World Juniors 2024

World Juniors 2024 : Day SIX, FINALS

FINALS : Three for Orfi as Zakaria delivers Egyptian double

[1] Amina Orfi (Egy) 3-0 [2] Fayrouz Aboelkheir (Egy)  11-7, 15-13, 11-5 (48m)

[1] Mohamed Zakaria (Egy) 3-0 [9/16] Joo Young Na (Kor)   11-6, 11-4, 11-6 (37m)

Individual Draws & Results  Live Scoring  Teams Draws & Results  Streaming & Replays

Egypt enjoyed a perfect day in the individual finals of the WSF World Junior Squash Championships in Houston, USA, as Amina Orfi won an unprecedented third consecutive title and Mohamad Zakaria became the youngest ever male champion.

17-yesr-old Orfi who won the 2022 edition in France and the 2023 edition in Australia, came into today’s final against compatriot and second seed Fayrouz Aboelkheir knowing that a win would see her draw level with Egyptian legend Nour El Sherbini’s record haul of three titles, and the only player to win three consecutively.

Afterwards, she said: “I still can’t believe it! I came into this match expecting a battle; all our past matches were close with tie-breaks. I knew I had to be focused from the beginning and take advantage. I’m so happy to win and I’m already looking forward to the team event!”

Men’s top seed Zakaria, a beaten finalist last year in Melbourne, went into his clash with Republic of Korea’s Joo Young Na as the firm favourite, with the 16-year-old yet to drop a game, and kept that record as he recorded another straight-games win.

Afterwards Zakaria said: “I’ve worked all my life for this moment. It’s extra special because I have my father and coach here and I’m incredibly proud of the week. But before I say anything I’d like to say how amazing it is for Na to come into this final. I’ve watched him closely from the beginning and he’s improved significantly. He should be very proud to make it to the final.

“Winning it without dropping a game is a statement of how hard I’ve been working.”

That win for Zakaria means he becomes the youngest ever male winner of the championship, eight days younger than previous record holder Jansher Khan in 1986 and 28 days younger than Ramy Ashour, the last 16-year-old to win, in 2004.

Also receiving medals today were the four semi-finalists, with USA’s Caroline Fouts and Egypt’s Nadien Elhammamy winning bronze in the women’s event and India’s Shaurya Bawa – the first Indian to win a medal since 2014 – and Malaysia’s Harith Danial winning bronze in the men’s event.

For the players, attention turns immediately to the team competition, which begins tomorrow at Houston Squash Club.

World Juniors 2024 : Day FIVE, Semi-Finals

[1] Amina Orfi (Egy) 3-0 [3/4] Nadien Elhammamy (Egy)  11-7, 11-1, 11-6 (35m)
[2] Fayrouz Aboelkheir (Egy) 3-0 [3/4] Caroline Fouts (Usa)  11-5, 11-3, 11-4 (26m)

[1] Mohamad Zakaria (Egy) 3-0 Shaurya Bawa (Ind)   11-5, 11-5, 11-9 (41m)
[9/16] Joo Young Na (Kor) 3-2 [9/16] Harith Danial (Mas)  8-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-2 (59m)

Individual Draws & Results  Live Scoring  Teams Draws & Results  Streaming & Replays

Na fights back to make history for Korea,  Orfi into third consecutive final

Joo Young Na made history for the Republic of Korea as he brilliantly battled back to defeat Malaysia’s Harith Danial to become the first ever Korean to reach the final of a WSF World Junior Squash Championship.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The 17-year-old 9/16 seed, who captured headlines yesterday with a shock win over reigning champion Hamza Khan, came from two games down to become the lowest seeded player to reach the men’s final since Egypt’s Omar Elatmas in 2014.

“Thank you all so much for always cheering, supporting, and taking interest. I will fight for it tomorrow, too. We will do our best to shine for Korea,” Na said afterwards.

Na will take on Egypt’s Mohamad Zakaria in the final, the top seed beating India’s Shaurya Bawa in straight games to reach the final for a second year in a row.

“This year, I was extremely focused because I messed up in last year’s final. I know all my mistakes now and have made significant improvements, but the job is so far from done,” Zakaria said.

Amina Orfi’s mission to become the first ever player to win three consecutive titles is still alive after a typically efficient win against compatriot Nadien Elhammamy. Orfi, crowned champion in France in 2022 and Australia in 2023, was in control throughout against the 3/4 seed.

Afterwards, Orfi said: “I don’t think playing an Egypt teammate really affects my play because everyone is different; not all Egyptians play the same and there’s no one characteristic. Sometimes it’s good to have your Egyptian coaches cheering for you, but I don’t think it makes that much of a difference and I’m just looking forward to tomorrow.”

Facing Orfi tomorrow is another teammate, second seed Fayrouz Aboelkheir, who ensured there would be an all-Egyptian final as she ended home hopes with an 11-5, 11-3, 11-4 win over American 3/4 seed Caroline Fouts.

