Top Seeds Through To World Semis in Tauranga
As predicted by the seeding panel, the top four seeds will contest the semi-finals of the WSF Women’s World Junior Team Squash Championship in New Zealand after success in today’s quarter-finals at the Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre in Tauranga.
Top seeds Egypt, aiming for a sixth title in a row, eased past surprise package Germany, the tenth seeds who upset Canada to reach the last eight and make sure of their highest finish for 16 years.
In the semis they’ll face fourth seeds Hong Kong, who had to recover from losing a close opening match to India. Sunayna Kuruvilla delighted her team-mates by giving the sixth seeds the lead. Hong Kong, however, were never seriously threatened in the next two matches as they went through to their sixth semi-final in the last seven editions.
“We knew the first would be close,” said Hong Kong manager Dick Leung (pictured above with the jubilant HK squad). “You can never underestimate India, they’re a strong team now and their number two is very solid.
“Our second player Lui isn’t in top condition, suffering from a bit of flu, so that could have been difficult, but she and Ka Wing played well under pressure.
“We’re delighted to be in the last four, and we’ll just go out and give 120% against Egypt.”
On paper third seeds England versus fifth seeds USA (both teams pictured above) was going to be close – and so it proved. Elise Lazarus – despite conceding strokes on the first three points of the match and over a dozen in all – won in straight games to put England ahead.
The Americans levelled after 14-year-old Marina Stefanoni came through in five games against Lucy Turmel (both pictured below) – but at third string England’s Jasmine Hutton dominated. The win secured England a third semi-final in a row, and ended the USA’s run of three consecutive finals.
“The pressure was on us as third seeds and we knew the USA would be strong,” said England coach Lee Drew. “Marina was in great form in the individual tournament so we knew it would be a tough match.
“The Americans are very tough competitors so it was going to be a challenge but that’s why we are here. We can go into the next match against Malaysia or New Zealand with nothing to lose.”
In fact, England will face Malaysia after the second seeds beat hosts New Zealand, taking the first two matches comfortably and then edging an entertaining best of three dead rubber.
“It always looked like we would face England, and it’s going to be tough, they’re a good team,” said Malaysian coach Andrew Cross. “The first match is going to be crucial [tomorrow’s order of play is 3, 1, 2] but we’ll be giving it all to try to make the final.”
In the 9/16 playoffs Republic of Korea upset France 2/1, to secure a place in the 9/12 play-offs against Canada – and make history by ensuring the country’s highest-ever finish in a World Team Championship.
South Africa beat Ireland 3/0 to move through to a 9/12 play-off against Australia.
 EGYPT bt  GERMANY 3/0
Rowan Reda Araby bt Kacenka Tycova 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (15m)
Hania El Hammamy bt Saskia Beinhard 11-6, 11-4, 11-0 (18m)
Zeina Mickawy bt Eva Nistler 11-2, 11-4 (10m)
 HONG KONG CHINA bt  INDIA 2/1
Chan Sin Yuk lost to Sunayna Kuruvilla 11-9, 6-11, 3-11, 7-11 (31m)
Lui Hiu Lam bt Akanksha Salunkhe 11-5, 11-2, 11-4 (17m)
Ka Wing Ho bt Aishwarya Bhattacharya 11-8, 11-5, 11-7 (22m)
 ENGLAND bt  USA 2/1
Elise Lazarus bt Grace Doyle 12-10, 11-4, 11-9
Lucy Turmel lost to Marina Stefanoni 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 5-11, 3-11 (48m)
Jasmine Hutton bt Elle Ruggiero 11-6, 11-4, 11-3 (20m)
 MALAYSIA bt  NEW ZEALAND 3/0
Andrea Lee bt Anika Jackson 11-1, 11-5, 11-2 (14m)
Sivasangari Subramaniam bt Kaitlyn Watts 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 (21m)