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Squash - Int News

SQUASH - Int News 22 Jul, 2024

World Juniors: Records tumble on thrilling quarterfinals day
Pakistan journey ends in quarterfinals of Team Event, Colombia outplay Pakistan 2-1Sports Bulletin ReportHouston, Texas (USA): Pakistan Squash Team ended their journey after losing quarterfinal against a low seeding Colombia 2-1 in the WSF World Junior Team Squash Championship at Houston Squash Club, Texas United States of America (USA) on July 21, 2024. Mohammad Hamza Khan and Mohammad Tayyab lost their matches while Abdullah Nawaz defeated his opponent.In the men’s event, Colombia and Republic of Korea reached the semi-finals for the first time, while in the women’s event Canada achieved a first semi-final since 1987. Team USA also earned a national record medal haul, with the women's and men's team guaranteed at least bronzes after quarter-final wins, to accompany the bronze medal won by Caroline Fouts in the individual event.Colombia went into the team event having fallen short of the high expectations they set for themselves in the individual event last week, with none of their players progressing beyond the round of 16. The South American side have found redemption in the team event, however, earning a quarter-final berth for the first time with a 2-0 win over Kuwait. They went one better, going into the record books with a brilliant display against five-time champions Pakistan.Things started poorly for Colombia as Pakistan edged into the lead thanks to a hotly-contested 3-2 win for Abdullah Nawaz, before Juan Torres came from a game down to beat an out of sorts Hamza Khan to send the tie to a decider. In the crucial match, a stop-start and at times bad-tempered encounter, Jose Santamaria proved to be the hero as he fought back from a game down to beat Mohammad Ammad 4-11, 13-12, 11-8, 12-10.Colombia's coach Martin Knight said afterwards: "I think the emotion out there from the crowd says it all! It was the first time we'd reached the top ten but we weren't content with that. I was fully confident that we could win. As a country, Colombia, we've increased participation, levels and training and we knew coming in that we had a very good team. It didn't go as well as we'd have like in the individual result, but we knew the depth we had and were confident that if we put in a good performance today we'd have every chance."In the women’s draw, Canada returned to the last four for the first time in 37 years thanks to valiant efforts from twins Spring and Ocean Ma. Spring Ma got the 5/6 seeds off to a dream start with a surprisingly routine win over Tsz Ching Cheung, before Ocean Ma dug in to record a bruising 11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 12-10 victory to the joy - and tears - of her teammates.The other semi-final will see hosts USA take on Malaysia. USA breezed past England to secure semi-finals for the second year in succession, while Malaysia came through an epic battle with India, with Doyce Lee recovering from 1-2 and 4-9 down in game four to beat Nirupama Dubey 11-7, 7-11, 5-11, 12-10, 11-3.Results (Women's Quarter-Finals):Egypt beat New Zealand (2-0):Nadien Elhammamy beat Anabel romero Gemmell 3-0: 11-6, 11-1, 11-0Fayrouz Aboelkheir beat Ella Lash 3-0: 11-4, 11-3, 11-5Janna Swaify w/d Ella HillCanada beat Hong Kong, China (2-0):Spring Ma beat Tsz Ching Cheung 3-0: 11-7, 12-10, 11-4Ocean Ma beat Ena Kwong 3-1: 11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 12-10Maria Min w/d Helen TangMalaysia beat India (2-1):Whitney Wilson beat Shameena Riaz 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 12-10Thanusaa Uthrian lost to Anahat Singh 2-3: 11-6, 13-15, 6-11, 11-5, 6-11Doyce Lee beat Nirupama Dubey 3-2: 11-7, 7-11, 5-11, 12-10, 11-3USA beat England (3=0):Riya Navani beat Mariam Eissa 3-0: 11-6, 11-3, 11-5Caroline Fouts beat Amelie Haworth 3-0: 11-2, 11-9, 11-4Sam Jaffe beat Emily Coulcher-Porter 2-0: 11-9, 11-6Results (Men's Quarter-Finals):USA beat South Africa (2-0):Rishi Srivastava beat Connor Earl 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-4Zane Patel beat Luhann Groenewald 3-1: 12-10, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9Alexander Dartnell w/d Devon OsborneRepublic of Korea beat India (2-1):Seojin Oh lost to Yuvraj Wadhwani 2-3: 7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 6-11Joo Young Na beat Shaurya Bawa 3-1: 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6Kun Kim beat Arihant KS 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-9Colombia beat Pakistan (2-1):Juan Irisarri lost to Abdullah Nawaz 2-3: 8-11, 12-10, 11-9, 3-11, 7-11Juan Torre beat Hamza Khan 3-1: 11-13, 11-9, 11-8, 11-3Jose Santamaria beat Mohammad Ammad 3-1: 4-11 14-12 11-8 12-10Egypt beat England (2-0):Marwan Assal beat Yusuf Sheikh 3-1: 13-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6Mohamad Zakaria beat AbdAllah Eissa 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-8Marwan Abdelsalam w/d Bailey Malik.