“I’m really happy this year that it will be an all-Egyptian final because last year I lost in the semis and broke that 10-year record. I’m glad that I’m starting it again! I’m just trying to start a new record for Egypt,” Aboelkheir said.

Day FOUR : Defending Champion Khan downed as semi-finalists are decided

Republic of Korea’s Joo Young Na recorded a stunning upset against defending champion and second seed Hamza Khan to become the first ever Korean to reach the semi-finals of the WSF World Juniors.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The 9/16 seed had already made history by becoming the first player from his country to reach the quarter-finals after a victory over compatriot Seojin Oh yesterday, but today went one better with a spectacular performance.

“It was a very tough game, I’m so exhausted! I tried to play with confidence and be aggressive. I’m so happy to win and go through to the semi-final,” Na said afterwards.

Na will take on fellow 9/16  seed Harith Danial for a place in the final after the Malaysian overcame English 9/16 seed AbdAllah Eissa in straight games. The other men’s semi-final will be contested by India’s Shaurya Bawa and Egyptian top seed Mohamad Zakaria after they beat Malaysia’s Low Wa Sern and Pakistan’s Abdullah Nawaz. Bawa fought back from three match balls down to become the first Indian to reach the last four since Kush Kumar in 2014.

Bawa wasn’t the only player to mount a comeback from three match balls down, with Egypt’s 3/4 seed Nadien Elhammamy doing the same against Indian 5/8 seed Anahat Singh in the women’s draw. Elhammamy went two game up but Singh fought back, going 10-8 ahead in the fifth before ultimately succumbing.

Afterwards, Elhammamy said: “I’m very proud of myself; that comeback in the last game was honestly incredible.”

Elhammamy will play fellow Egyptian and defending champion Amina Orfi after the top seed made short work of compatriot Nour Megahed. The other women’s semi-final will be contested by USA’s 3/4 seed Caroline Fouts, who maintained her perfect record in Houston with a 3-0 win over Janna Swaify, and Egyptian second seed Fayrouz Aboelkheir, who coasted past USA’s 5/8 seed Riya Navani to set up a repeat of the pair’s British Junior Open final in January.

Day THREE : Women’s seeds through as men’s tumble

It was carnage for the seeds in the men’s draw, with only the top two seeds left from the top eight,

In the women’s draw, it was a more comfortable affair for the favourites, with every match going to seedings and the top eight seeds reaching the quarter-finals.

Day TWO : Plenty men’s upsets as last sixteens are decided

With both rounds three and four of the men’s event taking place today, there were a number of seeding yupsets as the last sixteens in each draw were settled.

Egyptian [17/32] seed Adham Roshdy produced a top performance to stun the home crowd as he took down USA’s [3/4] seed Rishi Srivastava to reach the last 16 at Houston Squash Club. In another upset, Argentina’s Segundo Portabales scored a 3-1 win over [5/8] seed Marwan Abdelsalam to set up a last 16 meeting with Indian [17/32] seed Shaurya Bawa, who inflicted more hurt on the hosts today with a hard-fought win over [9/16] seed Rustin Wiser.

It wasn’t all bad news for Team USA, though, with [3/4] seed Caroline Fouts leading the charge into the last 16 for the hosts. Joining Fouts in the next round of the women’s event will be Dixon Hill, who will play Egyptian [3/4] seed Nadien El Hammamy,and Riya Navani, who will face Malaysia’s Thanusaa Uthrian.

Zane Patel is the sole American left in the men’s draw, with the [9/16] seed drawn against top seed Mohamad Zakaria.

Day One : Under way in Houston

The 2024 WSF World Junior Squash Championships began in Texas, USA as the world’s top junior talents started their campaigns to be crowned world champion – 146 matches across 13 courts at Houston Squash Club with rounds one and two of the men’s and women’s events taking place.

In the shock of the day, unseeded Canadian Youssef Sarhan took down Colombian [5/8] seed Jose Santamaria 3-1 in his second match of the day to set up a third round clash with USA’s Nathan Rosenzweig.

Six of the day’s matches went to five games including Hong Kong’s Valerie Huang‘s surprise round one win over Canadian 17/32 seed Maria Min, Wales’ Ioan Sharpe‘s victory over New Zealand’s Freddie Jameson and Canada’s Ocean Ma‘s comeback from 0-2 down to beat England’s Mariam Eissa.

For the hosts, it was a largely successful day, with all six of their players progressing in the men’s draw and all but one making it through in the women’s. The sole US casualty on the opening day was Alexandra Jaffe, who crashed out to defending women’s champion Amina Orfi, with the Egyptian top seed – who is aiming to be the first woman to win a hat-trick of World Junior Championship titles – recording a comfortable 3-0 win.

Defending men’s champion Hamza Khan also progressed in three games, though the Pakistani was made to work for all three by England’s Dylan Roberts. Men’s top seed Mohamad Zakaria, who lost out to Khan in last year’s final, looked in top form as he stormed past Kuwait’s Abdullah Ali in just 18 minutes to make his mark on the championships early.