WSF UNDER-21 WORLD CUP 2012
Egypt Deny India World Cup Triumph
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RESULTS: SDAT WSF U21 World Cup, Chennai, India
 EGYPT bt  INDIA 2/1
Marwan El Shorbagy bt Ravi Dixit 11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7
Nour El Sherbini lost to Dipika Pallikal 7-11, 11-4, 11-8,
12-14, 5-11 (74m)
Karim Abdel Gawad bt Ramit Tandon 12-10, 11-4, 6-11, 11-8
 ENGLAND bt  FRANCE 2/0
Charles Sharpes bt Lucas Serme 14-12, 7-11, 5-11, 11-6,
Emily Whitlock bt Cyrielle Peltier 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 (31m)
Declan James v Geoffrey Demont (match withdrawn)
 HONG KONG CHINA bt  AUSTRALIA 2/0
Yeung Ho Wai bt Jamie McErvale 4-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-5
Tong Tsz-Wing bt Sarah Cardwell 7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5,
Cheuk Yan Tang v Walter Koteka (match withdrawn)
 MALAYSIA bt  GERMANY 2/1
Affeeq Abedeen Ismail lost to Rudi Rohrmuller 7-11, 3-11,
Rachel Arnold bt Franziska Hennes 11-13, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5,
Sanjay Singh bt Valentin Rapp 11-4, 11-3, 11-2 (42m)
Deny India World Cup Triumph
dramatic clash which went the full distance, favourites Egypt
eventually overcame surprise opponents India 2/1 in the final of
the SDAT WSF Under-21 World Cup to deny the hosts a historic
first world title in the inaugural World Squash Federation event
before an ecstatic crowd at the Express Avenue Mall in Chennai.
largest shopping complex in southern India attracted a near record crowd
of over 75,000 on the day that India were playing in the first world
squash final in the country's history. Throughout the long final, a
significant percentage of the crowd were either surrounding the unique
ASB GlassCourt court or hanging over balconies of the three
floors overlooking the spectacular all-glass showcourt which features a
pioneering new glass floor with under-floor LED lighting.
a tall order for the hosts in the opening match where team number one
Ravi Dixit, ranked 183 in the world, faced Egypt's world No33
Marwan El Shorbagy, the highest-ranked man in the tournament.
Delhi-born 20-year-old threw everything he had at the in-form world
junior champion - and recovered from 2/0 down to win the third game,
despite having to warm up a new ball at game-ball at 10-4.
Shorbagy, still only 18, stamped his authority on the next game to win
11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7 in 58 minutes - and put the favourites into the
the match of the championship then followed - in which the star of
Indian squash Dipika Pallikal, the highest-ranked woman in the
event, faced Egyptian rival Nour El Sherbini.
head-to-head record between the pair was one-all - but 20-year-old
Pallikal is currently ranked 14 in the world, nine places above the
16-year-old former world junior champion from Alexandria.
Chennai born-and-bred Pallikal took the opening game, but to the dismay
of the crowd, Sherbini won the next two to move ahead.
Egyptian maintained her control of the match to march on to match-ball
at 10-6. But Pallikal was not about to concede and, urged on by the
exuberant crowd, clawed her way back into the game - saving four
match-balls to draw level.
crowd erupted - shouting and screaming more than ever before - and it as
some time before the local heroine was able to resume play. Twice more
Sherbini moved to within a single point of the title - and twice
Pallikal fought back before finally converting her own first game ball -
having saved six match-balls - to win the game 14-12.
crowd scenes and screams rarely witnessed before at a squash event,
Pallikal returned to the court inspired. After losing two points from
8-3 up, she returned the next serve into the nick, delivered a delicate
back hand drop shot again into the nick before winning the third on a no
let to claim a sensational 11-7, 4-11, 8-11, 14-12, 11-5 victory after
74 long minutes.
