El Sherbini Wins Historic World Title In Chennai
Nour El Sherbini made history today
in Chennai, India, when she won the women's title in the
World Junior (U19) Squash Championships to become the sport's
youngest ever world champion - at the age of just 13!
Seeded only to reach the last
sixteen, the Egyptian schoolgirl from Alexandria despatched the
sixth seed, the No2 seed
Heba El Torky and then the eighth seed to
reach the final where she faced fourth seed
Nour El Tayeb
- her second higher-ranked Egyptian opponent.
Undaunted by the historic opportunity
that beckoned, El Sherbini recovered from a game down to beat El
Tayeb 5-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 in 31 minutes to claim the title.
"I'm so happy," the new champion said
after her unique triumph - in which she was the lowest-seeded player
ever to win the world junior crown.
"After losing the first, I remembered
how I came back when I was down against Heba, and that gave me the
belief I could do it again. I kept telling myself I could do it, and
Incredibly, El Sherbini, who
celebrates her 14th birthday in November, will have the chance to
defend her title on five further occasions - with the prospect of
recording a further piece of squash history by becoming the first
player to win a world junior title more than twice!
Mohamed El Shorbagy
made it a notable Egyptian double when he successfully defended his
men's title - on the first occasion that a world junior title has
been contested annually. The 18-year-old favourite from Alexandria
defeated second-seeded Malaysian Ivan Yuen 11-9, 12-10, 11-2 in 36
"Iím really happy to win this world
junior title," said El Shorbagy, who became only the second player
in the history of the men's championship to claim a second title -
though his predecessor, compatriot
Ramy Ashour, did so when the event
was only contested biennially.
"This is year was much harder than
the last one. I can say that this was the hardest week I've ever had
in my life - I just couldnít sleep properly for one day, so Iím
really glad that I won the tournament.
"Me and Ivan had a very tough first
two games today and I was really glad to win them," added the world
No17. "He is a very good player and very fair and Iím sure heíll get
to the top in the PSA very quickly if he keeps training hard.
"I would like to thank my dad and my
mum a lot, they did really a lot for me and winning this title
again, itís just a small thing I can do for them.
"Jonah (Barrington) too is a very
special man to me - he did a lot for me in the past three years and
without him I would have never dreamed to do what I have done till
now in squash. He taught me lots of things and Iím still learning
every day from him something new. He has so much of experience and
he gave me so much from his experience. He is so special for me and
heíll always be!"
"I came back to Egypt one month
before the world juniors and I was training with
He was taking me every day and giving me every day a session at
eight in the morning I really worked hard with him before the
tournament, so thanks to him so much too. Whenever Iím back in Egypt
I always go and train with him.
"I would like to thank the Egyptian
Squash Federation too. They really understand how to make the
players concentrate during the tournament and they do everything for
us, so I have to thank Assem Khalifa a lot."
El Tayeb Topples Pallikal In World
Pallikal's bid to become
the host nation's first ever world squash champion ended in
disappointment in the women's semi-finals of the World Junior
Squash Championships when the top seed tumbled out in four games
to fourth seed Nour El Tayeb in the World Squash
Federation event at the Indian Squash Academy in
El Tayeb, a
16-year-old from Alexandria ranked 60 in the WISPA world rankings,
took the first game before 17-year-old Pallikal - 12 positions
higher in the senior world list - drew level.
fourth-seeded underdog fought back to take the next two games to
record a stunning 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7 victory in 33 minutes.
"I was trying
to keep the ball off her forehand - sheís so strong there, she can
kill the ball at will," El Tayeb said later. "My coach devised a
plan for the match and I stuck to it as much as I could.
the last six months thinking of this semi-final, but on the bus on
the way here I didnít believe I could win it. I didnít think about
winning until I got to match ball. I remember Heba being so far
ahead yesterday and not winning.
"I donít know
how I feel now, to beat Dipika, here in India, itís such a feeling.
Iím in the world final!"