SQUASH - Int News 18 Jul, 2024

Orfi and Zakaria become WSF World Junior Squash Champions
Sports Bulletin ReportHouston (USA): Egypt enjoyed a perfect day in the individual finals of the WSF World Junior Squash Championships in Houston, USA, as Amina Orfi won an unprecedented third consecutive title and Mohamad Zakaria became the youngest ever male champion.Orfi, 17, who won the 2022 edition in France and the 2023 edition in Australia, came into today’s final against compatriot and No.2 seed Fayrouz Aboelkheir knowing that a win would not only see her draw level with Egyptian legend Nour El Sherbini’s record haul of three titles, but put her in a class of her own as the only player to win three consecutively.The top seed, who like Aboelkheir went into today’s final in Texas having not dropped a single game, looked edgy early on as Aboelkheir made the brighter start, but eventually settled to take the opener 11-7. The 17-year-old then doubled her lead after a mammoth 23-minute second game, with Orfi seeing four game balls saved before eventually converting. That win put the wind in her sails and, in a fractious third game, she closed out 11-5 to cap a famous victory.Top seed Zakaria, meanwhile, a beaten finalist last year in Melbourne, went into his clash with Republic of Korea’s Joo Young Na as the firm favourite, with the 16-year-old yet to drop a game during an efficient run.[9/16] seed Na, meanwhile, had defied all expectations to become the first ever Korean to reach the final of a World Championship, with his 3-2 win over defending champion Hamza Khan in the quarter-final sending shockwaves through the tournament.Zakaria spoke ahead of the match of the danger presented by Na, and his tactics bore that out as Zakaria played a patient game, attacking only whenever the opportunity presented itself.This plan proved effective, with Na, who played five games in his semi-final and quarter-final, hitting some spectacular shots but failing to consistently hurt Zakaria.After taking the first game 11-6, the top seed moved into a commanding lead with an 11-4 win in game two.Na dug in desperately in game three but could not dislodge Zakaria, with the 16-year-old holding him at arm’s length throughout and, after a tense wait on a video referee decision on match ball, clinched the title with another 11-6 win.That win for Zakaria means he becomes the youngest ever male winner of the championship, eight days younger than previous record holder Jansher Khan in 1986 and 28 days younger than Ramy Ashour, the last 16-year-old to win, in 2004.Result: 2024 WSF World Junior Championship, Women’s Final[1] Amina Orfi (EGY) bt [2] Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 15-13, 11-5 (48m)Result: WSF World Junior Squash Championships Men’s Final[1] Mohamad Zakaria (EGY) bt [9/16] Joo Young Na 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 (37m)Medallists: 2024 WSF World Junior ChampionshipGold: Amina Orfi (EGY) and Mohamad Zakaria (EGY)Silver: Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY) and Joo Young Na (KOR)Bronze: Caroline Fouts (USA), Nadien Elhammamy (EGY) and Shaurya Bawa (IND), Harith Danial (MAS)