Pallikal was besieged by delirious fans and TV crews before speaking
briefly to the crowd via the tournament MC.
the Indian champion who is now coached by Australian legend Sarah
Fitz-Gerald, admitted that the match had been her toughest of
all-time. "I spoke to Sarah this morning and I knew she'd be watching -
and all I could think about, when I was match-ball down, was what would
I tell her when we next spoke.
had told me to keep going until the very end - the game's not over until
somebody wins - and that's where I got my strength and confidence,"
didn't want to lose in front of my family and friends."
the crowd now sensing a shock victory, the semi-final hero Ramit
Tandon took to the court to face Egypt's Karim Abdel Gawad in
a 20-year-old ranked 42 in the world, took the first game after a
tie-break and then moved 2/0 ahead. But spurred on by the increasingly
noisy crowd, Kolkata-born Tandon - ranked almost 300 places below his
opponent - battled hard and took the third game to reduce the deficit.
the Egyptian reclaimed the advantage in the fourth, the crowd became
more muted until Gawad eventually clinched his third match-ball to win
12-10, 11-4, 6-11, 11-8 after 67 minutes to earn the title for Egypt.
was a quality match for both sides - but I'm happy we did it for the
second time," said Egyptian coach Amir Wagih, making reference to
his country's victory almost 12 months earlier in the senior World Cup
congratulations to India - we expected it to be tough, but we really
national coach Cyrus Poncha was not wholly unhappy with the
outcome: "If someone had said to me a week ago that we would be in the
final, I would have taken it. What we achieved to get this far was
brilliant - and today's performances by our players were outstanding.
"Dipika and Ramit rose to the occasion and played brilliant squash."
Earlier, second seeds England avenged their earlier shock pool
defeat to France by beating the third seeds 2/1 in the Bronze
string Charles Sharpes made up for his previous loss to Lucas
Serme by fighting back from 2/1 down to overcome the Frenchman
14-12, 7-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-5 in 76 minutes - the longest match of the
pair came through junior ranks together, but Sharpes had not previously
beaten the 19-year-old from Paris since 2009.
"Certainly this was a big match - both for me personally and for the
team," conceded Sharpes afterwards. "I've played Lucas so many times,
since we were about ten years old, and we are good friends.
just wanted to beat him to get revenge for the defeat earlier in the
week. He's a very strong player and that was a tough match. I switched
off a bit in the third game - but stepped up the concentration in the
fourth and fifth."
the 17-year-old who pulled off the biggest win of her life 24 hours
earlier when she beat Egypt's world junior champion Nour El Tayeb
for the first time, faced France's Cyrielle Peltier.
English teenager maintained her blistering form in Chennai to put away
19-year-old Peltier 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 in 31 minutes to clinch victory for
the jubilant England team.
all excited to be involved in such a great event which bridges the gap
between juniors and seniors," England coach David Campion told
event MC Rochelle Rao. "All our players play on the PSA and WSA
Tours, but playing for your country is different - and the experience
they will get out of this will be second to none."
England's earlier defeat by France led to the second favourites having
to face overwhelming favourites Egypt in the semi-finals.
"Yesterday was very disappointing, but at the same time encouraging - it
inspired our players. Charles was a different player today and set up
the situation beautifully for Emily to go through and win.
Emily definitely got our 'man-of-the-match' award today!" concluded
 EGYPT bt  ENGLAND 2/1
Marwan El Shorbagy bt Charles Sharpes 11-7, 12-14, 11-4,
Nour El Tayeb lost to Emily Whitlock 8-11, 10-12, 9-11
Karim Abdel Gawad bt Declan James 11-7, 11-8, 11-9
INDIA bt  FRANCE 2/1
Ravi Dixit lost to Lucas Serme 6-11, 11-8, 6-11, 7-11
Dipika Pallikal bt Chloe Mesic 11-3, 11-4, 11-5 (26m)
Ramit Tandon bt Geoffrey Demont 11-5, 6-11, 11-2, 14-12
- 8th place play-offs:
 AUSTRALIA bt  MALAYSIA 3/0
Jamie McErvale bt Affeeq Abedeen Ismail 9-11, 11-9, 11-5,
Sarah Cardwell bt Tan Yan Xin 11-6, 12-10, 11-9 (35m)
Walter Koteka bt Sanjay Singh 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 (35m)
HONG KONG CHINA bt  GERMANY 2/1
Yeung Ho Wai bt Valentin Rapp 11-9, 11-9, 11-6 (50m)
Karman Siu lost to Annika Wiese 10-12, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8,
Wong Chi-Him bt Sven Lemmermann 11-5, 11-9, 11-5 (30m)
To Face Egypt In Historic World Final In Chennai
number two Ramit Tandon survived a nail-biting decider in the
SDAT WSF Under-21 World Cup semi-finals today against France
at the Express Avenue Mall in Chennai to take the hosts
into Sunday's climax of the inaugural World Squash Federation
event - thus marking India's first ever appearance in a world
clash on the unique ASB GlassCourt - an all-glass showcourt
featuring a pioneering new glass floor with under-floor LED lighting -
in the atrium of the largest shopping complex in southern India
attracted a rolling crowd of some 50,000 partisan spectators, watching
the action from vantage points on four floors.