In only the
second all-Egyptian final in the event's history, Nour El Tayeb will
face compatriot Nour El Sherbini, a 9/16 seed who continued
her giant-killing charge through the event with an 11-8, 11-6, 11-6
defeat of Pakistan's No8 seed Maria Toor Pakay in just 20
"I didnít feel
any pressure going into this match, even though it was quite
different from yesterdayís. I was just trying to keep the ball tight
to the back, and put in dropshots when it was loose, and I think I
played to that plan well," explained the 13-year-old from
Nour a few times already, and won most of them, but tomorrow will be
different. Itís a final and weíll both be trying our best to win."
Mohamed El Shorbagy is now one win away from becoming only the
second player in history to successfully defend the men's title
after beating fellow countryman Andrew Wagih Shoukry, the
fourth seed, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6.
"I played very
well today," admitted the 18-year-old from Alexandria. "In all the
matches so far Iíve been playing the player and the pressure - and
havenít been able to cope with both at the same time.
played the pressure and the player and beat both of them. My
concentration didnít drop at all, except for a short spell at 6-3 in
the second - but you canít expect to keep full concentration for a
whole match, one small lapse is acceptable.
"I was really
nervous before the match, but I talked to my mum and she made me so
relaxed - sheís amazing."
ranked 17 in the PSA world list, will now face Malaysia's Ivan
Yuen, the No2 seed who beat Pakistan outsider Aurangzeb
Mehmund 11-6, 11-9, 11-3 in just 28 minutes.
"I feel Iím
playing pretty well," said Yuen, who has only dropped one game
throughout the tournament. "I hadnít played him before, so I had to
just try to keep it steady and see what happened. Iím so very glad I
played well here, it was a nice feeling when he stopped in the
middle of the third.
thinking about this final for a while, so itís nice to actually get
there. I hope I play as well tomorrow and we have a good final,"
added the 18-year-old from Selangor.
The pair met
at the quarter-final stage last year - and in the British Junior
Open final earlier this year - El Shorbagy prevailing in both.
"Iíve watched Ivan playing this week, heís playing very well,"
admitted the favourite. "It should be a harder match than the
British, and that was pretty difficult!"
El Torky Shaken By El Sherbini In
World Junior Upset
Sherbini, a 13-year-old
from Alexandria, produced the biggest shock in the women's
quarter-finals in the World Junior Squash Championships when
she defeated second-seeded fellow countrywoman Heba El Torky
in five games in the World Squash Federation event at the
Indian Squash Academy in Chennai,
Seeded to end
her run in the last sixteen, the young El Sherbini twice came from
behind to overcome her 18-year-old home town compatriot 7-11, 11-8,
9-11, 13-11, 11-8 in 61 minutes to claim an unlikely place in the
nervous at all at the start, thereís no pressure on me to do
anything - and Iíd beaten her before so I knew I had a chance if I
just played my game," El Sherbini said afterwards.
"I did get
nervous in the fourth, I knew I could win this game but I was losing
so I just relaxed, got my concentration back and managed to win it,
and then the fifth."
will now meet Pakistan's Maria Toor Pakay after the No8 seed
from Islamabad conquered 9/16 seed Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy,
from Egypt, 6-11, 11-4, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8.
country's hopes of its first ever world squash champion were kept
alive when Dipika Pallikal, the 17-year-old top seed from
Chennai, beat fifth-seeded Egyptian Nouran El Torky 11-5,
4-11, 11-8, 11-6.
"The first was
quite easy and I got overconfident," said Pallikal. "The pressure
hit me in the second - I was going for too much.
telling myself to stay grounded in the third. If I hadnít won that
then I think the match would have gone the other way so it was
important to win that one."
also be represented unexpectedly in the men's semi-finals after
Aurangzeb Mehmund, a 17/32 seed from Lahore, defeated Frenchman
Lucas Serme, a 9/16 seed, 8-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8 in a
16-year-old will now face Malaysia's No2 seed Ivan Yuen, an
11-3, 11-8, 11-7 winner over Egypt's No6 seed Amr Khaled Khalifa.
Mohamed El Shorbagy took a step nearer his chance to become only
the second player in history to successfully defend the men's title
when he beat Germany's Raphael Kandra 11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8.
18-year-old from Alexandria next meets compatriot Andrew Wagih
Shoukry, the fourth seed who defeated Pakistan's Farhan Zaman
11-8, 11-7, 11-8.
