Sobhy Soars To World Title Success
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celebrated the perfect 17th birthday by beating Egyptian rival Nour El Tayeb
in the final of the Women's World Junior Squash Championship to become
the first US winner of the prestigious World Squash Federation event in
its 16th year at the ACR Sportcenter in Cologne, Germany.
"It's the best birthday
present anyone could ever ask for," said the New York teenager after recovering
from a game down to defeat fellow 17-year-old El Tayeb 3-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 in
37 minutes. It was Sobhy's first victory over the Egyptian in four meetings on
the junior international circuit since January 2008.
The victory not only ends
Egypt's seven-year stranglehold on the title since 2003, but also consigned
Cairo-based El Tayeb to a runner-up finish for the second year in a row.
Third seed Sobhy made her
breakthrough in the semi-finals when she beat reigning champion Nour El
Sherbini, the 14-year-old favourite who won the title last year to become
the sport's youngest ever world champion.
Sobhy, whose success makes
her the first US player to win a world singles title, is no stranger to historic
achievements in the sport: In May, the left-hander became the first 16-year-old
to win four WISPA World Tour titles – an achievement which has taken her
to a career-high 36 world ranking.
In the bronze medal
play-off match, India's No2 seed Dipika Pallikal made up for the
disappointment of failing to make the final for the second successive year by
battling to a 4-11, 11-4, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8 over favourite Nour El Sherbini in 52
El Tayeb & Sobhy Spring Semi Surprises In
Semi-finals day produced
the first upsets in the 2010 Women's World Junior Squash Championship
when third seed Amanda Sobhy and fourth seed Nour El Tayeb ousted
the top two seeds to reach the final of the World Squash Federation event
at the ACR Sportcenter in Cologne, Germany.
It was the best possible
17th birthday present for Sobhy, the left-hander from the USA who ended the
historic world champion reign of Nour El Sherbini by beating the
14-year-old event favourite from Egypt 12-10, 14-12, 11-9.
El Sherbini, then only 13,
won the title last year against expectations to become the sport's youngest
world champion in history.
But New Yorker Sobhy,
ranked above her Alexandria-based opponent, battled to her impressive win in 38
minutes – repeating the straight games victory she achieved over El Sherbini in
the world team championship that followed last year's historic individual
Sobhy, however, has also
made her mark in squash history – by becoming the first 16-year-old to win four
WISPA World Tour titles.
But it will be on her 17th
birthday that the world No36 bids to become the first US winner of a world
junior squash title.
Her opponent Nour El Tayeb
is marking her second successive appearance in the final – and achieved her
success for the second time in a row by beating Dipika Pallikal, the
18-year-old from India who was last year's favourite and the second seed this
The 17-year-old from Cairo
needed 40 minutes to overcome Chennai-based Pallikal 15-13, 11-9, 11-9.
El Tayeb boasts a 3/0
head-to-head lead over her final opponent – but the younger Sobhy currently
boasts the higher world ranking: A sensational climax to the event is no doubt
Top Quartet To Contest World Junior Semis
The 2010 Women's World
Junior Squash Championship unveiled its eagerly-anticipated semi-final
line-up when the top four seeds came through the quarter-finals of the World
Squash Federation event at the ACR Sportcenter in Cologne,
In an all-Egyptian clash,
event favourite Nour El Sherbini dropped her first game of the tournament
in overcoming seventh seed Nouran El Torky 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7.
The 14-year-old from
Alexandria – the youngest player remaining in this U19 championship – now has
arguably her toughest test against USA's third seed Amanda Sobhy.
The 16-year-old New Yorker
is the highest-ranked player in the event – and beat El Sherbini in last year's
world junior team championship in straight games in their only previous
Sobhy is also riding high
after making history by becoming the first 16-year-old to win four WISPA
World Tour titles. The left-hander, ranked 36 in the world, despatched
eighth-seeded Indian Anaka Alankamony 12-10, 11-4, 11-6 in just 22
India's No2 seed Dipika
Pallikal lines up against Egypt's fourth seed Nour El Tayeb in the
other semi-final in a repeat of last year's match at the same stage of the
competition – in which El Tayeb upset the then top seed to reach the final.
Pallikal, 18, from
Chennai, recovered from a game down to beat Egypt's fifth seed Kanzy Emad
El-Defrawy 9-11, 11-9, 11-2, 12-10 in 50 minutes, while 17-year-old El
Tayeb, from Cairo, defeated USA's No6 seed Olivia Blatchford 11-1, 11-6,
USA & India Celebrate Historic World
Hidden behind the
fulfilled predictions that the top eight seeds are through to the quarter-finals
of the Women's World Junior Squash Championship in Germany lies the fact
that USA and India are both celebrating the appearance of two
players in the last eight of a world championship for the first time.
And all four players
marked their historic success with relative ease in the second round of the
World Squash Federation event at the ACR Sportcenter in Cologne.