Underdogs India, the fourth seeds, opened their account against third
seeds France with Ravi Dixit taking on Frenchman Lucas Serme.
The quality of the match which ensued belied the pair's world rankings -
183 and 139, respectively - and after 65 minutes it was Serme who
claimed the advantage, beating the 20-year-old from Chennai 11-6, 8-11,
was good playing in front of this great crowd - but I had to try and
block them out and think of my team," said the 19-year-old Frenchman. "I
really enjoyed the match and I am very happy to win.
was definitely the toughest match of the tournament. I thought it would
be an easier match than the one against Charles (Sharpes) - but I didn't
take into account the crowd. I mentally had to really push myself. I'm
the subdued reaction from the crowd, the decibels increased noticeably
as local heroine Dipika Pallikal, the Chennai born and bred
20-year-old who boasts a world No14 ranking, took apart France's
Chloe Mesic 11-3, 11-4, 11-5 in just 26 minutes to bring the hosts
back into contention.
Kolkata-born Ramit Tandon has seen his world ranking slip to 333
since taking up an Economics course at Columbia University in the USA
last year. But the 19-year-old showed no signs of inferiority as he
battled with Frenchman Geoffrey Demont, ranked almost 200 places
took the opener, then responded to the Frenchman's second game win by
capturing the third for the loss of just two points.
led briefly in the dramatic fourth - but it was Dixit who kept his focus
to reach match-ball at 10-6. The Frenchman saved four before going on to
have his own game-ball - but, urged on by the crowd and his hysterical
team-mates, the local star finally clinched victory at the sixth attempt
11-5, 6-11, 11-2, 14-12 after 57 minutes to take his country into a
crowd went wild and Dixit was quickly engulfed by his team-mates and
other supporters on the court.
worked hard for this - but I did feel a lot of pressure in that match,"
admitted the beaming Indian star afterwards. "At 10-6 in the fourth, I
just got too excited and made too many errors. But my team helped me
was great to play in front of such a big crowd - my brother and my Dad
were here too, plus a lot of friends."
winning her earlier match, Pallikal said: "It was disappointing that we
lost the first match - but I had to go on and just play my game."
the match which followed, the Indian champion added: "It was a
nerve-wracking - but Ramit played incredibly well and it was a great
result to get us into the final.
something we've all trained hard for - and it's great that it's happened
here in Chennai."
national coach Cyrus Poncha was beaming from ear to ear: "It's an
absolutely wonderful feeling - and just great for Indian squash.
good to show the results of all the efforts over the last ten years -
started by the commitment by Mr Ramachandran, now the WSF President, to
invest in the Indian Squash Academy which has produced so many talented
young players - including all the ones tonight.
Ramit was absolutely brilliant - his hands are world-class. Yet when he
decided to go to the USA to study, I feared he might never play for
India again. But because of his desire and the support from his parents
he still continues to train over here - and the result are here for all
was only a year ago that Ramit made a major contribution to India's
victory over favourites Pakistan in the Asian Junior Team Championship
final - which resulted in our first regional title."
earlier semi-final, favourites Egypt overcame England -
but the second seeds surprisingly forced the tie into a decider after
17-year-old Emily Whitlock celebrated "my best win ever" by
beating world junior champion Nour El Tayeb for the first time.
Marwan El Shorbagy,
the rapidly improving world junior champion who now boasts a world
ranking of 33, put Egypt into the lead as expected - but England's
Charles Sharpes stretched the match to four games before the
18-year-old from Alexandria claimed his 11-7, 12-14, 11-4, 11-6 win
after 50 minutes.
