12), to ensure that the title,
held by Jonah Bryant of Sussex, stayed firmly in English hands for a
second year running.
“That’s the most exciting and nerve-wracking final I’ve ever played,”
admitted a breathless but happy Eissa afterwards.
“I worked really hard. He’s a good player. I had to really push to the
England’s two other hopes were ultimately dashed at the hands of
top-seeded Egyptians, as Yorkshiremen Sam Todd and Nick Wall fell
respectively to Yehia Elnawasany and Mostafa Asal - albeit, in each
case, following a valiant effort and before a passionate crowd.
Second seed Todd went two-up in the U17 final against an opponent who,
like him, had previously claimed the U13 and U15 titles. But Elnawasany
made up a points deficit to claim the third, before giving Todd few
chances in the fourth, and winning the fifth - again from behind - to
become champion just three days before his 17th birthday.
“When I won, I couldn’t believe it,” said Elnawasany after completing
his comeback, “but it feels amazing.
“I had to change my game plan and play more defensively. It was very
tough to do that, but I’m glad I managed.”
Current British National Junior champion [3/4] Wall featured in an U19
final that, for him, produced a fifth successive 3-1 scoreline - only
this time, alas, not in his favour, as reigning U17 champion Asal
produced some typically powerful and composed play to prevail 11-4,
11-7, 4-11, 11-5 in 38 minutes.
Egypt’s three other successes emerged in girls finals - with former U13
winner  Salma El Tayeb upsetting the odds in the U15 event by edging
out reigning champion, and top seed, Aira Azman of Malaysia 3-2: 11-8,
9-11, 7-11, 15-13, 11-7.
The other two came from all-Egyptian contests, as top seeds Hania El
Hammamy (U19) and Amina Orfi (U13) defeated their second-seeded
compatriots, Jana Shiha and Fayrouz Abouelkheir in straight games - and,
in both cases, over 26 minutes.
India’s victory provided one of the day’s biggest upsets, as Anahat
Singh, seeded 3/4 in the Girls’ U11 event, triumphed 3-1 (13-11, 11-9,
7-11, 11-9) over top seed Whitney Wilson of Malaysia, who had dropped
only one game on her way to the final.
Meanwhile, Wilson’s compatriot Nickhileswar Moganasundharam justified
his top seeding in the Boys’ U11 final, defeating second seed, Egyptian
Chris Baddour in four: 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6.
Malaysia’s second title in the Boys’ U15 event was rather less expected
- with 5/8 seed Ammeshenraj Chandaran coming from behind to prevail 3-1
(8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7) against the top-seeded Irish player, and 2016
U13 champion, Denis Gilevskiy.
Last, but by no means least, top seed Marina Stefanoni became the first
American girl in 17 years to claim the Girls’ U17 title, after beating
Hong Kong’s Chan Sin-yuk [3/4] in four games: 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-5.
“I feel really good,” exclaimed Stefanoni, who was beaten in the 2018
final by Aifa Azman of Malaysia.
“I’ve played this tournament a bunch of times, and been in the finals
three times, so it’s great to finally clinch the title.
“This is definitely my biggest title, 100 per cent. It’s the biggest
tournament in the world, so it feels great.”
Day four of the Dunlop British Junior Open (BJO) in Birmingham
culminated in a series of sensational semi-final showdowns as 40 players
representing nine nations locked horns for a place in the finals of the
world’s most prestigious junior squash tournament.
20 players representing seven countries will contest ten titles at the
University of Birmingham tomorrow from the Under 11s through to the
Having started the day with 20 semi-finalists, Egypt remain the leading
nation across the 10 age categories with eight representatives - and
will be guaranteed at least two titles, with the Girls’ Under 13 and
Under 19 finals being all-Egyptian affairs.
