Saturday January 5, 2013
Syafiq upsets Abdel to reach British Junior Open q-finals
KUALA LUMPUR: Mohd Syafiq Kamal tore the formbooks to shreds after scoring an upset win over joint fifth-eighth seed Abdel Zaher of Egypt to qualify for the boys’ Under-17 quarter-finals in the British Junior Open squash championships in Sheffield.
The Kelantan player, seeded ninth-16th, took 75 minutes to prevail 11-9, 11-7, 4-11, 9-11, 11-8.
Syafiq, who has now surpassed his own target of reaching the last 16, faces a tougher hurdle in the last eight as he’ll be up against joint third-fourth seed Kush Kumar of India.
Kush defeated Egypt’s Youssef Soliman 11-7, 11-6, 10-12, 11-9 in their third round clash.
The 16-year-old Syafiq was elated with his third-round win over Abdel.
“It’s never easy playing against the Egyptian ... he makes you run all over the court, but I never gave up and played my best game to upset him,” said Syafiq.
“I feel more confident about my game after beating Abdel and will go all out to get the better of Kush.”
National Juniors coach Andrew Cross praised Syafiq for his fighting spirit.
“He started pretty well by winning the first two sets but hit the tin too many times in the third set.
“Although he lost the fourth as well, it was a tight call. The deciding set was a close one too but Syafiq showed tremendous fighting spirit to win it,” said Cross, who was happy that five players managed to reach the quarter-finals.
The others who made the last eight of their respective categories were Ng Eain Yow (boys’ Under-15), Nur Aliah Anis (girls’ Under-13), Zoe Foo and S. Sivasangari (girls’ Under-15).
Third Round Results:
Malaysian results only
Under-15: Ng Eain Yow bt Jamie Todd (Eng) 11-2, 11-1, 12-10;
Voctor Crouin (Fra) bt Jesse Foo 11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9.
Under-17: Mohd Syafiq Kamal bt Abdel Zaher (Egy) 11-9, 11-7, 4-11, 9-11, 11-8
Under-13: Nur Aliah Aris bt Laura Neil (Eng) 11-7, 11-3, 11-5; Hana Ayoub (Egy) bt Aifa Azman 11-5, 11-3, 11-4.
Under-15: Zoe Foo bt Akanksha Salunkhe (Ind) 14-12, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9; S. Sivasangiri bt Zena Farid (Egy) 3-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9.
Under-17: Yathreb Adel (Egy) bt Rachel Arnold 6-11, 11-4, 11- 4, 11-6; Salma Hani (Egy) bt Teh Min Jie 11-4, 11-3, 11-5.