Wroclaw – Poland, July 19, 2013: Only Englishman Richie Fallows and Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi stand in the way of an Egyptian double in the WSF World Junior Squash Championships in Poland after today’s quarter-final action in the World Squash Federation event at the Hasta La Vista Club in the historical city of Wroclaw.
Fallows, a 5/8 seed and runner-up in the recent European Junior Championship, claimed an unexpected place in the semi-finals after twice coming from behind to beat Egypt’s Mohamed El Gawarhy 7-11, 11-4, 11-13, 11-8, 11-9 in 80 minutes – the longest match of the tournament so far.
“It was a really tight game which almost slipped away from me,” said the 18-year-old Londoner afterwards. “I think God was on my side today, especially when I think about that backhand shot that went off my frame and helped me win the point at nine-all in the fifth!
“Who would I rather play in the semis? Nobody really. At this stage it’s always anybody’s game.”
Fallows now faces Karim Ayman Elhammamy, the second-seeded Egyptian who ended Kuwait’s historic run in the championship when he recovered from a game down to remove 5/8 seed Yousif Nizar Saleh 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7.
“Losing the first game was disappointing, but I was still getting into the game,” said Elhammamy. “I’m that sort of player who gets better as the match progresses. I play Richie (Fallows) in the semis, who I’ve never met before. We’ll see how it goes.”
Al Tamimi is also seeded in the 5/8 group – and was also marking his country’s debut appearance at the last eight stage of the championship. The Doha teenager ended English schoolboy Lyell Fuller’s run by beating the unseeded 17-year-old 12-10, 11-8, 11-6.
The 18-year-old Qatari faces his sternest test when he takes on Egypt’s Fares Mohamed Dessouki for a place in the final. Favourite Dessouki stopped 5/8 seed Diego Elias, Peru’s first ever competitor in the championship, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4 in 65 minutes.
But the biggest upset came in the women’s event when Mariam Ibrahim Metwally ousted Egyptian compatriot Nouran Ahmed Gohar, the No2 seed, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-13, 11-8 in 74 minutes.
“I actually have a rather good record against Nouran Gohar,” explained the victorious 5/8 seed later. “I’ve played her perhaps 20 times in Egypt, not losing many of these, and I beat her in a tournament two weeks ago, 3/1.
“Today I could repeat that, having match point at 2/1 up, but I let that chance slip and she won the game. Luckily I wasn’t made to rue that later on,” added the 16-year-old.
“Why wasn’t I celebrating at the end? I was in a bit of pain because of cramp in my foot which I got at 8-5. I somehow managed to get through anyway!”
Metwally now takes on fellow countrywoman Yathreb Adel, a 3/4 seed who needed only 25 minutes to overcome Belgium’s Nele Gilis 11-4, 11-5, 11-1.
The other women’s semi will also be a surprise all-Egyptian affair between favourite Nour El Sherbini and 9/16 seed Habiba Mohamed Ahmed Alymohmed.
El Sherbini, now one match away from her fourth final appearance since 2009, beat compatriot Salma Hany Ibrahim 11-9, 11-3, 11-6, while 14-year-old Alymohmed upset USA’s 3/4 seed Sabrina Sobhy 11-7, 11-7, 11-8.
“I never played Salma Ibrahim Ahmed in a competitive match before even though we often play exhibition matches,” said El Sherbini, the world No11, afterwards. “I think I did good, I’m quite satisfied with my performance.
“Tomorrow I play the young Habiba Mohamed whom I’ve also never faced before. We’re from the same city, but from different clubs.”
A confident Habiba Mohamed denied being nervous about her semi against fellow Alexandrian El Sherbini – and not surprised by today’s win: “Was I expecting the win? Perhaps a bit yesterday and much more today. It’s a big deal as I’m younger than her and at only 14 years I’m in the semis!
“Am I nervous? Not at all. Why should I be? There’s no pressure on me from now on.”
RESULTS: WSF World Junior Squash Championships, Wroclaw, Poland
 Fares Mohamed Dessouki (EGY) bt [5/8] Diego Elias (PER) 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4 (65m)
[5/8] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt Lyell Fuller (ENG) 12-10, 11-8, 11-6 (32m)
[5/8] Richie Fallows (ENG) bt [9/16] Mohamed El Gawarhy (EGY) 7-11, 11-4, 11-13, 11-8, 11-9 (80m)
 Karim Ayman Elhammamy (EGY) bt [5/8] Yousif Nizar Saleh (KUW) 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7 (62m)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [5/8] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) 11-9, 11-3, 11-6 (27m)
[9/16] Habiba Mohamed Ahmed Alymohmed (EGY) bt [3/4] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 (24m)
[3/4] Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt [5/8] Nele Gilis (BEL) 11-4, 11-5, 11-1 (25m)
[5/8] Mariam Ibrahim Metwally (EGY) bt  Nouran Ahmed Gohar (EGY) 7-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-13, 11-8 (74m)
Men’s semi-final line-up:
 Fares Mohamed Dessouki (EGY) v [5/8] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
 Karim Ayman Elhammamy (EGY) v [5/8] Richie Fallows (ENG)
Women’s semi-final line-up:
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [9/16] Habiba Mohamed Ahmed Alymohmed (EGY)
[5/8] Mariam Ibrahim Metwally (EGY) v [3/4] Yathreb Adel (EGY)