But Malaysia enjoyed a proportionately healthier return, after seeing
five of its seven players get through the last four, while home
supporters were jubilant on witnessing three of the five English hopes
Major upsets were relatively thin on the ground, as all nine remaining
top seeds prevailed - although two of them were taken to five games by
Egyptian opponents, with Denis Gilevskiy from Ireland, eventually
prevailing against [5/8] Kareem El Torkey 11-5, 7-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-5
in the Boys’ Under 15 event, and US hope for the Girls’ Under 17 crown,
Marina Stefanoni, edging out [3/4] Nour Khaled Aboulmakarim 9-11, 12-10,
11-9, 8-11, 11-6.
A relieved Stefanoni, who was beaten in the 2018 final said: “That was
tough! I just had to forget about the score and concentrate on my game.
It’s good to be in the final again, let’s see if I can win it this
The American will face Asian number one [3/4] Chan Sin-yuk of Hong Kong,
who was one of two competitors to knock out an Egyptian second seed in
four games - in Sin Yuk’s case, Sana Ibrahim: 11-5, 9-11, 14-12, 11-7.
Anahat Singh seeded 3/4 from India, emulated the feat in the Girls’
Under 11 event - beating Sohayla Hazem Farouk 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9.
Ten other runners-up or champions from earlier years have made it
through to finals day in six of the categories - including the Girls’
Under 13 event, which pits last year’s Under 11 winner  Amina Orfi
against the beaten Under 13 finalist of 2018, and fellow Egyptian, 
Fayrouz Abouelkheir, who today needed four games to dispatch compatriot
[3/4] Salma Elsheikh 7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5.
“I had to fight after losing the first,” said Abouelkheir, “so I’m
really glad to be back in the final. I’m hoping to go one better this
Meanwhile, Aira Azman, the top seed in the Girls’ Under 15s event earned
the opportunity to defend her title, after defeating England’s [5/8]
Torrie Malik in straight games 12-10, 12-10, 11-3 and set up a final
with the 2016 Under 13 champion, Egyptian  Salma El Tayeb.
Azman, from Malaysia acknowledged: “Being the defending champion adds
some pressure of course, but it makes you more determined at the same
This sentiment would no doubt strike a chord with the Egyptian  Hania
El Hammamy, whose appearance in the Girls’ Under 19 final will see her
strive for a remarkable fifth British Junior Open title - having
previously lifted the Under 19 trophy two years ago, as well as the
Under 13, Under 15 and Under 17 events between 2013 and 2016.
England’s representatives are all boys - with Abd-Allah Eissa, Sam Todd
and Nick Wall reaching the last two of the Under 13, Under 17 and Under
Second seed Eissa produced a masterclass to beat French opponent [5/8]
Antonin Romieu in straight games: 11-6, 11-3, 11-3. Eissa sets up a
final showdown with Malaysian Harith Danial Jefri and will contest the
title won last year by Sussex’s Jonah Bryant.
Eissa commented: “It was certainly my best match of the tournament, I
was sharper and there was more structure to my game. There’s a bit of
pressure, but I’ll be trying my best to keep the title in English
Yorkshire’s Todd, meanwhile, will face Egyptian top seed Yehia
Elnawasany in the Boy’s Under 17 final, as he strives to add a third
title to his BJO collection. Todd was made to work for his place in the
final by Egyptian [3/4] Karim Abdelim Elbarbary. In what was arguably
the match of the day, Todd found himself two-down, before recovering to
prevail: 6-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-8.
“I had a slow start and let him get a two-nil lead,” he said, “but came
out stronger in the next two games.
“The adrenaline kicked in in the fifth, and the crowd really got behind
me which spurred me on even more.”
In the day’s last tie, [3/4] Wall, also from Yorkshire, was taken to
four games in the Boys Under 19s, before triumphing over Siow Yee Xian
(5/8) of Malaysia 11-6, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9.
Wall, who will be looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow
Yorkshireman James Willstrop - the last ever Englishman to lift the
Drysdale Cup in 2002 - said: “I was happy with my performance and how I
kept my head together even when things weren’t going my way, especially
in the fourth at 8-4 down.