Egyptians Dominant In Chennai
World Junior Championships
players through to the women's quarter-finals and three lining up in
the last eight of the men's tournament, Egypt is taking a
commanding position in the World Junior Squash Championships
after the second day of action in the first World Squash
Federation championships to combine both men's and women's
interest in the championships at the Indian Squash Academy in
Chennai, India, is now led exclusively by Dipika Pallikal,
the 17-year-old from Chennai who is seeded to become the country's
first ever world squash champion. The firm favourite in the women's
championship, Pallikal followed an 11-1, 11-7, 11-7 third round win
over New Zealander Lana Harrison by beating Egypt's unseeded
Yathreb Adel, aged just 13, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5.
"Itís great to
be playing in Chennai, but of course thereís a lot of pressure and
expectation," Pallikal said after her fourth round win. "When I get
on court I just think about the match, and I know that if I play
better Iíll win, I try to cut out all of the distractions.
ďI feel Iím
getting better every match, so hopefully I can carry on playing well
until the end," added the Indian star who wrapped up her two matches
today in just 41 minutes of playing time.
now face another Egyptian for a place in the semi-finals. Fifth
seed Nouran El Torky, from Alexandria, defeated
Malaysian Nessrine Ariffin, a 9/16 seed, 9-11, 11-3, 11-5,
seeding predicted three of Egypt's quarter-finalists, two reached
the last eight after sensational upsets. 16-year-old Salma Hany,
a 9/16 seed, defeated seventh seed Olivia Blatchford Ė a
16-year-old world junior and senior US international - 11-8, 17-15,
11-8, while Nour El Sherbini, also a 9/16 seed,
battled for 42 minutes to overcome Malaysia's 17-year-old No6 seed
Low Wee Nee 11-7, 11-4, 8-11, 9-11, 11-3.
"I made a good
start, then lost concentration - I just fell asleep," admitted Nour
El Sherbini, aged just 13. "Thankfully I woke up for the fifth, and
played best of all in that game!"
Mohamed El Shorbagy took a further step in his bid to become
only the second player in history to successfully defend the men's
title by beating unseeded Mexican Miled Zarazua 11-7, 11-7,
well," said the 18-year-old from Alexandria, who already boasts a
place in the senior PSA world top 20 rankings. "I played better
today than yesterday, thatís what you have to do in these
tournaments, so hopefully Iíll improve again tomorrow.
pressure of course, but Anthony Ricketts gave me a few tips on how
to cope with it, and it seems to be working well so far."
will now face German Raphael Kandra, a 9/16 seed who ended
the run of 15-year-old giant-killer Nasir Iqbal, beating the
Pakistani 3-11, 11-4, 11-6, 12-10.
A Mexican lost
out in the only upset in the men's quarter-finals when Pakistan's
Aurangzeb Mehmund survived a 70-minute battle against fifth seed
Alfredo Avila. The 16-year-old from Lahore's 11-6, 12-10,
7-11, 5-11, 13-11 victory takes the 17/32 seed into a quarter-final
clash with France's Lucas Serme.
Seeds Challenged In Chennai World
action-packed opening day's play in the World Junior Squash
Championships Ė the historic first to combine both men's and
women's events simultaneously Ė led to the fallout of a number of
seeds at the ICL Squash Academy in the Indian city of
country's brightest star Dipika Pallikal, the 17-year-old
from Chennai who is seeded to become India's first ever world squash
champion, was untroubled in her opening match in the women's
championship Ė taking just 14 minutes to overcome American
Natasha Kingshott 11-2, 11-3, 11-1 to take her anticipated place
in the third round.
shocks took place in the other event where Egypt's Mohamed El
Shorbagy is expected to become only the second player in history
to successfully defend the men's title. The 18-year-old from
Alexandria brushed aside England's Nathan Lake 11-6, 10-12,
11-6, 11-4 to take his place in the last sixteen.
Shorbagy's fellow countryman Karim Abdel Gawad failed to live
up to expectations. The third seed from Cairo became the biggest
casualty when he lost 15-13, 2-11, 11-5, 11-7 in 57 minutes to
Pakistan's Nosherwan Khan. The 15-year-old from Peshawar, a
17/32 seed, will now take on France's 9/16 seed Lucas Serme
for a place in the quarter-finals.
further Pakistani joy when Nasir Iqbal, a 15-year-old from
Peshawar, claimed the scalp of seventh seed Henrik Mustonen -
beating the 18-year-old Finn, winner of two European Squash
Federation Junior circuit titles this month, 11-7, 11-9, 11-13,
7-11, 11-3 in 56 minutes.
