USA’s Robertson shocks defending champ Damming to reach quarter-finals

USA’s Hollis Robertson stunned defending champion Rowan Damming on the third day of the WSF World Junior Squash Championships to become the first American male to reach the quarter-finals in six years.

In the final match of the day at Melbourne Sports Centres, the 18-year-old looked to be heading out of his maiden World Junior Championships when he went 2-0 down to the Dutchman.

Robertson, who saved a match ball on his way to a five-game win against Colombia’s Javier Emilio Romo Lopez yesterday, fought back spectacularly, though, with the tireless American retrieving everything as he fought back to 2-2 with 11-6, 11-5 wins.

In a tense conclusion, Robertson was able to complete the remarkable comeback with an 11-7 victory and his celebration was as energetic as his performance, with the American sprinting to the front of the court and roaring with delight, before commiserating Damming and then being mobbed by the rest of the US squad.

“I kind of lost myself for a second and let it all out. Knowing I had the team’s support, they’ve supported me two matches in a row and really pushed me through and I just wanted to share that moment with them,” Robertson said afterwards.

Robertson’s opponent in the quarter-final will be fellow [9/16] seed Melvil Scianimanico of France, who himself performed a seedings upset as he came from 0-1 down to beat Swiss [5/8] seed David Bernet 3-1.

The rest of the men’s draw went to seedings. In an exciting contest, top seed Jonah Bryant edged past Yassein Shohdy, while [3/4] seeds Mohamed Zakaria and Hamza Khan got the better of Varun Chitturi and Jose Santamaria, with Khan having to fight back from 0-1 down in a 3-2 win, alongside wins for remaining seeded players Salman Khalil, Juan Jose Torres and Joachim Chuah.

In the women’s draw, the seeded players continued to impress.

Top seed Amina Orfi, who won the women’s competition as a 15-year-old last year, continued her fine form as she got the better of Malaysian [9/16] seed Sehveetrraa Kumar in straight games, while No.2 seed Fayrouz Aboelkheir eased past [5/8] seed Nour Megahed in an all-Egyptian affair.

I’m an intense contest on Court Nine, Indian [5/8] seed Anahat Singh came from behind in a see-saw encounter against Egyptian [9/16] seed Nadien Elhammamy, with the 15-year-old winning 8-11, 11-2, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8 in 52 minutes to set up a quarter-final with Egyptian [3/4] seed Malak Khafagy.

On the same court, Wai Sze Wing, who yesterday shocked English [5/8] seed Asia Harris, saw her run come to an end as she fell to French [9/16] seed Laurent Baltayan in 24 minutes.

Egypt’s Zeina Zein and USA’s Caroline Fouts complete the draw after wins over USA’s Madison Ho and Savannah Ingledew, respectively.

The 2023 WSF World Junior Squash Championships resume tomorrow (21 July) with the quarter-finals. Play begins at 11:00 (GMT+10) with all quarter-final matches taking place on the glass court and being streamed for free on worldsquash.tv and the Olympic Channel.

Consolation match action will also be streamed on Court Six and Court Nine on worldsquash.tv.

For viewers in Australia, highlights of the day’s action will be available shortly on 7plus.

Follow the tournament on the official tournament website, wsfworldjuniors.com

Results: 2023 WSF World Junior Squash Championships – Men’s RO16
[1] Jonah Bryant (ENG) bt [9/16] Yassein Shohdy (EGY) 3-2: 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-5 (59m)
[5/8] Salman Khalil (EGY) bt [9/16] Rishi Srivastava (USA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-7, 11-3 (30m)
[5/8] Juan Jose Torres (COL) bt [9/16] Omar Said Sobhy (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-7 (39m)
[3/4] Mohamed Zakaria (EGY) bt Varun Chitturi (USA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-8 (37m)
[3/4] Hamza Khan (PAK) bt José Santamaria (COL) 3-2: 9-11, 11-2, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7 (60m)
[5/8] Joachim Chuah (MAS) bt [9/16] Kareem El Torkey (EGY) 3-1: 3-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 (43m)
[9/16] Melvil Scianimanico (FRA) bt [5/8] David Bernet (SUI) 3-1: 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8 (68m)
[9/16] Hollis Robertson (USA) bt [2] Rowan Damming (NED) 3-2: 7-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7 (66m)

Results: 2023 WSF World Junior Squash Championships – Women’s RO16
[1] Amina Orfi (EGY) bt [9/16] Sehveetrraa Kumar (MAS) 3-0: 12-10, 11-4, 11-2 (28m)
[5/8] Zeina Zein (EGY) bt [9/16] Madison Ho (USA) 3-1: 11-5, 11-4, 13-15, 11-4 (41m)
[5/8] Anahat Singh (IND) bt [9/16] Nadien Elhammamy (EGY) 3-2: 8-11, 11-2, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8 (52m)
[3/4] Malak Khafagy (EGY) bt [9/16] Riya Navani (USA) 3-1: 11-2, 11-7, 13-15, 11-1 (40m)
[3/4] Aira Azman (MAS) bt Leung Ka Huen (HKG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-3 (21m)
[9/16] Lauren Baltayan (FRA) bt Wai Sze Wing (HKG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-2, 11-9 (24m)
[5/8] Caroline Fouts (USA) bt [9/16] Savannah Ingledew (RSA) 3-1: 13-11, 8-11, 11-1, 11-6 (62m)
[2] Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY) bt [9/16] Nour Megahed (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-5 (27m)

Draw: 2023 WSF World Junior Squash Championships – Men’s Quarter-Final
[1] Jonah Bryant (ENG) v [5/8] Salman Khalil (EGY)
[3/4] Mohamed Zakaria (EGY) v [5/8] Juan Jose Torres (COL)
[3/4] Hamza Khan (PAK) v [5/8] Joachim Chuah (MAS)
[9/16] Hollis Robertson (USA) v [9/16] Melvil Scianimanico (FRA)

Draw: 2023 WSF World Junior Squash Championships – Women’s Quarter-Final
[1] Amina Orfi (EGY) v [5/8] Zeina Zein (EGY)
[3/4] Malak Khafagy (EGY) v [5/8] Anahat Singh (IND)
[3/4] Aira Azman (MAS) v [9/16] Lauren Baltayan (FRA)
[2] Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY) v [5/8] Caroline Fouts (USA)

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