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WSF World Junior Championship: Semi-Finals Preview & How To Watch Live

It’s semi-finals day of the 2022 WSF World Junior Squash Championships at Jarville TSB in Nancy, France.

Play begins at 13:40 (GMT+2) and all the matches will be streamed on the WSF YouTube channel, which will also show plate matches from 11:00.

Read on as we preview today’s quarter-finals. All stats kindly provided by Squash Info.

13:40: [1] Kenzy Ayman (EGY) – [5/8] Salma El Tayeb (EGY)

Kenzy Ayman

The first of two all-Egyptian semi finals pits two familiar opponents against each other. Besides plenty of training matches, the pair have met three times on the PSA Challenger Tour and once on the junior circuit. From those meetings, it’s top seed Ayman who boasts the superior head-to-head record, with the 18-year-old on a three match winning streak.

Ayman may already be a familiar name to fans of the PSA World Tour, with the Egyptian recording an impressive campaign as a wildcard at this year’s World Championships, where she reached round two and led against defending champion Nour El Sherbini in an eventual 3-1 defeat.

Ayman made a confident start to her campaign in Nancy, dispatching Sonya Sasson, Chloe Crabbe and Asia Harris in straight games, before surviving a scare as she came from a game down to beat Saran Nghiem 3-2 in yesterday’s quarter-final.

El Tayeb, meanwhile, has enjoyed smooth progress through. The 18-year-old is yet to drop a game and was in dominant form yesterday as she upset 3/4 seed Aira Azman in just 24 minutes.

14:20: [1] Mohammad Hamza Khan (PAK) – [¾] Finnlay Withington (ENG)

Hamza Khan

Whoever wins this clash will be giving their country cause for cautious optimism that a return to squash’s pinnacle is achievable. Pakistan have not sent a player into the men’s final since Aamir Atlas Khan in 2006, while England have not had a representative in the final since 2002, when James Willstrop beat Peter Barker in an all-English final.

Khan looked in danger of suffering a shock exit yesterday when he went 2-1 down against Egypt’s Mohammed Nasser, but the 16-year old rallied well to fight back to an eventual 3-2 win.

Withington, meanwhile, is yet to fall behind at the championship, with the 18-year-old recording 3-0 wins over Tsz Shing Tam and Arnaav Sareen, while stifling comebacks in 3-1 wins over Avi Agarwal and compatriot Sam Osborne-Wylde.

15:00: [¾] Fayrouz Abouelkheir (EGY) – [2] Amina Orfi (EGY)

Orfi celebrates her semi-final win.

The second all-Egyptian semi-final sees 15-year-old Amina Orfi take on 16-year-old Fayrouz Abouelkheir. Although it’s been three years since their last official meeting, Orfi may take confidence from her 3-0 victory over Abouelkheir in the final of the 2019 British Junior U13 Open.

For Orfi, who is yet to drop a game, today’s match is her second-successive one against a fellow Egyptian, with the World No.427 also beating compatriot Malak Khafagy in a fiery quarter-final yesterday.

Abouelkheir, meanwhile, has dropped just one game. After having flown through her first three matches, she was tested in a 3-1 win over 14-year-old Anahat Singh.

15:40: [5/8] Rowan Damming (NED) – [9/16] Mohamed Zakaria (EGY)

Mohamed Zakaria is the youngest player in 18 years to reach this stage of the men’s event.

When Mohamed Zakaria silenced the home crowd in a 3-2 win over France’s Brice Nicolas yesterday, he became the youngest player since 2004 to reach this stage of the men’s event.

Despite his slender frame, the Egyptian is quick and deceptively powerful, something the 14-year-old has used to great affect in upsetting a number of older opponents. Zakaria also knows how to dig in and showed good mental strength in coming from behind in his round of 16 and quarter-final matches.

Damming, meanwhile, has already recorded the most successful campaign ever for a Dutch player. The 17-year-old has impressed with his court coverage and strong fundamentals and will be hoping to continue his historic run this afternoon.

The semi-finals begin from 13:40 (GMT+2) today (August 15). You can watch the action live and free on the WSF YouTube channel, alongside the Olympic Channel, Sport en France and other streaming partners.

Draw: 2022 WSF Men’s World Junior Championship, Semi-Finals
[1] Mohammad Hamza Khan (PAK) – [¾] Finnlay Withington (ENG)
[5/8] Rowan Damming (NED) – [9/16] Mohamed Zakaria (EGY)

Draw: 2022 WSF Women’s World Junior Championship, Semi-Finals
[1] Kenzy Ayman (EGY) – [5/8] Salma El Tayeb (EGY)
[¾] Fayrouz Abouelkheir (EGY) – [2] Amina Orfi (EGY)

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