Egyptians Forge Ahead In Herentals

There will be Egyptian interest in all of the WSF Men’s World Junior Individual Squash Championship quarter-finals in Belgium after three players from Cairo and one Alexandrian survived two testing rounds on the second day of action in the World Squash Federation event in its 18th staging at the Flemish Squash Centre in Herentals.

Defending champion Amr Khaled Khalifa, seeded to become only the third man in history to win the title twice, made the last eight for the third year in a row after beating compatriot Fares Dessouki.

But the 18-year-old from Cairo was taken the full distance by 9/16 seed Dessouki, also from the Egyptian capital, before surviving the longest third round match of the day 11-4, 10-12, 11-5, 7-11, 11-5 in 55 minutes.

After dominating the first game and leading the second 10-5, Khalifa immediately lost concentration when Dessouki left the court thinking he had already lost the game. On returning, the 16-year-old outsider drew level and appeared to have taken the upper hand.

“After Fares got off court at 10/5, I just lost concentration, and couldn’t push,” the top seed told later. “Fares had nothing to lose, and played great squash – he is one of the best juniors in Egypt.

“Tomorrow, I have really got to concentrate on the squash – not of the expectations, nor the pressure,” added the favourite. “But in a way, I’m happy to play five games, to get use to the court.”

Khalifa will now face 5/8 seed Ramit Tandon, the top junior from India who beat unseeded fellow countryman Abhishek Pradhan 11-6, 8-11, 11-3, 11-8.

Tandon, an 18-year-old from Kolkata who finished as runner-up in this year’s Asian Junior Championship, is the only player making his fifth successive appearance in the championship.

Egyptians prevailed in two of the day’s quickest games – second seed Marwan El Shorbagy despatching Canadian Junior Open champion Tyler Osborne 11-2, 11-7, 11-2 in 20 minutes and Cairo-born Mazen Hesham Ga Sabry needing only 19 minutes to see off unseeded Colombian Alfonso Marroquin 11-5, 11-0, 11-0.


El Shorbagy, a 17-year-old from Alexandria hoping to emulate his older brother Mohamed El Shorbagy, a two-time world junior champion, will face the second Indian to make the last eight.

Mahesh Mangaonkar, a 17-year-old from Mumbai, defeated fellow 9/16 seed Nicholas Hopcroft, from England, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4.

“I was pretty confident,” explained Mangaonkar. “I’ve studied Nick’s game since I was 11. And although I have never played him before, I really worked on how to play him. Also, I told myself that I’ve got to go and do it! After all, I’ve been training for a year for this event!”




2nd round:
[1] Amr Khaled Khalifa (EGY) bt Kush Kumar (IND) 11-4, 11-3, 11-1 (22m)
[9/16] Fares Dessouki (EGY) bt Damien Volland (FRA) 11-3, 11-7, 11-0 (29m)
[5/8] Ramit Tandon (IND) bt Abdulla Al-Tamimi (QAT) 11-5, 11-8, 11-9 (31m)
Abhishek Pradhan (IND) bt [9/16] Michael McCue (CAN) 9-11, 11-9, 11-1, 11-7 (38m)
[5/8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt Juan Vargas (COL) 11-5, 11-1, 11-7 (20m)
Oliver Holland (ENG) bt Arthur Moineau (FRA) 11-9, 8-11, 11-3, 11-2 (46m)
[5/8] James Earles (ENG) bt Quint Mandil (FRA) 11-3, 11-5, 11-6 (21m)
Alexandre Cogno (FRA) bt Valentin Rapp (GER) 11-9, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6 (44m)
[9/16] Mazen Hesham Ga Sabry (EGY) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 11-6, 5-11, 11-8, 11-5 (31m)
Alfonso Marroquin (COL) bt Yousef Saleh (KUW) 12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 6-11, 11-9 (60m)
Dylan Murray (USA) bt [9/16] Jerome Dadot (FRA) 11-6, 11-9, 11-6 (40m)
[5/8] Declan James (ENG) bt Ernesto Davila (ECU) 11-6, 5-11, 11-2, 11-9 (40m)
[9/16] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt Cedric Kuchen (SUI) 11-2, 11-4, 11-5 (24m)
[9/16] Nicholas Hopcroft (ENG) bt Durandt Martin (RSA) 11-7, 11-5, 11-5 (30m)
[9/16] Tyler Osborne (CAN) bt Andres de Frutos (COL) 11-6, 11-2, 11-4 (20m)
[2] Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Martin Svec (CZE) 11-4, 11-7, 11-13, 11-3 (38m)

3rd round:
[1] Amr Khaled Khalifa (EGY) bt [9/16] Fares Dessouki (EGY) 11-4, 10-12, 11-5, 7-11, 11-5 (55m)
[5/8] Ramit Tandon (IND) bt Abhishek Pradhan (IND) 11-6, 8-11, 11-3, 11-8 (33m)
[5/8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt Oliver Holland (ENG) 3-11, 12-10, 11-2, 15-13 (41m)
[5/8] James Earles (ENG) bt Alexandre Cogno (FRA) 11-2, 11-9, 11-4 (28m)
[9/16] Mazen Hesham Ga Sabry (EGY) bt Alfonso Marroquin (COL) 11-5, 11-0, 11-0 (19m)
[5/8] Declan James (ENG) bt Dylan Murray (USA) 11-9, 11-9, 11-5 (38m)
[9/16] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt [9/16] Nicholas Hopcroft (ENG) 11-8, 11-5, 11-4 (32m)
[2] Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) bt [9/16] Tyler Osborne (CAN) 11-2, 11-7, 11-2 (20m)

Official event website:    Further coverage on: