The 2023 WSF World Junior Squash Championships got off to an entertaining start in Melbourne as the seeded players navigated tough challenges, hosts Australia saw two players progress to round three, and history was made for Lithuania.
On a hectic day of action, in which 135 matches and two rounds took place across ten courts inside the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, the seeded players knew they could ill afford a lapse in concentration.
With the seeded players receiving a first-round bye they went into their second round matches fresher, but perhaps less sharp than their round two opponents, who came through first round clashes in the day’s first session.
While the majority appeared to show no signs of rust, with women’s defending champion and top seed Amina Orfi of Egypt and men’s top seed Jonah Bryant of England cruising through, there were some scares for the seeds, most notably for No.2 seed and men’s defending champion Rowan Damming.
In a hotly-contested encounter, the Dutchman threatened to be a high-profile opening day casualty when he went 0-1 down to France’s Antonin Romieu, but the Dutchman was able to settle, eventual going through 7-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-6.
Joining Damming and the other seeds in the next round are home hopefuls Madison Lyon and Oscar Curtis, who have set up third round clashes with Egyptian [9/16] seed Nadien Elhammamy and Malaysian [5/8] seed Joachim Chuah, respectively.
In a thrilling back-and-forth encounter, Lyon came from behind to beat Malaysia’s Anrie Goh 9-11, 11-3, 5-11, 11-9, 11-8, while Curtis stormed past Macau’s Keng In Leong 11-1, 11-0, 11-0 in round one before beating Ireland’s Jack O’Flynn 11-8, 11-1, 11-6 in round two.
Earlier in the day, Lukas Kazemekaitis made history when he secured Lithuania’s first ever win at a World Junior Championship, with the 16-year-old, coached by Mazen Gamal, coming from behind to beat South Africa’s Devon Osborne before eventually losing out to India’s Shaurya Bawa in the second round.
The 2023 WSF World Junior Squash Championships resume tomorrow (19 July). Play begins at 11:00 (GMT+10) with action from the glass court, Court Six and Court Nine being streamed live and free around the world on worldsquash.tv.
For viewers in Australia, highlights of the day’s action will be available shortly on 7plus.
Click here for the list of results from day one of the 2023 WSF World Junior Squash Championships.
Click here for the draws for the 2023 WSF World Junior Squash Championships.
View photos from the 2023 WSF World Junior Squash Championships here.