“This is my first BJO final and it’s something I’ve always set my sights
on so it means a great deal to reach it. It will be my last ever match
as a junior and I will be putting everything I have into the match.”
Wall will now face Egyptian top seed and last year’s Under 17 champion,
Mostafa Asal, in what will be a repeat of their 2017 BJO showdown in
which Wall prevailed.
Day three of the Dunlop British Junior Open in Birmingham saw 40 juniors
from nine nations seal semi-final berths with more than three-quarters
of the field being Egyptian, Malaysian or English.
Egypt leads the field with 20 semi-finalists, followed by Malaysia with
seven, hosts England with five, India and Pakistan with two and Hong
Kong, USA, France and Ireland with one.
All but one of the top seeds made it through, with the top four seeded
players winning in five of the 10 categories, while Egypt continued to
dominate much of the main draw and seal precisely half of all the slots
Twenty Egyptian boys and girls were victorious in their quarter-final
ties at the University of Birmingham, and will feature in the last four
of every age-category excluding the Boys’ Under 13 competition.
Interestingly, the Boys’ Under 13 event was the only one in which the
top seed - from Egypt - was ousted, as Taha Ibrahim fell in straight
games (4-11, 5-11, 6-11) to [5/8] Harith Danial Jefri , one of seven
Malaysian players to reach the semis.
The other major upset of the day also saw the unexpected defeat of an
Egyptian - with Boys’ Under 17 outsider [9/16] Haris Qasim from
Pakistan, edging [3/4] Ibrahim Mohamed Ibrahim in five: 11-5, 11-9,
4-11, 3-11, 11-7 and become the lowest-ranked player remaining in the
Five of the categories proceeded exactly as their respective seedings
had intended, with the Boys’ Under 11 and Girls’ Under 11, Under 13,
Under 17 and Under 19 categories all featuring victories for the four
top-ranked players. Egypt is guaranteed an eventual champion in at least
one of those, given that a quartet of its representatives make up the
entire Girls’ Under 13 last four.
England is the third-best represented nation in the semis, with five
home players now within touching distance of places in Sunday’s finals.
Boys’ Under 13 second seed Abd-Allah Eissa (Warwickshire) is now the
highest-ranked remaining player in the category, after seeing off a
spirited challenge from Pakistan’s [9/16] Anas Ali Syed, and holding his
nerve in a tight second and third game to prevail 3-0: 11-6, 12-10,
Torrie Malik of Sussex seeded [5/8] , won a tense five-game thriller:
12-10, 11-9, 6-11, 5-11, 11-3 in the Girls’ Under 15 category to book
her place in the last four at the expense of higher-ranked Egyptian hope
The Girls’ Under 19 competition saw [3/4] Elise Lazarus reach the
semi-final stage for the second year running. On this occasion, the
Essex player did so by winning 3-1 (11-4, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5) against
Malaysia's [9/16] Kah Yan Ooi.
And Yorkshiremen Sam Todd and Nick Wall will be gunning for glory in the
Boys’ Under 17 and Under 19 events respectively.
Second seed Todd, who already has the Under 15 and Under 13 titles to
his name, dispatched [5/8] Muhammad Amir Amirul Azhar of Malaysia in
straight games: 11-6, 11-8, 14-12. Meanwhile, in the last match of the
day, [5/8] Wall justified his last-four seeding with a 3-1 defeat of
Mexican [5/8] Leonel Cardenas: 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5.
Day two of the Dunlop British Junior Open in Birmingham saw Egypt and
Malaysia reaffirm their dominance on the world junior stage and
collectively seal 50 quarter-final spots across ten age categories.
A total of 33 juniors from Egypt and 17 from Malaysia will contest their
place in the last four, and will see Egyptian representation across all
of the ten age categories.
History was made in the Girls’ Under 19 event as Malaysian Kah Yan Ooi
[9/16] defied her seeding by edging [5/8] Georgia Adderley of Scotland
and join Aifa Azman and Chan Yiwen as part of the first trio of
Malaysians ever to reach the age category’s last eight.