Tayeb had won the three previous encounters with Whitlock and now boasts
a world ranking of 18 after leaping to 12 three months ago. But it was a
'new-look' Whitlock, ranked 15 places lower, who took to the court on
this occasion - and after 41 minutes of dazzling squash came away with
an 11-8, 12-10, 11-9 victory, in all three games coming from behind.
England's hopes of a place in the final were dashed however when the
Egyptian number two Karim Abdel Gawad beat tall 18-year-old
Declan James 11-7, 11-8, 11-9.
was a lot of pressure on that match - but it's a dream that we're now
playing in the final," said Gawad, the world No42 from Alexandria,
coach Amir Wagih acknowledged that the tie had lived up to
expectations: "Matches with England always have a special atmosphere,
like last year's senior World Cup final, and today was no exception.
Emily played a great game which meant that all the pressure was on
am so pleased for him because he just missed out on being able to play
in the world junior championship by two days. He deserves to be in a
world final - he's a quality player."
the England camp were full of praise for Whitlock's stunning
performance. "It was huge," said England coach David Campion.
"The whole point of being here is to learn from this world class
was the best win of Emily's career - and the fact that she did it here
in this world arena makes it even more special."
Whitlock herself could barely contain her delight - particularly after a
debut earlier in the week which had left the European junior champion
less than pleased with herself: "It's awesome - I just can't believe it.
It's definitely my best win ever. I've been really nervous recently.
know it's a team event, but she was 12 in the world and I beat her!
Maybe I really am quite good after all!
is actually a good friend of mine and she said to me when we arrived in
Chennai that I should relax more - 'you're 33 in the world and you could
beat people in the top 20' she said.
shame I didn't beat her in last year's world junior championships - but
I just wasn't good enough then. I just didn't believe in myself - but I
know I've improved a lot since the British Junior Open last month,"
Official website (including free live streaming and video on-demand):
Final qualifying round - Pool A:
 EGYPT bt  GERMANY 3/0
Karim Abdel Gawad bt Rudi Rohrmuller 11-6, 12-10, 11-8
Nour El Tayeb bt Franziska Hennes 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 (25m)
Mohamed Abouelghar bt Sven Lemmermann 11-7, 11-9, 11-6
 INDIA bt  AUSTRALIA 3/0
Ravi Dixit bt Jamie McErvale 11-4, 11-3, 10-12, 11-9 (58m)
Dipika Pallikal bt Sarah Cardwell 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 (42m)
Ramit Tandon bt Walter Koteka 11-1, 11-2, 11-4 (17m)
Final positions: 1 Egypt, 2 India, 3 Australia, 4 Germany
 ENGLAND bt  MALAYSIA 3/0
Charles Sharpes bt Sanjay Singh 11-6, 11-8, 10-12, 11-3
Emily Whitlock bt Rachel Arnold 11-1, 11-9, 11-9 (28m)
Declan James bt Marcus Yuen 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (31m)
 FRANCE bt  HONG KONG CHINA 2/1
Lucas Serme bt Yeung Ho Wai 11-3, 11-1, 11-6 (36m)
Chloe Mesic lost to Tong Tsz-Wing 7-11, 6-11, 5-11
Geoffrey Demont bt Cheuk Yan Tang 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (33m)
Final positions: 1 France, 2 England, 3 Hong Kong China, 4 Malaysia
India Crush Australia To Make World Cup Semis In Chennai
commanding performance by India in today's final qualifying tie
in the SDAT WSF Under-21 World Cup saw the hosts crush
Australia 3/0 to secure a place in the semi-finals of the inaugural
World Squash Federation event at the Express Avenue Mall
Earlier France, surprise winners over second seeds England
the previous day, continued their unbeaten World Cup run by overcoming
Hong Kong China 2/1 - thereby finishing in pole position in Pool
seeds India will face France in Saturday's second semi-final - while
Pool A champions Egypt, 3/0 winners of all their qualifying
clashes, will line up against England in the first semi.
the opening day of play at the Express Avenue Mall, the largest shopping
complex in southern India - with all the action taking place on the new
ASB GlassCourt, an all-glass showcourt featuring a pioneering new
glass floor with under-floor LED lighting.
kicked off France's semi-final bid - knowing that a win would put his
country at the top of Pool B, and a loss to Hong Kong would put the two
countries and England, all with two wins, into a matches countback for
the pool's two semi-final slots.
