Abouelghar Survives Marathon World Battle

Doha, Jul 10, 2012: Second-seeded Egyptian Abouelghar survived the longest match of his life to overcome India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar and claim his anticipated place in the men’s semi-finals of the Doha WSF World Junior Squash Championships in Qatar.

The 18-year-old from Cairo recovered from two games down at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha – then saved match balls in both the fourth and fifth games before beating 5/8 seed Mangaonkar 10-12, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 12-10 in 90 minutes in a match widely felt to be the best of the championships so far.

“I’m lucky I won, I’m so lucky tonight,” the relieved winner told the event website www.wsfworldjuniors.com later. “Mahesh played superb squash today, but I didn’t want to go home tonight, I didn’t want to go home after the quarters.”

Abouelghar is joined by three fellow countrymen in the event’s last four – one of whom he will take on for a place in the final. Mazen Hesham Ga Sabry – like Abouelghar, also a semi-finalist a year ago – saw off compatriot Fares Mohamed Dessouki 11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7.

But Pakistani Danish Atlas Khan stands in the way of the third all-Egyptian world junior final in a row. The 3/4 seed from Peshawar ended 9/16 seed Ahmad Al-Saraj’s brave run, beating the surprise Jordanian quarter-finalist 11-6, 11-8, 11-5.

Kahn will be the third Pakistani to test top seed Marwan El Shorbagy. The defending champion, bidding to emulate his brother Mohamed El Shorbagy as a two-time champion, defeated 5/8 seed Nasir Iqbal 11-5, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9 in 53 minutes.

“I’m happy with the way I played the first two games,” said Marwan. “But I lost a bit of concentration in the third – plus, he changed his game too. Can’t wait to get on court tomorrow.”

There will also be three Egyptians in the women’s semi-finals, with England’s Emily Whitlock providing interest for the rest of the world. The second seed and reigning European Junior Champion beat Salma Hany Ibrahim Ahmed, a 5/8 seed from Egypt, 11-7, 11-8, 4-11, 11-5 and will now face 3/4 seed Yathreb Adel for a place in the final.

Adel stopped birthday girl Anaka Alankamony, a 5/8 seed from India, 11-4, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9.

On paper, there was an upset when Mariam Ibrahim Metwally beat fellow Egyptian Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy, a 3/4 seed, 11-6, 12-10, 11-5 to make the semis. But 15-year-old Metwally was repeating the win in last year’s championship which made her the only unseeded player to reach the quarter-finals.

The youngest player still standing now takes on firm favourite Nour El Sherbini, the former champion who beat France’s Melissa Alves 11-3, 11-5, 11-4 in just 16 minutes. El Sherbini, already ranked seven in the senior world list, has now recorded three successive wins in Doha in just 49 minutes of court-time!

“I’m happy with my performance, even I made a few errors,” said the 16-year-old from Alexandria.

Men’s semi-final line-up:

[1] Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) v [3/4] Danish Atlas Khan (PAK)

[2] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [3/4] Mazen Hesham Ga Sabry (EGY)

Women’s semi-final line-up:

[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [5/8] Mariam Ibrahim Metwally (EGY)

[2] Emily Whitlock (ENG) v [3/4] Yathreb Adel (EGY).

RESULTS: Doha WSF World Junior Squash Championships, Doha, Qatar

Men’s quarter-finals:

[1] Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) bt [5/8] Nasir Iqbal (PAK) 11-5, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9 (53m)

[3/4] Danish Atlas Khan (PAK) bt [9/16] Ahmad Al-Saraj (JOR) 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (30m)

[3/4] Mazen Hesham Ga Sabry (EGY) bt [5/8] Fares Mohamed Dessouki (EGY) 11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 (63m)

[2] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [5/8] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 10-12, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 12-10 (90m)

Women’s quarter-finals:

[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [9/16] Melissa Alves (FRA) 11-3, 11-5, 11-4 (16m)

[5/8] Mariam Ibrahim Metwally (EGY) bt [3/4] Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) 11-6, 12-10, 11-5 (40m)

[3/4] Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt [5/8] Anaka Alankamony (IND) 11-4, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9 (37m)

[2] Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt [5/8] Salma Hany Ibrahim Ahmed (EGY) 11-7, 11-8, 4-11, 11-5 (36m). —– WSF

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