Meanwhile, Czech Republic’s Ondrej Vorlícek and Viktor Byrtus remarkably
became the first two Czechs ever to reach a British Junior Open Boys’
Under 19 quarter-final.
In perhaps the biggest upset of the day, giantkiller Vorlícek [17/32]
ousted Boy’s Under 19 second seed Mostafa El Serty of Egypt in an
absorbing contest that lasted an hour and two minutes: 11-6, 6-11, 9-11,
11-8, 11-13. Vorlícek later went on to dispatch local hero [17/32] Josh
Owen in another thrilling five-setter: 11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-5.
Another major upset saw El Serty’s compatriot Ismail Mansour  fall at
the hands of USA’s [17/32] Lachlan Sutton in the Boys’ Under 15s despite
a two-nil lead. A close third was claimed by Sutton, who then proceeded
to maintain the momentum with victories in the fourth and fifth: 5-11,
8-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-9.
Elsewhere, unseeded Dutchman Rowan Damming, who claimed day one’s major
scalp in his defeat of England’s [3/4] Jonah Bryant, could not repeat
his Under 15 heroics, going down in straight games to American [33/64]
Mukunth Gopalakrishnan: 4-11, 8-11, 1-11.
In contrast to the earlier part of the day, major upsets were lacking as
all 18 surviving first and second seeds won in straight games to
progress, without undue fuss, to their respective quarter-finals.
Birmingham opened 22 of its courts to the junior squash world, as the
2019 Dunlop British Junior Open got under way at four venues across the
West Midlands city.
With more than 750 boys and girls from 50 nations competing across the
prestigious tournament’s 10 age categories, the first day was always
destined to be a busy one as matches took place over 12 hours at the
University of Birmingham, as well as at Edgbaston Priory, Solihull Arden
and West Warwickshire Clubs.
Given that half of the categories permitted byes into their second
rounds for the highest-seeded players, upsets were always likely to be
at a premium in the day’s opening stages. And of those top seeds who did
contest first round ties, comfortable straight-games wins were generally
the order of the morning and early afternoon.
Edgbaston Priory was the place to be for early surprises as two English
boys seeded to reach the quarter-finals in the U11 event bowed out to
non-seeds. Ronnie Hickling from Surrey was edged out in five against
Russian Omar Mohamed Elkely: 7-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-3, 7-11. And
Berkshire’s Dylan Kalar, despite claiming the first with some ease, was
ultimately defeated in four by Marc Voloshin of the USA: 11-3, 11-13,
The Boys’ U13 competition, also at Edgbaston, produced an interesting
sequence of first round results as all of the top eight seeds -
including England hopeful  Abd-Allah
Eissa - triumphed in straight games over English opponents.
Come the mid-afternoon, the drama switched its focus to a different
venue and category - with two second round Boys’ U15 matches at the
University producing pulsating five-game contests that led in one to a
shock exit and in the other to a close shave.
Reigning U13 champion [3/4] Jonah Bryant of England was the
highest-ranked player to bow out at the hands of unseeded Dutch opponent
Rowan Damming. The Sussex star went two games down, before recovering to
edge the third and fourth - but ultimately could not get over the line,
going down 6-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-9, 9-11.
And second seed Ismail Mansour from Egypt was given an almighty scare by
Colombian [33/64] Juan Jose Torres Lara on the glass court. A routine
victory for Mansour in the first game gave little hint of what was to
follow, as he found himself placed under greater pressure by his
diminutive opponent who played some exhilaratingly tight squash to go
2-1 up, before the Egyptian regained command to claim the fourth with
comfort and the fifth with care, prevailing 11-3, 5-11, 6-11, 11-2,
The evening claimed two more seeded quarter-finalists, each of whom were
playing a second match of the day. The Boys’ U11 champion of 2018,
Egyptian Ahmed Rashed, came a cropper in the next category up - losing
3-1 at Edgbaston in the U13 event to US opponent Ahmad Haq: 11-9, 1-11,
7-11, 10-12. And in the Girls’ U17 competition, England’s Margot Prow
was defeated in five at West Warwickshire by Lina Tammam of Egypt: 11-8,
8-11, 11-6, 7-11, 7-11.
