Who is Amina Orfi? 5 things you need to know…

15-year-old Egyptian sensation Amina Orfi has just become the youngest player ever to reach the third round of the World Championships.

Here are 5 things you need to know about the Cairo-born player.

Amina Orfi is the 16th best player in the world

Despite her world ranking of 61, Orfi is the 16th best player on current form.

At least that’s according to the PSA Power Ratings, which are designed to provide a more accurate gauge of current playing levels than the formal ranking.

The PSA Power Ratings are based on data from ranking system SquashLevels. Orfi currently has a SquashLevels rating of 11,118, putting her ahead of top senior players including Farida Mohamed, Hollie Naugton and Sarah-Jane Perry.

Orfi’s amazing run

Amina Orfi after beating Olivia Clyne

The 15-year-old beat US based Ineta Mackevica and US #3 Olivia Clyne to reach the last sixteen of this week’s World Championships in Chicago.

This follows on from her scintillating run at the Bronze-level Squash on Fire tournament at the end of February. Having bested world number Sivasangari Subramaniam in round two, she knocked out Nada Abbas and Sabrina Sobhy in the quarter- and semi-finals of the Washington DC event. The latter was a five-game marathon.

She was finally downed by Belgium’s Tinne Gillis in the final.

Prior to that defeat, Orfi had racked up 16 consecutive wins on the PSA tour.

Amina Orfi is reigning World Junior Champion

Orfi won the World Junior Squash Championship last August, in the process beating players that were up to three years her senior. She saw off 18-year old Salma El Tayeb 3-2 in the final, coming from two games behind. This made her the youngest champion since a 13-year-old Nour El Sherbini in 2009.

In January she added British Junior Open U19 title, to remain unbeaten at that event since her debut in 2018.

Amina Orfi is dreaming big

Joining a list of World Junior champions that includes the likes of Nicol DavidRaneem El WelilyHania El Hammamy, Nouran Gohar and Nour El Sherbini has given Orfi confidence that she too has the potential to reach the top of the game.

“It feels great because I know usually whoever wins this tournament has the potential of being at the top,” she said in an interview with the PSA in January.

“I didn’t try to pressure myself with this when I was in the tournament, but after it was over I realised I have a chance to be world number one, which is a huge motivation for me.”

Comparisons with Nour El Sherbini already being made

Nour El Sherbini

The last player to light up the tour at such a young age was six-times World Champion Nour El Sherbini (pictured above).

Comparisons with ‘The Warrior Princess’ – who won multiple British Junior Open titles, three World Junior titles, broke into the world’s top 50 aged 14 years and made the final of the British Open at 16 – are therefore inevitable.

One achievement they share is skipping age groups at the British Junior Open to claim the U19 title – Sherbini skipped the U17s while Orfi went straight from U13 to U19.

Next up – Hania

Orfi’s next challenge in Chicago is against Hania El Hammamy, another player who has transformed a spectacular junior career into a successful senior one – and is Amina’s immediate predecessor as World Junior Champion !

Update – Hania scrapes through !

R3 : [3] Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 3-2 [wc] Amina Orfi (Egy) 11-5, 11-5, 5-11, 7-11, 11-9 (71m)

U13 champ Orfi (red top) and U19 champ Hammamy (pink top) at the 2019 BJO