SQUASH - Int News 17 Jul, 2024

World Juniors: Na fights back to make history for Korea to reach final
Sports Bulletin ReportHouston, Texas (USA): Korean lad Joo Young Na claimed his second back-to-back upset victory after overcoming Malaysia’s Harith Danial 3-2 to become the first-ever Korean to reach the final of a WSF World Junior Squash Championship.The 17-year-old [9/16] seed, who captured headlines yesterday with a shock win over reigning champion Hamza Khan, looked in trouble when he went 0-2 down to the dominant Danial. The Korean, however, channelled all his mental and physical fortitude after game two, taking full advantage of the ball softening up to begin to hurt the Malaysian.Danial’s conservative and watchful strategy, which had served so well in the opening games, began to unravel as Na built momentum, with the Korean retrieving nearly every ball and looking increasingly confident on the attack as he wiped out Danial’s lead with 11-7 and 11-4 wins before etching his name into the record books with an 11-2 victory in the fifth game.Na is the lowest seeded player to qualify for the men's final since Egypt's Omar Elatmas, who reached the final of the 2014 edition in Windhoek, Namibia as [9/16] seed. "Thank you all so much for always cheering, supporting, and taking interest. I will fight for it tomorrow, too. We will do our best to shine for Korea," Na said afterwards.Na will take on Egypt’s Mohamad Zakaria in the final, with the top seed playing a measured game as he beat India’s Shaurya Bawa in straight games to reach the final for a second year in a row. “This year, I was extremely focused because I messed up last year [Zakaria was defeated in last year’s final by Hamza Khan]! I know all my mistakes now and have made significant improvements, but the job is so far from done,” Zakaria said.Zakaria isn’t the only returning finalist, with Amina Orfi’s mission to become the first ever player to win three consecutive titles still alive after a typically efficient win today against compatriot Nadien Elhammamy.Orfi, crowned champion in France in 2022 and Australia in 2023, was in control throughout against the [3/4] seed, wrapping up the match with 11-7, 11-1, 11-6 wins.Afterwards, Orfi said: “I don’t think [playing an Egypt teammate] really affects my play because everyone is different; not all Egyptians play the same and there’s no one characteristic. Sometimes it’s good to have your Egyptian coaches cheering for you, but I don’t think it makes that much of a difference and I’m just looking forward to tomorrow."Facing Orfi tomorrow is another teammate, No.2 seed Fayrouz Aboelkheir, who ensured there would be an all-Egyptian final as she ended home hopes with an 11-5, 11-3, 11-4 win over American [3/4] seed Caroline Fouts.After her match, Aboelkheir explained that she felt relieved to have delivered an all-Egyptian final after her loss in the semi-finals last year to Malaysia’s Aira Azman ended an incredible 10-year run of all-Egyptian finals.“I’m really happy this year [that it will be an all-Egyptian final] because last year I broke that 10-year record. I’m glad that I’m starting it again! I’m just trying to start a new record for Egypt,” Aboelkheir said.The 2024 WSF World Junior Squash Championships finals take place tomorrow, 17 July. Play begins at 13:30 (GMT-5) with the women's final, followed by the men's final at 14:30. Head to WORLDSQUASH.TV to watch all the action live and free.Results: 2024 WSF World Junior Championships, Women’s Semi-Finals[1] Amina Orfi (EGY) bt [3/4] Nadien Elhammamy (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-1, 11-6 (35m)[2] Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY) bt [3/4] Caroline Fouts (USA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-4 (26m)Results: 2024 WSF World Junior Championships, Men’s Semi-Finals[1] Mohamad Zakaria bt Shaurya Bawa (IND) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-9 (41m)[9/16] Jooyoung Na (KOR) bt [9/16] Harith Danial (MAS) 3-2: 8-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-2 (59m)