19-year-old from Paris put his team into the lead with an 11-3, 11-1,
11-6 win over the Hong Kong number one Yeung Ho Wai. But the
sixth seeds struck back when 19-year-old Tong Tsz-Wing easily
beat France's Chloe Mesic 11-7, 11-6, 11-5.
for the third time in three days, Geoffrey Demont found himself
fighting for French honour with the tie poised at one-all. Once again
the tall 20-year-old from Aix-en-Provence did not let his side down,
giving his all for 33 minutes to beat Hong Kong's 18-year-old Cheuk
Yan Tang 11-6, 11-5, 11-5.
knew it would be very difficult for our girl, so we were relying on our
two men," said French team coach Philippe Signoret afterwards.
"Geoffrey had to play the right game - and he did."
explained how he was able to deal with the pressure of an all-important
decider for the team: "I tried to play it as if it was a PSA match -
because when you lose, it's all over. I imagined that I needed to win to
get into the next round!
have learned to give it my best, as if it is the last game I play.
think of the team, it's too much pressure. It's good that I am able to
manage this pressure.
was really happy to beat Ben (Coleman) yesterday," continued Demont. "We
knew each other well on the junior circuit. Yesterday was the best match
I have played this season."
crowd in the seats surrounding the court - and overlooking the Express
Mall atrium from four floors above - grew dramatically for the second
tie when India took on Australia.
hosts looked to be coasting to an early lead when top string Ravi
Dixit, a 'student' at the city's Indian Squash Academy, took
a two-game lead over Queenslander Jamie McErvale and served at
match-ball at 10-6 in the third.
the 20-year-old Australian suddenly raised his game and forced the match
into a further game. But Dixit regained his focus in the fourth and
closed out the match 11-4, 11-3, 10-12, 11-9 after 58 minutes to put
India into the lead.
too confident after winning the first two games, and let my
concentration slip," admitted Delhi-born Dixit later.
was eager anticipation for the next tie when local star Dipika
Pallikal, the 20-year-old from Chennai who has risen to a
career-high world ranking of 14 after a sensational run of form in
recent months, took to the court against Sarah Cardwell, the
20-year-old daughter of Australian legend Vicki Cardwell.
Australian did everything in her power to keep the Indian's play under
control - but it was Pallikal who had the upper hand for most of the
game, ultimately winning 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 to clinch victory for her team
- and a place in the semi-finals.
year I was a very junior player and I know I have improved in all areas
of my game since then," said Pallikal when asked to explain the
difference in her play from the senior World Cup at the same venue last
all under pressure but we're playing to win - and all of us in the team
are agreed that the main thing is to enjoy playing and play good
squash," continued the Indian champion.
Pallikal was also full of praise for the court and the new floor: "It's
great and the lighting is a huge improvement. It's where sport is going
and we need more changes like this to make squash more popular.
also great to play in front of such a big crowd that a venue like this
shopping mall attracts," added Pallikal. "You wouldn't see all these
people at the Indian Squash Academy."
India's national coach Cyrus Poncha was delighted with his team's
performance: "We did what the Indian cricket team couldn't do.
"Dipika has become very focussed over the last few months - you can see
it in her eyes."
team's semi-final prospects, Poncha added: "The French have beaten
England, so we expect a tough match.
have never reached a final before in any WSF championship, so it's
something we'd really like to achieve.
WSF and its President Mr Ramachandran have done a great job in bringing
this event to India, so it would be wonderful to do this at home."
Earlier in the day at the Indian Squash Academy, England made up for the
surprise defeat by France 24 hours earlier by beating Malaysia
3/0 - a win which ensured the second seeds a place in the semi-finals.
string Charles Sharpes avenged his French loss by beating
Malaysian Sanjay Singh 11-6, 11-8, 10-12, 11-3 before 17-year-old
Emily Whitlock scored her third successive World Cup win in a
28-minute 11-1, 11-9, 11-9 victory over Rachel Arnold, the
event's youngest player at just 15 who was making her Chennai debut.