India's Dipika Pallikal
and Anaka Alankamony, both from Chennai, made their breakthroughs after
straight games wins. Second seed Pallikal, the only player to be marking her
fourth appearance in the championship, beat Salma Hany 12-10, 11-8, 11-2
in 34 minutes - thereby avenging her five-game loss to the 17-year-old Egyptian
in January's British Junior Open.
Anaka Alankamony, the
15-year-old eighth seed, needed only 21 minutes to overcome 18-year-old
Colombian Catalina Pelaez 11-8, 11-8, 11-7.
New Yorkers Amanda
Sobhy and Olivia Blatchford displayed the same prowess which has seen
the US pair make their mark on the WISPA World Tour.
Sobhy, who last month
became the first 16-year-old in history to win three Tour titles, fought off the
challenge of promising Egyptian Yathreb Adel, beating the 14-year-old
from Cairo 11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-7.
Olivia Blatchford, 17,
dismissed French opponent Melissa Alves 11-9, 11-9, 11-6 in 27 minutes –
and will now take on last year's runner-up Nour El Tayeb, one of four
Egyptians in the last eight.
Event favourite Nour El
Sherbini claimed one of the quickest victories of the day by beating
France's Julia Lecoq 11-5, 11-6, 13-11 in 21 minutes.
The 14-year-old defending
champion from Alexandria now faces fellow countrywoman Nouran El Torky,
the No7 seed who survived the toughest second round battle in overcoming
Australian Tamika Saxby 7-11, 17-15, 7-11, 11-5, 11-3 in 49 minutes.
Seeds Survive World Championship Openers
The top 16 seeds duly
claimed their places in the second round of the Women's World Junior Squash
Championship in Germany – with Egypt's hot favourite Nour El Sherbini
taking just 11 minutes to overcome her first round opponent in the World
Squash Federation event at the ACR Sportcenter in Cologne.
The 14-year-old from
Cairo, who last year became the youngest world champion in the history of the
sport, despatched 17-year-old Dane Amalie Bornaes 11-2, 11-1, 11-0.
A French opponent awaits
El Sherbini in the last sixteen round after Julia Lecoq overcame India's
Aparajitha Balamurukan. But higher-ranked Balamurukan, from Chennai,
took a 2/1 lead over the 16-year-old from Paris before Lecoq, a 9/16 seed,
regained control to win 11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-4.
There was Indian success
elsewhere, however, as second seed Dipika Pallikal cruised to an 11-1,
11-4, 11-2 victory over Katie Tutrone, from the USA, in just 17 minutes –
and eighth seed Anaka Alankamony, also from Chennai, crushed France's
Ashley Tidman 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 in 11 minutes.
The hosts came close to
pulling off the only upset on the opening day when unseeded Franziska Hennes
faced Australia's 9/16 seed Tamika Saxby.
Hennes, an 18-year-old
senior German international from Homburg, took the opening game and recovered
from 2/1 down to force the match into a fifth game decider.
But higher-ranked Saxby,
17, from Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, eventually pulled through to win
8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 11-7 in 42 minutes to set up a second round clash with
Egypt's No7 seed Nouran El Torky.
Nour El Sherbini Seeded To Retain World Junior
Just ten months after
becoming the youngest world champion in the history of the sport, Egyptian
teenager Nour El Sherbini is seeded to retain her title in the Women's
World Junior Squash Championship this week in Germany.
14-year-old favourite from Cairo is the second youngest player in the Under-19
championship draw – and her anticipated opponent in the final, India's second
seed Dipika Pallikal, will only be three months short of her 19th
The 2010 Women's World
Junior Championship, with entries from 11 countries, will take place at the
ACR Sportcenter in Cologne from 25-29 June.
Nour El Sherbini, from
Alexandria, was only expected to make the last 16 in last year's world junior
championship in India – but despatched the second, sixth and eighth seeds before
overcoming the fourth seed in the final to record her historic triumph.
Pallikal is the only
player to be celebrating a fourth appearance in the event after making her debut
in the 2003 championship in Egypt – and will be looking to make up for the
disappointment of failing to win the title last year as favourite.
The 18-year-old from
Chennai has already made her mark on the WISPA World Tour. Pallikal picked up
her maiden title at the Indian Challenger No5 on home soil in Calcutta in
April, and now boasts a world No40 ranking.
But both top seeds will be
wary of the two other players expected to make the semi-finals: third seed
Amanda Sobhy is a left-hander from the USA who has already claimed her place
in squash history by becoming the first 16-year-old to win three WISPA Tour
titles – success which has taken the New Yorker to 36 in the world rankings.
Nour El Tayeb
is the highest-seeded Egyptian in the field. The 17-year-old from Cairo, seeded
four, reached last year's final against expectation – and has since secured her
first Tour trophy and a career-high world ranking of 36.
The Women's World Junior
Championship, now in its 16th edition after first being staged in 1981, has
produced a number of champions who have gone on to become world number ones and
World Open champions – including Australia's Sarah Fitz-Gerald, England's
Cassie Jackman, and Malaysia's two-time winner Nicol David.