SQUASH - Int News 16 Jul, 2024

World Junior Squash: Young Na outs defending champion Hamza 3-2
Sports Bulletin ReportHouston, Texas (USA): Korean squash lad Joo Young Na toppled defending champions Mohammad Hamza Khan from Pakistan 3-2 in the quarterfinal of the World Junior Squash Championship 2024 in a historical fixture here at Houston Squash Club, Texas, United States of America.The [9/16] seed had already made history at Houston Squash Club by becoming the first player from his country to reach the quarter-finals after a victory over compatriot Seojin Oh, but against Khan went one better with a spectacular performance.Na started his match brilliantly against Khan, who last year ended Pakistan’s 37-year-wait for the title, pinning the No.2 seed in the back corners and drawing errors from his fellow 18-year-old to race into a 2-0 lead. The expected Khan response finally came in game three as the reigning champion began to settle and find his marks, with Khan taking the game 11-7 and then levelling with a comfortable 11-3 win in game four.Despite momentum seeming to be behind Khan, Na regathered his composure fantastically in game five, outmaneuvering the tiring Khan and steadily building up an increasingly unassailable-looking lead, which proved the case as, despite a late surge from Khan, Na was able to hold out to record an 11-5 victory to see out the match.Bawa showed impressive determination and composure in his semi-final win over Low, fighting back from three match balls down to become the first Indian to reach the last four since Kush Kumar in 2014, with the Indian collapsing to the ground after the win as the realisation of his achievement sank in.Incredibly, Bawa wasn’t the only player to mount a thrilling comeback from three match balls down, with [3/4] seed Nadien Elhammamy doing the same against Indian [5/8] seed Anahat Singh in the women’s draw.Elhammamy who five days ago celebrated her 17th birthday, started well against the 16-year-old, opening up a 2-0 lead as she defended Singh’s attacking game well. The Indian came back hard in game three, though, reducing the deficit with an 11-5 win in game three and a hard-fought 12-10 victory in game four.Singh appeared to have completed the comeback when she went 10-8 up in the fifth game, only for Elhammamy to dig in spectacularly to force a tie break. Singh earned another match ball at 11-10 but once again was denied by the Egyptian, with Elhammamy storming on to clinch the game 13-11 and the match 3-2.Results (Women’s Quarterfinals):[1] Amina Orfi (EGY) beat [5/8] Nour Megahed (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (22m)[3/4] Nadien Elhammamy (EGY) beat [5/8] Anahat Singh (IND) 3-2: 11-8, 11-9, 5-11, 10-12, 13-11 (65m)[3/4] Caroline Fouts (USA) beat [5/8] Jana Swaify (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 12-10 (32m)[2] Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY) beat [5/8] Riya Navani (USA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 (26m)Results (Men's Quarterfinals):[1] Mohamad Zakaria (EGY) beat Abdullah Nawaz (PAK) 3-0: 11-3, 11-2, 11-3 (31m)Shaurya Bawa (IND) beat Low Wa Sern (MAS) 3-2: 2-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-8, 12-10 (79m)[9/16] Harith Danial (MAS) beat [9/16] AbdAllah Eissa (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 11-6 (33m)[9/16] Joo Young Na (KOR) beat [2] Hamza Khan (PAK) 3-2: 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 3-11, 11-5 (66m).

