Sherbini and Shorbagy top World Junior draws

The draws for the WSF World Junior Championships to be held in Doha in July are headed by Egyptians who have both won their respective title before.

Top seed in the Men’s draw is defending champion Marwan El Shorbagy, the 18-year-old from Alexandria who will be hoping to emulate his elder brother Mohamed in winning the coveted title twice.

Should El Shorbagy, currently ranked #31 in the world at senior level, achieve that aim it will represent a seventh successive title for Egypt in a run that started with Ramy Ashour in 2004.

Last year in Herentals it was all-Egypt from the semi-finals onward, and although Egypt – the reigning team champions – provide three of the top four seeds, there is a good mix of nationalities in the top eight.

Marwan’s prospective semi-final opponent is Pakistan’s Danish Atlas Khan, while in the bottom half Mohamed Abouleghar is seeded to meet fellow-Egyptian Mazen Hesham Ga Sabry. Should the second seed reach the final against Shorbagy it would be a repeat of last year’s final in Herentals, and of this year’s BJO final, both of which were won by Shorbagy.

Predicted Quarter-finals are:  full draws
[1] Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy) v [5/8] Nasir Iqbal (Pak)
[3/4] Danish Atlas Khan (Pak) v [5/8] Oliver Holland (Eng)
[3/4] Mazen Hesham Ga Sabry (Egy) v [5/8] Fares Dessouki (Egy)
[2] Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy) v [5/8] Mahesh Mangoankar (Ind)

The Women’s top seed is Nour El Sherbini, also from Alexandria, who became the youngest ever squash world champion when she won the title in 2009 in Chennai at the age of just 13.

Now 16, Sherbini lost out in the semi-finals in 2010 and was runner-up last year – to fellow Egyptian Nour El Tayeb, now out of age – but has made remarkable progress on the senior circuit, beating three of the world’s top ten on her way to the final of last month’s Allam British Open, a set of results that have made her the youngest player ever to enter the world’s top ten, at number seven.

Seeded to meet El Sherbini in the final is England’s two-time European Junior Champion Emily Whitlock, who is number two in the World Junior Rankings. Both will have to get past Egyptian opposition in the semi-finals if all goes to seeding, Sherbini set to face Kanzy El Dafrawy in a re-run of their BJO final, and Whitlock likely to meet Yathreb Adel in a repeat of their epic BJO U17 final of 2011 in which Whitlock triumphed.

If the senior world rankings are anything to go by there should be some close competition in Qatar, with Adel ranked 31, Whitlock 32, and El Dafrawy 34!

Predicted Quarter-Finals are:  full draws
[1] Nour El Sherbini (Egy) v [5/8] Maria Elena Ubina (Usa)
[3/4] Kanzy El Dafrawy (Egy) v [5/8] Mariam Ibrahim Metwaly (Egy)
[3/4] Yathreb Adel (Egy) v [5/8] Anaka Alankamony (Ind)
[2] Emily Whitlock (Eng) v [5/8] Salmy Hany Ibrahim (Egy)

The two top-seeded Egyptians both won the prestigious British Junior Open title at the beginning of the year (pictured), and currently sit atop the WSF World Junior Rankings, which will be updated on 1st August following the championships in Qatar.

The WSF World Junior Championships take place from 7th to 18th July at the Khalifa Internationals Stadium in the Qatar capital Doha, with the individual finals taking place on the12th, followed by the Men’s Team Championships which feature teams from 23 member nations.

 

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