But Mexican Miled Zarazua perhaps deserves the day's biggest
praise after becoming the only unseeded player to reach the last
men's sixteen. The 17-year-old from Mexico City first despatched
Indian hope Aditya Jagtap, a 9/16 seed, in straight games,
before overcoming Hong Kong's 17/32 seed Choy Kit Lun 11-9,
9-11, 9-11, 11-1, 11-7 in a 50-minute second round match.
Egypt Seeded To Retain World Junior Crown In
three-time winners of the trophy since 1999, are seeded to retain the Women's
World Junior Team Squash Championship title in India next month -
according to the interim seedings for the event announced today by the World
Players from 16 nations
will compete in the biennial WSF championship which will take place at the
ICL Squash Academy in Chennai from 3-8 August - following the men's
and women's individual world junior championships, which get underway on 29
Heba El Torky,
the 18-year-old world No42 from Alexandria who is expected to reach the women's
individual final, will lead the Egyptian squad - which also includes her younger
sister Nouran El Torky, as well as 13-year-old Nour El Sherbini,
one of the youngest competitors in the championship.
are named as second seeds and are expected to meet Egypt in a repeat of the 2007
final in Hong Kong.
Hosts India are
seeded four - but will hope to finish higher than their best-ever fourth finish
in the 2003 championship in Cairo.
Seeded third, Canada
are expected to record their highest-ever finish in 12 appearances since the
inaugural event in 1985.
"Successful players in
these world junior championships in Chennai would be expected to be in their
prime by 2016 Ė when Squash hopes to be making its long-awaited debut in the
Olympic Games," said WSF President N Ramachandran.
The final seedings, and
positions in the pools, will be decided on semi-finals day of the individual
Pallikal & El Shorbagy Are Top World Junior Seeds
Dipika Pallikal and Mohamed El Shorbagy have been
named as top World Junior Championships seeds ....
India's Dipika Pallikal and Egyptian Mohamed El Shorbagy have been
named as top seeds for next month's World Junior Squash Championships,
the World Squash Federation event which has attracted players from 28
nations to the ICL Squash Academy in Chennai, India, from 29 July
to 2 August.
and raised in Chennai, Dipika Pallikal is seeded to become India's first ever
world squash champion. Already ranked inside the women's
world's top 50, 17-year-old Pallikal has established a significant junior
career, winning the British Junior U17 Open title in 2008 and reaching
the final in both the British Junior U19 Open and Asian Junior
Championship earlier this year.
Pallikal is expected to meet Egypt's No2 seed Heba El Torky in the
women's final. Winner of British Junior Open titles at U13,
U15 and U17, the 18-year-old from Alexandria has also already notched up two
WISPA World Tour titles, at last year's China Open and Pakistan
younger sister Nouran El Torky is also amongst the event's top seeds:
The 16-year-old, seeded five, is one of six Egyptians named in the top 16
seeds Ė including the youngest, 13-year-old Nour El Sherbini, also from
the women's individual event will precede the Women's World Junior Team
Championships Ė the biennial event which is held in alternate years to the
men's junior team championships Ė this year sees the staging of the first annual
men's individual world championship. Responding to feedback
from Member National Federations, the WSF plans to run men's and women's
individual world junior championships annually from this year, staged alongside
the biennial team championship.
Title-holder Mohamed El Shorbagy has the chance to become only the second player
in history to win the men's crown twice. The 18-year-old
favourite from Alexandria has already enjoyed a meteoric run in the sport - and
boasts a senior world top 20 ranking following notable success on the PSA
World Tour which has included final berths in the recent Spanish Open
and Irish Open and a quarter-final finish in last year's World Open
in his maiden appearance in the sport's premier championship.
Shorbagy's predicted final opponent is Malaysian Ivan Yuen.
Winner of the recent Asian Junior Championship title, also in
Chennai, the second seed from Selangor made his debut in the world's top 100 in