SQUASH - Int News 15 Jul, 2024

WSF World Junior Squash Championship: Hamza claims victory
Sports Bulletin ReportHouston, Texas (USA): A duo of Pakistani squash lads, Defending champion Mohammad Hamza Khan, and Abdullah Nawaz stormed into the quarterfinals of the ongoing WSF World Junior Squash Championship after beating their respective opponents here at Houston Squash Club, Texas United States of America (USA) on July 14, 2024.Malaysia's Harith Danial upset the odds on day three of the WSF World Junior Squash Championships with a sublime performance as he beat [3/4] seed Juan Torres of Colombia. Torres went into the match heavily favoured, but struggled to break down the [9/16] seed in the opener, with Danial finding his range well and fending off Torres' attacks to take the first game 11-4. The Colombian fought back impressively in the second game to level with an 11-7 win, only to be blown away 11-2 in game three as Danial regained the lead. There was no let up from the 18-year-old in game four, with Danial covering every inch of court and targeting the back well as he came back from 4-6 down to clinch the match in four games with an 11-7 victory. Joining Danial and Eissa in upsetting the odds was Pakistan's Abdullah Nawaz, who battled back from a game down to shock Egyptian [5/8] seed Omar Azzam. There was also a moment of history made when Republic of Korea's Joo Young Na overcame compatriot Seojin Oh to become his country's first ever representative in a WSF World Junior Championship quarter-final.In the women's draw, it was a more comfortable affair for the favourites, with every match going to seedings. In a fiery encounter, [5/8] seed Nour Megahed overcame a spirited challenge from Hong Kong, China's [9/16] seed Ena Kwong to record an 11-2, 9-11, 12-10, 11-6 victory. USA's Riya Navani, too, was pushed hard, with the [5/8] seed digging in after falling behind to [9/16 seed] Thanusaa Uthrian, eventually recording a 3-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 win to earn a match with No.2 seed Fayrouz Aboelkheir, who decimated French [9/16] seed Lauren Baltayan 11-2, 11-3, 11-2.Joining Navani in the last eight is US compatriot and [3/4] seed Caroline Fouts. The 18-year-old, who has looked dominant so far in Houston, was in excellent form once again as she cruised past Malaysian [9/16] seed Whitney Wilson to maintain her her record of not dropping any games.Results (Women's Pre-Quarterfinals):[1] Amina Orfi (EGY) beat Malika Elkaraksy (EGY) 3-1: 11-2, 11-1, 11-5[5/8] Nour Megahed (EGY) beat [9/16] Kwong Ena (HKG) 3-1: 11-2, 9-11, 12-10, 11-6[5/8] Anahat Singh (IND) beat [9/16] Akari Midorikawa (JPN) 3-0: 11-6, 13-11, 11-2[3/4] Nadien Elhammamy (EGY) beat Dixon Hill (USA) 3-0: 11-1, 11-5, 11-5[3/4] Caroline Fouts (USA) beat [9/16] Whitney Isabelle (MAS) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 11-4[5/8] Jana Swaify (EGY) beat [9/16] Amelie Haworth (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-9[5/8] Riya Navani (USA) beat [9/16] Thanusaa Uthrian (MAS) 3-1: 3-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9[2] Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY) beat [9/16] Lauren Baltayan (FRA) 3-0: 11-2, 11-3, 11-2Women's Quarterfinals Fixtures:[1] Amina Orfi (EGY) v [5/8] Nour Megahed (EGY)[3/4] Nadien Elhammamy (EGY) v [5/8] Anahat Singh (IND)[3/4] Caroline Fouts (USA) v [5/8] Jana Swaify (EGY)[2] Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY) v [5/8] Riya Navani (USA)Results (Men's Pre-Quarterfinals):[1] Mohamed Zakaria (EGY) beat [9/16] Zane Patel (USA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 11-2Abdullah Nawaz (PAK) beat [5/8] Omar Azzam (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10Shaurya Bawa (IND) beat Segundo Portabales (ARG) 3-1: 11-9, 5-11, 11-5, 13-11Low Wa Sern (MAS) beat Adham Roshdy (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 12-10[9/16] Harith Danial (MAS) beat [3/4] Juan Torres (COL) 3-1: 11-4, 7-11, 11-2, 11-7[9/16] AbdAllah Eissa (ENG) beat [5/8] Javier Romo (ECU) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 13-11[9/16] Jooyoung Na (KOR) beat Seojin Oh (KOR) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 11-3[2] Mohammad Hamza Khan (PAK) beat [9/16] Marwan Assal (EGY) 3-1: 11-6, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7Men's QuarterFinals Fixtures:[1] Mohamed Zakaria (EGY) v Abdullah Nawaz (PAK)Low Wa Sern (MAS) v Shaurya Bawa (IND)[9/16] Harith Danial (MAS) v [9/16] AbdAllah Eissa (ENG)[2] Hamza Khan (PAK) v [9/16] Joo Young Na (KOR).

SQUASH - Int News 13 Jul, 2024

WSF World Juniors Squash Championship starts in Houston
Mohammad Hamza, Abdullah, Mohammad Huzaifa register victories in the first round Sports Bulletin ReportHouston (USA): Besides defending champion Mohammad Hamza, Abdullah, and Mohammad Huzaifa moved into the second round of the WSF World Juniors Squash Championsip 2024 after thrashing their respective opponents in the first round matches here at Houston Squash Club, Texas, United States of America (USA).Second seed Mohammad Hamza Khan toiled hard on the court to overcome qualifier English lad Dylam Robers in straight games 3-0 in a thrilling three games affair with the score-line of 12-10, 13-11, and 11-7. Mohammad Ammad lost his match against Indian player Shaurya Bawa. The final line was 12-10, 11-3, 11-9.Results (Pakistan Matches):Abdullah Nawaz (Pakistan) beat Ren Makin (Japan) 11-6, 11-8, 12-10Mohammad Huzaifa (Pakistan) beat Mohryan Baksh (South Africa) 11-1, 11-1, 11-5Mohammad Hamza Khan (Pakistan) beat Dylan Roberts (England) 12-10, 13-11, 11-7Mohammad Ammad (Pakistan) lost Shaurya Bawa (India) 12-10, 11-3, 11-9.