England wrapped up their maximum points win when squad number three
Declan James defeated Marcus Yuen 11-8, 11-5, 11-6.
adjacent court, overwhelming favourites Egypt cruised to their third
successive 3/0 win - and condemned eighth seeds Germany to their
third defeat in a row.
top string Marwan El Shorbagy rested, Karim Abdel Gawad
led the Egyptian attack and dismissed Rudi Rohrmuller 11-6,
12-10, 11-8. World junior champion Nour El Tayeb maintained the
top seeds' winning run by beating Franziska Hennes 11-7, 11-5,
11-6, before Mohamed Abouelghar sealed the team win in just a
further 23 minutes, despatching Sven Lemmermann 11-7, 11-9, 11-6.
Official website (including free live streaming and video on-demand):
Shock England In Historic Upset In Chennai
stunned second seeds England in today's emotionally-charged
second qualifying round of the SDAT WSF Under-21 World Cup in the
Indian city of Chennai in only the country's third ever win over
their European cross-Channel rivals in the sport of Squash.
third seeds opened up a surprise lead over England in the inaugural
World Squash Federation mixed team event at the Indian Squash
Academy when Lucas Serme, a linguistics student at the
University of the West of England in the UK, beat higher-ranked
Englishman Charles Sharpes 11-8, 11-5, 11-4 in 36 minutes.
pair met each other regularly on the international junior circuit, most
notably in the 2010 European Junior Championship semi-finals. But, since
leaving their junior days, they have gone their separate ways - Serme
into higher education and Sharpes onto the professional squash circuit.
a long time since we last played, so I really didn't know what to
expect," said 19-year-old Serme, who manages to combine his studies with
training every day and regular appearances in PSA World Tour events.
now ranked 87 in the world, more than 50 places higher than the
Frenchman, Sharpes has been unable to beat his rival since 2009.
hopes of the English camp were lifted shortly afterwards when
17-year-old Emily Whitlock, the reigning European junior
champion, beat France's Cyrielle Peltier 11-4, 11-1, 11-9 to
level the tie.
France fought back when Geoffrey Demont, a 20-year-old from
Aix-en-Provence, beat England's second string Ben Coleman 11-8,
11-8, 11-8 in almost an hour to lead to the first team upset of the
are lucky as we have a very strong number one and number two, with very
little between them," said the jubilant French coach Philippe
Signoret. "Geoffrey has improved a lot over the past five months.
is always a great fighting spirit in matches we have against England -
and it's fantastic to have now beaten our great rivals for only the
third time ever!
great to have won our second tie here - but it's even more special that
it was against England," Signoret continued. "We will celebrate for
about 15 minutes - but then we must focus on our last pool match
tomorrow, the most important match."
will face Hong Kong, the sixth seeds who emerged as 2/1 winners
over No7 seeds Malaysia in the earlier tie in Pool B.
Yeung Ho Wai
gave Hong Kong the lead after a four-game win over Affeeq Abedeen
Ismail, then Tong Tsz-Wing clinched victory in another
four-game win over Malaysian Tan Yan Xin.
Malaysia took a consolation point when Sanjay Singh twice fought
back from behind to overcome Wong Chi-Him in five games.
"Malaysia is the dominant country in Asia, so it's good to get a win
over them," said Hong Kong team manager Wai Hang Wong. "The
standard there is very high - but our performance showed that we have
the ability to come close to them."
in Pool A concluded with favourites Egypt despatching hosts
India 3/0 - but the earlier tie saw an impressive fightback by
Australia to beat Germany 2/1.
Australia were given a jolt when 20-year-old part-timer Rudi
Rohrmuller put Germany into the lead after battling to a four-game
victory in 62 minutes over Queenslander Jamie McErvale.
the 20-year-old daughter of Australian legend Vicki Cardwell,
celebrated her maiden appearance in the event in appropriate style -
crushing Germany's Annika Wiese 11-6, 11-7, 11-4 in just 20
minutes to bring the fifth seeds back into contention.
commanding performance saw Western Australian Walter Koteka beat
Sven Lemmermann 13-11, 11-9, 11-0 to see Australian through -
much to the delight of the team, and illustrious manager Rodney Eyles.
