Malaysia and Egypt to contest 2023 WSF Women’s World Junior Team Championship final

Malaysia and Egypt will meet in the final of the WSF Women’s World Team Championship for the third time in succession after beating USA and England, respectively, in Melbourne, Australia.

Despite the 2-0 scoreline for No.2 seeds Malaysia, their tie against No.3 seeds USA was anything but straightforward.

With string order 3-1-2 today, it was up to Thanusaa Uthrian to lead the team against Emma Trauber.

After edging the first two games 11-9 and 11-8, Uthrian went from looking like she was breezing towards victory at 6-1 up in game three to suddenly being all at sea as Trauber incredibly won nine consecutive points to earn three game balls at 10-6.

To her credit, Uthrian fought back and, in an exciting exchange, saved eight game balls before eventually converting her first match ball at 15-14 to give Malaysia the lead.

The second match, between first strings Aira Azman and Caroline Fouts, picked up where the first left off, with no shortage of drama in a tight battle as Azman fought back from 0-2 down to beat Fouts 3-2 to send Malaysia through.

Afterwards, Malaysia coach Andrew Cross said: “That was edgy but we’re happy to come through it – eventually.

“Thanusaa was solid today. She got a bit panicky in that third game and at 2-0 and 6-1 up I thought it was done and dusted but credit to Emma to fight back hard.

“When Caroline took [the first two games v Azman] we just kept telling Aira that she could do it and that she would come back.”

Egypt, meanwhile, made short work of five-time champions England in the second semi-final.

Egypt, winners of the last seven titles, were dominant from the outset, with Zeina Zein firing the top seeds into the lead with a brutal 15-minute 11-4, 11-0, 11-2 win against Meha Shah.

In the second match, English first string Asia Harris was able to offer more resistance, with the 18-year-old looking in good touch as she took the game to Amina Orfi.

Orfi, who six days ago won her second consecutive individual championship, was still able to keep her nose ahead throughout, though,  showing her class in a hard-fought 11-7, 11-8, 11-8 win.

That win for Egypt means they have now made ten consecutive WSF Women’s World Junior Team Championship finals.

Afterwards, Egypt coach and former World No.4 Omneya Abdel Kawy said: “It’s really amazing [to reach a tenth consecutive final].  This is my first world championship as a coach and it’s great to win 2-0 to take off the pressure of a third match.

“My girls played really well and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”

The final takes place tomorrow, 29 July, at 14:00 (GMT+10) at Melbourne Sports Centres.

All the action from the final will be shown live and free on www.worldsquash.tv and the Olympic Channel, as well as on SQUASHTV.

Action from the playoffs will also be shown on www.worldsquash.tv from 11:00.

Teams, schedules, draws and results can be viewed on Tournament Software.

Results: WSF Women’s World Junior Team Championship – Semi-Finals (28 July)
[1] Egypt 2-0 [5] England
Amina Orfi bt Asia Harris 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-8 (37m)
Fayrouz Aboelkheir w/d Amelie Haworth
Zeina Zein bt Meha Shah 3-0: 11-4, 11-0, 11-2 (15m)

[2] Malaysia 2-0 [3] USA
Aira Azman bt Caroline Fouts 3-2: 9-11, 11-13, 11-6, 11-3, 11-7 (48m)
Sehveetrraa Kumar w/d Madison Ho
Thanusaa Uthrian bt Emma Trauber 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 16-14 (37m)

Draw: WSF Women’s World Junior Team Championship – Final (29 July)
[1] Egypt v [2] Malaysia

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