SQUASH - Int News 12 Jul, 2024

WSF World Juniors Squash Championships 2024 to start on July 12
Sports Bulletin ReportHouston (USA): Finally the D-day has come, as the Texas city Houston will be honoured to host the WSF World Junior Squash Championships, which will commence on Friday (July 12, 2024 here at Houston Squash Club in Texas, United States of America (USA).The world’s best junior talents get their bids to be crowned world champion in different age categories. Mohammad Hamza Khan will defend his Under-19 title. As many as 150 matches taking place on day one in the Lone Star State. Action starts with the first rounds in the morning, with the second rounds taking place in the afternoon.The first players to step foot on the brand new all-glass show court will be Canada’s Samuel Boulanger and Malta's Lijana Sultana and France's Ines Guyot at 10:20. The seeded players enter the draw in the afternoon, with men’s top seed Mohamad Zakaria playing on the all-glass court at 16:20, women’s top seed and defending champion Amina Orfi playing on the same court at 17:00 and defending men’s champion and No.2 seed Hamza Khan playing on the three-glass-walled court at 19:00.

SQUASH - Int News 09 Jul, 2024

Caroline Fouts: “Team USA is a force to be reckoned with”
Jonathan SmithUSA’s Caroline Fouts, at just 18 years of age, has cemented herself as one of the most exciting prospect in the world of squash.Since starting her on-court career at the age of eight, the US No.5 has debuted for Team USA, achieved wins over full-time professionals at the Tournament of Champions and World Championships, and earned a spot inside the world’s top 60.Fouts reflected on an exhilarating start to her career.“[Since last year’s World Championships] I think I’ve become a lot more confident in my style of squash, and in being able to believe that I can compete at this level. Last year was a bit of a shell-shock competing against the best world players, and I think this year I came into the tournament with a bit more confidence, having more exposure to the level of players.Fouts in action against Melissa Alves2024 got off to an encouraging start for Fouts, as the teenager managed to come back twice to beat France No.1 Melissa Alves 3-2 in round one of the Tournament of Champions.“That was a big confidence boost for me. I had come off of the British Junior Open, which was also a good tournament for me, so going from that tournament with so much US support and going straight into the Tournament of Champions - I really entered with this desire and hunger to continue to compete and to prove myself as an up-and-coming squash player.“I went into that tournament, playing Melissa, believing that I could take her to five games and push her to play her best squash, and thankfully and luckily I got a good win, and that gave me the confidence to believe in myself.”Fouts takes on Fayrouz AboelkheirSpeaking about her time on the PSA tour, the 18-year-old picked out several highs and lows that came with her first full season.“To start with, the US Open in December, and then the British [Junior] Open was great, losing to Fayrouz [Aboelkheir], she’s a top-20 player right now and she’s in top form, so that was a great tournament.“I reached my first final in a 15K tournament which was good for me. I lost to Nardine Garas, a top player. Being at the World Championships, qualifying from the Pan-Am region, that’s a high, but there’s also been some low moments.“Recently I played Sana Ibrahim and those battles on the Challenger Tour really prepared me for some of these bigger opportunities that I’m starting to get, so they might seem like low moments at the time, but I really do think that those have helped me play at the higher level.”Fouts celebrates a big win over Canada's Nicole BunyanAmongst the American’s achievements this season, a high point came in her most recent event as she defeated World No.47 Nicole Bunyan to do one better than her 2023 tournament debut and claim a first-round win on the biggest stage in squash: The PSA World Championships.“Playing a lot of the good Challenger Tour tournaments has been a really good stepping stone, because it allowed me to take my solid junior game but be exposed to different conditions, a different environment and a different intensity that was seen at World Juniors, and hopefully I can carry that to Houston this summer.”Expanding on her desire to carry her form into the Houston-based edition of the World Juniors, Fouts explained her relationship with the team that she represents."I love playing for Team USA"“I really love playing for Team USA. Some of my fondest memories of squash are from playing at the British [Junior] Open this year. I can’t wait to have the three letters on my back again, playing at this high level.“This year at the British Junior Open there were around 52 juniors supporting me behind that glass in the final and I pulled out some of my best squash, so being able to recreate that at the World Juniors this year is really something exciting, especially in our home country.“I know there’ll be a lot of support, and both the men and the women have really strong teams this year, and we’re looking to grab the team titles for both the men and the women.”Since opening in July 2021, the Arlen Specter US Squash Center has provided a base for elite and grassroots squash in the United States, and Fouts feels it has created the perfect environment to develop the country’s capabilities.“I really think [squash in the US is] being brought to the next level with our national training centre. There’s a great squad there and atmosphere, and we have great coaches who are really trying to encourage a lot of the juniors to consider playing professional squash.“We’re so lucky to have the opportunity to play at the Specter Center, an amazing facility, and it really is evident in the progression of the women, and the men. I really think that Team USA for the men and the women is a force to be reckoned with for sure.”