1/0 down in a three-rubber tie is always tough," said the former world
champion afterwards. "But Sarah stamped her authority on her game and
took control - she really put some good stuff in.
certainly got her mother's genes - she's completely focussed when you
put her in the green and gold!"
is extremely enthused by the introduction of the U21 team event: "It's
very significant from Australia's point of view. We've suffered over the
years from the transition from junior to senior level - but we can now
show our youngsters a good pathway, laying the foundation for the PSA
and WSA Tours.
World Squash Federation have brilliantly orchestrated this and the
countries have really supported it," added Eyles.
exactly what we needed and I think it will really help inspire our
youngsters to take up the game."
expected, Egypt overwhelmed fourth seeds India - but the plucky home
players, loudly supported by the biggest crowd yet at the Academy, put
in impressive performances to make the favourites work for their win.
Chennai-based Ravi Dixit took a game from Marwan El Shorbagy
and built up a commanding lead over the world junior champion in the
fourth game. But El Shorbagy, now ranked 33 in the world, upped the
pressure to close out the match 11-7, 6-11, 11-4, 12-10 - before former
world junior champion Nour El Sherbini made sure of victory after
beating Anaka Alankamony 11-6, 11-3, 11-7.
number three Karan Malik took the opening game in the final
match, but Karim Abdel Gawad came back to win 3-11, 11-9, 11-0,
11-3 to keep a clean sheet for the top seeds.
qualifying rounds - Pool A:
 AUSTRALIA bt  GERMANY 2/1
Jamie McErvale lost to Rudi Rohrmuller 10-12, 12-10, 3-11,
Sarah Cardwell bt Annika Wiese 11-6, 11-7, 11-4 (20m)
Walter Koteka bt Sven Lemmermann 13-11, 11-9, 11-0 (30m)
 EGYPT bt  INDIA 3/0
Marwan El Shorbagy bt Ravi Dixit 11-7, 6-11, 11-4, 12-10
Nour El Sherbini bt Anaka Alankamony 11-6, 11-3, 11-7
Karim Abdel Gawad bt Karan Malik 3-11, 11-9, 11-0, 11-3
 HONG KONG CHINA bt  MALAYSIA 2/1
Yeung Ho Wai bt Affeeq Abedeen Ismail 11-5, 6-11, 11-9,
Tong Tsz-Wing bt Tan Yan Xin 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4 (39m)
Wong Chi-Him lost to Sanjay Singh 11-5, 6-11, 11-6, 10-12,
 FRANCE bt  ENGLAND 2/1
Lucas Serme bt Charles Sharpes 11-8, 11-5, 11-4 (36m)
Cyrielle Peltier lost to Emily Whitlock 4-11, 1-11, 9-11
Geoffrey Demont bt Ben Coleman 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 (58m)
Seeds Waltz Through World Cup Qualifiers In Chennai
top four seeds secured straightforward wins in today's first qualifying
round of the SDAT WSF Under-21 World Cup, the inaugural mixed
team event launched by the World Squash Federation in the Indian
city of Chennai.
India attracted the biggest crowds to the Indian Squash
Academy where the fourth seeds took on Germany, the No8
seeds, in Pool A. After the second-ranked Indian man Ramit Tandon
earned a hard-fought 11-2, 11-5, 12-10 victory in 45 minutes over the
German number one Rudi Rohrmuller, the event's highest-ranked
player Dipika Pallikal cruised to an 11-2, 11-4, 11-7 win over
Franziska Hennes in just 20 minutes to ensure victory for the crowd
ranked a career-high 14 in the world, Chennai born and bred Pallikal
arrived home just 24 hours before the event started after celebrating
her best Tour success in New York where she reached the final of the
prestigious Tournament of Champions.
is always extra pressure on the first match of a new event, but I was
very happy with the way it went - especially as I only got back from New
York yesterday," said the 20-year-old Indian champion who accredited her
recent form to new coach Sarah Fitz-Gerald, the five-time world
champion from Australia with whom she has been working for more than a
really enjoying playing in this event here at the venue that I grew up
at - and it's a close-knit team - we're all really good friends,"
continued Pallikal, whose hometown performance was supported by various
members of her family including her father and grandmother.
