Semi-finals day saw Egyptians advance to six finals – four of them all-Egyptian – while the Indian U19 Boys set up the first=ever all-Indian final, and hosts England secured two final places for the first time in 15 years …
Both Girls’ events at Abbeydale produced all-Egyptian finals after a series of thrilling matches.
G13 ¾ seed Nour Aboulmakre won a seesaw encounter with Hong Kong’s Sin Yuk Chan, saving a match ball before taking the deciding game 12/10, and she’ll meet second seed Farida Ahmed who put in a determined performance to beat Malaysia’s Jessica Keng in four tough games.
Top G19 seed Hania El Hammamy reached a fourth BJO final as she beat Nada Abbas in four games, while five-set specialist Zeina Mickawycame from two-nil and 6-9 down to deny Malaysia’s Siv Subramaniam.
“At 6-9 in the third I thought I’d lost,” admitted Zeina, “but I knew I just had to keep on trying.” Having missed out on her first match ball, Zeina slammed the next service into the nick for the win. “Risky is good, sometimes!” she said.
The B15 semi-final drew a big crowd as England’s Sam Todd continued his quest for a second successive BJO final, but top seeded Egyptian Yahia El Nawasry was too strong on the day, winning in straight games. In the final he’ll face Malaysia’s Duncan Lee, the BJO debutant who came from a game down to deny Canada’s Abdelrahman Dweek.
The first B19 semi-final saw a big upset as India’s Velavan Senthilkumar beat Youssef Ibrahim, the second seed and reigning U17 champion, in straight games to guarantee an all-Indian final. Abhay Singh booked his place in the final with a straight-games win over Adhitya Raghavan.
“Really happy,” said Abhay. “Everyone back home is very pleased, congratulations to all our coaches, and we’re really looking forward to tomorrow.”
Meanwhile at Hallamshire, it was a good day for England, with Elise Lazarus and Sam Osborne-Wylde providing the host country with two finalists for the first time in fifteen years.
England Squash Report:
Two of England’s finest young squash players will be vying for British Junior Open titles for the first time in 16 years.
Thirty-three-year-old James Willstrop was still a junior the last time the country was so well represented on the last day of the tournament.
And now Elise Lazarus and Sam Osborne-Wylde will both have shots at the titles after overcoming tough semi-final draws.
Osborne-Wylde [3/4] earned a final match against Ireland’s Denis Gilevskiy [17/32] in the Boys’ Under 13s draw, while Lazarus [5/8] set up a showdown with second seed Hana Motaz Ayoub  in the Girls’ Under 17s.
The last time two English players made it through to the final stage was back in 2001, when Willstrop and Jenny Duncalf both lost their Under-19 final matches. In 1999, Duncalf, Nick Matthew and Tom Richards all reached the last day, with Matthew the only victor in the Under 19s category.
After defeating Habbiba Saadallah [5/8] 11/8, 7/11, 11/5, 11/9, Lazarus, 16, of Woodford Green, Essex, said: “I’m just feeling so happy, I can’t believe it. I’ve never got this far, this will be my first final. I’m just going to go in and relax, play my game and believe in myself.”
Osborne-Wylde, 12, of Cofton Hackett, Gloucestershire, overcame Kareem El Torky (Egypt), the second favourite for the title, 11/8, 11/3, 9/11, 11/7 in 36 minutes. Gilevskiy needed just 16 minutes to defeat England’s Jonah Bryant [5/8] 11/4, 11/4, 11/4.
Elsewhere, Sheffield’s Nick Wall [5/8], was defeated 11/6, 11/6, 11/4 by top seed Marwan Tarek (Egypt) in the Boy’s Under 17s draw. Tarek faces second seed Omar El Torky (Egypt) in Friday’s showcase.
Last year’s Under 13 winner Sam Todd [3/4], another Yorkshireman, of Pontefract, will also miss out having been comprehensively beaten in 22 minutes by the Boys’ Under 15s number one seed Yahia El Nawsany
(Egypt) 11/6, 11/5, 11/5. El Nawsany will now play Malaysia’s Duncan Lee [5/8] for the trophy.
The surprise of the tournament has come in the form of unseeded Abhay Singh (India) who has now defeated Egypt’s Belal Weal [3/4], England’s Kyle Finch [5/8] – where he came back from 2-0 down – and now 9/16 seed Adhitya Raghavan (India) 12/10, 11/8, 11/8 to reach the final of the Boys’ Under 19s. Fellow countryman Velavan Senthilkumar [5/8] is now all who stands between him and the prize.
The finals of the girls’ competitions in the Under 13s, 15s and 19s will be all-Egyptian affairs, with Hania El Hammamy  and Zenia Mickawy [5/8] facing off in the Under 19s, Nour Abouelmakrim [3/4] and Farida Ahmed  in the Under 15s and Salma El Tayeb [3/4] and Noureen Khalifa in the Under 13s.