Day Five – Semi-finals

Men’s top seeds crash out as a seventh all-Egyptian women’s final beckons

Both top seeds crashed out in the men’s semi-finals as France’s Victor Crouin and Egypt’s Marwan Tarek won through to the final in Tauranga.

Crouin, the European Champion, played some of his best squash to oust Jordan’s second seed Mohammed Al Sarraj, taking the opening game and then controlling the final two after Al Sarraj had levelled.

Tarek took on compatriot and close friend Youssef Ibrahim, and after taking a close first game, raced through to a two-nil lead. Ibrahim fought back, taking the third and a decider lookd on the cards as he earned three game balls at 10-7 in the fourth.

As has been the case all tournament though, unforced errors proved to be Ibrahim’s undoing as Tarek took five points in a row to reach the final.

The women’s final will be an all-Egyptian affair – the seventh in a row – as top seeds Hania El Hammamy and Rowan El Araby – both just 16 years of age – won in straight games to set up a repeat of their semi-final in last year’s event in Poland.

Hammamy beat Satomi Watanabe, the Japanese threatening to extend the match with comebacks in the first and from 7-10 in the third, while El Araby capitalised on an 8-1 start to maintain control over Amina Yousry throughout the three games.

WHAT THEY SAID – quotes from the semis

[3/4] Marwan Tarek (Egy) 3-1 [1] Youssef Ibrahim (Egy)      13/11, 11/7, 7/11, 12/10 (58m)
[3/4] Victor Crouin (Fra) 3-1 [2] Mohammad Al Sarraj (Jor)    11/6, 8/11, 11/6, 11/6 (52m)

[1] Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 3-0 [5/8] Satomi Watanabe (Jpn)     12/10 11/4, 12/10 (32m)
[3/4] Rowan Elaraby (Egy) 3-0 [5/8] Amina Yousry (Egy)              11/7, 11/7, 11/5 (27m)

WHAT THEY SAID – quotes from the semis


Semi-Finals Preview

First up it’s Jordan’s Mohammad Alsarraj against France’s European Junior Champion Victor Crouin, both appearing at this stage for the first time (both lost in R4 last year) in their last world juniors. Both have been in impressive form so far, Alsarraj dropping just two games, Crouin none. The Jordanian has won both their previous meetings of 2013 and 2016.

Then it’s the top seeds’ turn, both having survived five-game battles last night. Hania El Hammamy, still just 16 and ranked 35 in the world, will be looking to go one better than her quarter and semi final appearances in the last two editions. Sataomi Watanaba – ranked one in the WSF World Junior rankings – also needed five game to reach this, her first semi-final in her fifth and last world juniors. After Watanabe’s win in the 2013 British Juniors, El Hammamy avenged in 2016 and 2017, all quarter-finals.

Youssef Ibrahim, who lost out in last year’s semis to eventual champion Eain Yow Ng, has been taken the distance in his last two matches,  and tonight faces fellow-Egyptian and close friend Marwan Tarek, one year younger at  17 and improving already on last year’s quarter-final appearance.

It’s another all-Egyptian match to finish as last year’s runner-up Rowan Elaraby, still just 16, meets 17 year old Amina Yousry, also improving on last year’s quarter-final berth.  Elaraby has won both their previous meetings,in the final stages of the 2014 and 2016 British Juniors.

You can Watch LIVE, follow the results on our Twitter Feed and catch up with updates on Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr. We’ll have reports and a roundup of the action here on Today, as usual.

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