SQUASH - Int News 09 Jul, 2024

Mohammad Hamza Khan leaves for US to defend his title
Abdul Jabbar FaisalISLAMABAD: Defending champion, Mohammad Hamza Khan on Tuesday along with his teammates Mohammad Ammad, Huzaifa Ibrahim, and Abdullah Nawaz, left Islamabad for the United States of America (USA) to defend the Under-19 title of the World Juniors Squash Championship, which will be rolled into action on July 12, 2024, at Houston Texas USA.According to an official of the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF), Fahim Gul, and Adnan Asad are traveling with the players to perform the duties of coach and manager respectively. The prestigious international juniors squash showpiece will be concluded on July 23, 2024.Mohammad Hamza Khan, who recently won the title of the Asian Junior Individual Squash Championship that concluded on June 19 at Mushaf Squash Complex, had won the U19 title after defeating the Egyptian lad in the final. Mohammad Hamza is second-seeded in the World Juniors Squash Championship 2024.

SQUASH - Int News 08 Jul, 2024

World Junior Squash Championships 2024 to start on July 12 Houston
Pakistan's World Junior Champion Hamza Khan prepares to defend historical titleOne year ago, in Melbourne, Hamza Khan made history.After coming back from match ball down in the semi-final to reach the championship match, the 17-year-old ended 37 years of hurt as he became Pakistan’s first WSF World Junior Champion since Jansher Khan in 1986 as he fought back from a game down to beat Egypt’s Mohamed Zakaria 3-1.This week, in his last year of junior eligibility, Khan is heading to Houston, Texas, to defend his title, with the 18-year-old seeded second, behind last year’s beaten opponent Zakaria.To learn more about Khan’s preparation for his title defence, we spoke to the Peshawari shortly before his victory at the 31st Asian Junior Individual Championships in Islamabad.Hamza, thanks for speaking with us today. Looking back to last year’s win in Australia, can you talk me through the moment you won it?“When I beat Zakaria, I fell on the court and gave thanks to my God and my parents; especially my father Mr Niaz Ullah Khan, who was my first coach too and every single time he advised me how to avoid mistakes and told me every day ‘you can win, you have a lot of skills’“When I won the title, I couldn’t believe what I had done. My first thanks was to God and I was too happy, the win made me feel really good.”Pakistan is one of the great squash nations, but until your win had not had as much recent success. How much pressure did you feel in Australia?“When I left Pakistan for the championship, I was travelling alone and all I was thinking about was winning the championship. I did my training at midnight because I was so excited!“In 2022 in Nancy, France I reached the semi-final so this time, in Melbourne, I decided I had to win.”What was the reaction like when you won the title?“After I won the title, the Pakistani community gave me so much respect, and the Pakistan Squash Federation and Army Sports Directorate gave me a lot of respect.“All the news channels showed my win so I was very happy and satisfied.”How has training been since winning the World Junior Championships?“I have learned and been very punctual in my career. I will try my best to defend my titles in Houston.“I have been training regularly and was feeling confident against Nicolas Mueller [Khan made his senior World Championship debut this year with a first round defeat to Swiss No.1 Mueller in Cairo]. I was fully satisfied that I will beat Nicolas but one day after reaching reaching Egypt, I had fever due to throat infection and so I lost and also missed a good chance to improve my ranking.”Which sporting heroes will be inspiring you in Houston?“As I mentioned before, my father is my big supporter and also the Army Sports Directorate and Pakistan Squash Federation, they all support me. Then, [Pakistan squash legends] Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan and [Egyptian former World No.1s] Ramy Ashour and Amr Shabana, I like them all very much.“I am very thankful to the whole Pakistani community, Pakistan Army Sports Directorate, Pakistan Squash Federation and my parents who support me every single time.”