continued the team's winning run by beating Valentin Rapp 11-8,
gave us a great start - I was delighted with the way he played," said
national coach Cyrus Poncha later. "He did extremely well to beat
Rudi 3/0. Then we sailed through."
adjacent court, event favourites Egypt despatched fifth seeds
Australia with little trouble - top-ranked Marwan El Shorbagy,
the reigning men's world junior champion, beat Jamie McErvale
11-8, 11-3, 11-3 before the current women's world junior champion
Nour El Tayeb defeated Tamika Saxby 11-4, 11-4, 11-7.
number three Mohamed Abouelghar needed just 18 minutes to secure
maximum points for Egypt, overcoming Walter Koteka 11-8, 11-7,
first match is never easy and I made a bit of a slow start," admitted
18-year-old El Shorbagy, who now boasts a new career-high world No33
ranking. "It's a great tournament - I really like the format - and I
always like to represent my country."
Shorbagy agreed that an international squash clash between Egypt and
Australia is always a special occasion: "Australia have great players -
and Rodney Eyles, their manager here, is one of the greatest
in the day, England took on Hong Kong in the first tie on
the centre's all-glass court. Charles Sharpes led the second
seeds' campaign with an 11-1, 11-2, 11-8 win over Cheuk Yan Tang,
a Hong Kong left-hander ranked more than 200 places lower.
England's youngest player Emily Whitlock dropped a game en-route
to her 11-2, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7 victory over Karman Siu. "I was
surprisingly nervous before the game," admitted the 17-year-old European
Junior (U19) champion.
"Emily's too much of a perfectionist," said team manager David
Campion after Declan James wrapped things up for England with
an 11-6, 11-8, 12-10 defeat of Wong Chi-Him. "She did a good team
job for us."
Campion continued: "They've got a strong system in Hong Kong so we knew
what to expect. But we went in with a strong team and did what we set
out to do, which was to get a good start."
his win, Sharpes said: "It's good to get the first one out of way - I
was a bit nervous about playing my first game, but I think I played
added: "It means a lot to me - getting to play in an England shirt is
always an honour. It's a fantastic and very well organised event."
final tie of the day, Lucas Serme put third seeds France
ahead against Malaysia after beating the seventh seeds' Affeeq
Abedeen Ismail 11-5, 11-9, 11-9.
the underdogs fought back to draw level when Tan Yan Xin beat
French opponent Cyrielle Peltier 11-6, 13-11, 11-13, 11-2.
was restored, however, when Geoffrey Demont beat Malaysian
Sanjay Singh 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 to give France a 2/1 win.
knew their girl would be good - but our boys played well," said French
coach Philippe Signoret. "Our players are not used to playing on
the all-glass court."
Malaysian team manager Raymond Arnold disappointed with the
outcome of the final match? "No - we had hopes from the first match in
which Abedeen led 7-2 in the second game and 6-2 in the third! He lost
concentration - it was a new experience for him."
RESULTS: SDAT WSF U21 World Cup, Chennai, India
qualifying rounds - Pool A:
 EGYPT bt  AUSTRALIA 3/0
Marwan El Shorbagy bt Jamie McErvale 11-8, 11-3, 11-3
Nour El Tayeb bt Tamika Saxby 11-4, 11-4, 11-7 (28m)
Mohamed Abouelghar bt Walter Koteka 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 (18m)
INDIA bt  GERMANY 3/0
Ramit Tandon bt Rudi Rohrmuller 11-2, 11-5, 12-10 (45m)
Dipika Pallikal bt Franziska Hennes 11-2, 11-4, 11-7 (20m)
Karan Malik bt Valentin Rapp 11-8, 11-6, 11-4 (33m)
 ENGLAND bt  HONG KONG CHINA 3/0
Charles Sharpes bt Cheuk Yan Tang 11-1, 11-2, 11-8 (28m)
Emily Whitlock bt Karman Siu 11-2, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7 (35m)
Declan James bt Wong Chi-Him 11-6, 11-8, 12-10 (35m)
FRANCE bt  MALAYSIA 2/1
Lucas Serme bt Affeeq Abedeen Ismail 11-5, 11-9, 11-9
Cyrielle Peltier lost to Tan Yan Xin 6-11, 11-13, 13-11,
Geoffrey Demont bt Sanjay Singh 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 (33m)