As the first day’s play drew to a close, 14 players who had been seeded
to reach their respective events’ last sixteens had also been knocked
out by lower-ranked opponents across seven of the age-categories -
covering the Boys’ U11, U13 and U19, and the Girls’ U11, U13, U15 and
England’s national coaching team has high hopes for the English
contingent competing at the Dunlop British Junior Open (BJO) from
2-6 January in Birmingham.
Last year saw England produce eight quarter-finalists, three
semi-finalists and two winners, making it the nation’s most
successful championships in recent history.
And with 11 of those players competing at the 2019 event, National
Junior Coach Lee Drew is optimistic about England’s performance:
“Our performance at last year’s British Junior Open put England
firmly back on the map at world-level. We’re looking to build and
capitalise on this success and have high hopes for our home heroes.
“Across the age categories, we’ve a good spread of strong contenders
who have a track record of performing well on home soil against the
the English charge in the Boys’ Under 19s category is 3/4 seed Nick
Wall (Yorks) (right) - the current Under 19 British and English
National champion, as well as 2018 Dutch Junior Open champion Lewis
Anderson (Warks) seeded 9/16.
“Nick’s of world calibre and has made great strides in the last 12
months reaching the last eight of the World Junior Championships in
July,” says Drew.
“Similarly, Lewis Anderson has had a promising year claiming the
Dutch Junior Open Under 19 title in July despite being unseeded and
knocking out several top seeds.”
strong contenders in the Girls Under 19s are Essex duo Elise Lazarus
(left) and Alice Green whose fine form of late has seen them earn a
3/4 and 5/8 seeding respectively.
“Elise and Alice have got that pedigree behind them, having
represented England at the World Juniors but also having performed
very well at last year’s British Open which stands them in good
stead,” says Drew.
Todd (right) moves up to the Boys Under 17s as second seed and is a
strong contender given his track record at the BJO. The Pontefract
sensation will be eying up his third championship crown after
claiming the Boys Under 13s and Under 15 titles.
“Sam is world-class and performed very well at the World Juniors in
the summer reaching the third round at the age of just 15, so there
are high hopes for him to perform well at the BJO despite competing
another year at that age group.”
In the Girls Under 17s, England has two 5/8 seeds in Katie Malliff
and Margot Prow who have a string of titles to their names.
The Boys Under 15s sees two English contenders inside the top four;
last year’s BJO Under 13 champion Jonah Bryant (Sussex) and Sam
Osborne-Wylde (Worcs) - who reached the final two years ago.
“Jonah and Sam are two strong contenders who are developing a great
ability to cope in the high-pressure situations a major tournament
can bring. Both have the skill and ability to go all the way,”
believes National Performance Coach Josh Taylor.
England is well represented in the Girls Under 15s with two 5/8
seeds, and Taylor is confident that Asia Harris (Yorks) and Torrie
Malik (Sussex), joined by 9/16 seed Emma Barley (Suffolk) can cause
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in Asia, Torrie and Emma in exceeding
their seeding. They’re used to the environment and hopefully they’ll
build on some of their recent results.”
European No.1 Abd-Allah Eissa (Warks) headlines the English charge
in the Boys Under 13s and has earnt his second seeding through
several fine performances over the past year including claiming the
Dutch Junior Open title.
Eissa’s younger sister Mariam is seeded 5/8 in the Girls Under 11s
alongside Emily Coulcher-Porter (Oxon) and has the potential to go
all the way having won the British National and English National
Under 11 titles this year.
