KUALA LUMPUR – Aifa Azman led the way for Malaysia as all but one player from the host nation got through the second round of the CIMB Foundation WSF World Junior Squash Championships.
The 3/4 seeded Aifa was on song as she demolished Norway’s Madeleine Hylland 11-5, 11-2, 11-9 at the National Squash Centre, Bukit Jalil on Wednesday. It earned her a third round clash with India’s Sanya Vats, who defeated compatriot Amira Singh 11-5, 11-6, 11-6.
“It wasn’t the toughest match for me so I just stuck to the basics and tried to work on my shots so that I’m prepared for the next round,” said Aifa. “It’s a good win to start and I’m looking forward to playing Sanja. I last played her during the Asian Junior Team Championships in January and I won 3-0 then.”
Also cruising through is 5/8 seed Chan Yiwen who took out Canada’s Lucia Bicknell 11-1, 11-1, 11-6 in just 17 minutes. Yiwen will have a tougher matchup in the third round as she goes up against teammate Ainaa Amani Ampandi, who downed Czech Republic’s Tereza Siroka 11-1, 11-8, 11-4.
The other Malaysian girls – Ooi Kah Yan, Aira Azman and Yee Xin Ying also got through their respective matches without breaking too much sweat.
For the boys, 5/8 seed Siow Yee Xian was made to work before getting past South Africa’s Tristen Worth.
The Melakan had a really slow start but eventually recovered to win 11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7. He goes on to meet Switzerland’s Campbell Wells, who dispatched India’s Tushar Shahani 11-4, 11-4, 7-11, 11-3.
“The first match of the tournament is always tough since I’m a slow start and I started really slow today as well,” admitted Yee Xian. “Its not a very good win but a win is a win and I just need to rest and prepare for the next match. I do believe that I need to work on my length in the next round.”
The trio of Duncan Lee, Danial Nurhaqiem and Amir Amirul also got through convincingly.
The only setback for Malaysia was Adam Agan Aziz who just came up short against Egypt’s 5/8 seed Yehia Elnawasany.
Adam started brilliantly but Yehia changed up his game plan superbly to take a 6-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-3 win in 32 minutes.
“It was a really tough first game for me and I really didn’t expect that from Adam who played well,” said Yehia. “I was hitting hard and playing a fast paced game in the first but I had to change my game plan after that. It worked out well for me in the next three games but I still need to work on my shots and accuracy.”
Malaysian Round Two Results
[5/8] Siow Yee Xian (MAS) 3-1 Tristen Worth (RSA) 11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7 (40m)
Amir Amirul (MAS) 3-0 Ethan Tang (HKG) 11-5, 11-8, 11-9 (28m)
Danial Nurhaqiem (MAS) 3-0 Abel Sheng Jin (AUS) 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 (29m)
Duncan Lee (MAS) 3-1 Bader Almoghrebi (KUW) 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-2 (36m)
[5/8] Yehia Elnawasany (EGY) 3-1 Adam Agan Bin Aziz (MAS) 6-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-3 (32m)
Yee Ying (MAS) 3-0 Ananya Dabke (IND) 11-6, 12-10, 11-4 (22m)
Aira Azman (MAS) 3-0 Nathalie Malmstrom (SWE) 11-4, 11-2, 11-2 (14m)
[5/8] Chan Yiwen (MAS) 3-0 Lucia Bicknell (CAN) 11-1, 11-1, 11-6 (17m)
Ainaa Ampandi (MAS) 3-0 Tereza Siroka (CZE) 11-1, 11-8, 11-4 (16m)
[9/12] Ooi Kah Yan (MAS) 3-0 Lea Barbeau (FRA) 11-6, 11-5, 11-2 (20m)
[3/4] Aifa Azman (MAS) 3-0 Madeleine Hylland (NOR) 11-5, 11-2, 11-9 (19m)
Meanwhile the competition’s top seeds also got into action by breezing through their matches.
Boys’ top seed Mostafa Asal of Egypt was simply emphatic as he took just 23 minutes to dispatch Czech Republic’s Petr Nohel. The defending champion goes on to meet England’s Jared Carter, who saw off Singapore’s Aaron Liang 6-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-5 in the third round.
Similarly, compatriot and girls’ top seed Hania El Hammamy was also in business mode as she took just 19 minutes to beat France’s Yuna Loaec 11-4, 11-1, 11-1. The world No. 15, who is seeking a first world junior title having finished as the bridesmaid to Rowan El Araby in the last two years, goes on to face Xin Ying next.
There were also a couple of upset to boot with boys’ 9/12 seed Gabe Yam of New Zealand sent packing by USA’s Nicholas Spizzirri. The American was on top of his game as he won 11-6, 11-8, 11-7.
Also taking the exit is 13/16 seed Toufik Mekhalfi of France who bowed out against Hong Kong’s To Wai Lok. After surviving a five-setter in the first round, Wai Lok did it once again as he fought back from two games down to clinch a sensational 3-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-8 win.
For the girls, Hong Kong’s Kirstie Wong claimed an impressive 6-11, 12-10, 11-8, 12-10 win over 13/16 seed Elisabeth Ross of the United States. Another 13/16 seed – Kaitlyn Watts of New Zealand – conceded a walkover to Canada’s Brianna Jefferson due to illness.
The third round starts from 11am on Thursday, followed by the fourth round which is played on the same day, at 6.30pm.