Home hopes in the Boys Under 11s lies with Dylan Kalar (Berks) and
Ronnie Hickling (Surrey) who’ll be itching to progress past the
second round this time, and it looks promising with a 5/8 seeding.
The finest juniors from around the world will
descend on Birmingham, England for the 93rd edition of the Dunlop
British Junior Open, with Egypt and Malaysia dominating the 2019
draws after the seedings were finalised yesterday.
More than 750 girls and boys representing 50 nations will compete
across ten age categories from the Under 11s to Under 19s from 2-6
January in what has become the most iconic and prestigious
tournament on the junior circuit.
In the Boys’ Under 19s, a trio of formidable Egyptians dominate the
top three seedings with current World Junior Champion, Mostafa Asal
ranked top seed, and compatriots Mostafa El Serty and Omar El Torkey
seeded second and 3/4 respectively. Looking to upset the proceedings
is home hero Nick Wall [3/4] from Sheffield who claimed the British
National Under 19 title in October.
Girls’ Under 19 top seed Hania El Hammamy who is ranked 20 in the
world, is tipped to claim her fifth championship title. Fellow
compatriots Jana Shiha  and 16-year-old Farida Mohamed [3/4] will
be looking to mount a challenge alongside 2018 semi-finalist Elise
Lazarus of England seeded 3/4.
Two former Boys’ Under 15 champions could face off in the Boys’
Under 17 final if all goes to seeding in the form of Egypt’s Yehia
Elnawasany  and England’s Sam Todd .
Hot favourite to claim the Girls’ Under 17 title is last year’s
runner-up Marina Stefanoni  of America who is likely to face a
titanic challenge from Egyptian no. 1 Sana Ibrahim who finished
second in the Girls Under 15s last year. Asian no. 1 Sin Yuk Chan of
Hong Kong  and the 2018 Under 15 champion Nour Khaled
Aboulmakarer [3/4] of Egypt are in prime position to stake their
Former champion Denis Gilevskiy  of Ireland and Egyptian 
Ismail Mansour are seeded to meet in the Boys’ Under 15 final but
will have to fend off Englishmen Jonah Bryant [3/4] - the 2018 Boys’
Under 15 champion and Sam Osborne-Wylde [3/4], a British National
Defending champion Aira Azman of Malaysia is favourite to claim the
Girls’ Under 15 title but will have to see off a trio of Egyptians
in Salma El Tayeb  - the 2017 Under 13 champion, Menna Hedia
[3/4] and Malak Khafagy [3/4].
If all goes to seeding, there could be an almighty battle for the
Boys’ Under 13 crown featuring Egyptian no. 1 Taha Ibrahim  and
European and England no. 1 Abd-Allah Eissa . Yuvraj Wadhwani
[3/4] of India and Egypt’s Mohamed Zakaria [3/4] complete the top
The Girls’ Under 13 tournament looks set to be an Egyptian affair
featuring the 2018 Under 11 champion Amina Orfi , the 2018 Under
13 runner-up Fayrouz Abouelkheir , Salma El Sheikh [3/4] and Nour
Malaysia’s Nickhileswar Moganasundharam who reached the last four in
2018 is in prime position to claim the Boys’ Under 11 title as top
seed but will have to first navigate past Egyptians Chris Baddour
 and Seif El Deen Dahshan [3/4]. Malaysia’s Jayden Oon made a
splash with an 11th place finish in last year’s tournament at the
age of just eight and completes the top four with a 3/4 seeding.
In the Girls’ Under 11s, top seed Whitney Wilson of Malaysia will be
striving to claim her maiden title after reaching the last four in
2018. Hot on her heels will be Egyptians Sohayla Hazem Farouk ,
Shahad Hani [3/4] and India’s Anahat Singh [3/4].
Round 1 of the Dunlop British Junior Open starts on Wednesday 2nd
January at the University of Birmingham, Edgbaston Priory, West
Warwickshire Sports Club and Solihull Arden Club. Tickets to the
University of Birmingham can be booked online at