Day FOUR at the BJO 2022
Semi-Finals day in Nottingham was a dramatic one in both the Boys and Girls matches with three English and one American winner. Top seeds Caroline Fouts and Sam Todd both progressed in contrasting fashion, while Torrie Malik and Hassan Khalil both overcame the seedings to reach the finals.
Fouts survives Harris onslaught
Top seeded American Caroline Fouts held her nerve during a physical battle with England’s 3/4 seed Asia Harris to reach her first BJO final. The pattern was set in the first game, with numerous collisions in the back left corner some of which left Fouts on the floor, and it never really improved throughout the match.
All four games were close, and at 10-7 in the fourth it looked as though Asia was going to force a decider, but Caroline fought back and took the match on her second match ball 12-10, 11-9, 11-13, 13-11 in 49 minutes.
Sam tested by Jonah
Sam Todd is the outstanding favourite for this event but Jonah Bryant, two years younger and slighter physically, pushed the top seed hard in three tough games.
Jonah rarely led but Sam could never pull far enough ahead to be remotely comfortable until the ver end, winning 12-10, 11-7, 11-5 in 50 minutes.
Torrie takes out second seed Lucie
Another match featuring three close games, but in this one it was the lower seed who prevailed, Torrie Malik edging all three for a 13-11, 11-8, 11-9 win in 28 minutes to reach her first BJO final.
Last but not least …
Hassan Khalil has been last on court three nights in a row, and has kept everyone back late three times in a row. But my word, what a run of three nailbiting five-game thrillers, and everyone – except perhaps Khalil himself – has enjoyed every minute of it.
When Ameesherraj took the third 11-2 most thought the run was over. Not a bit of it though as Hassan – now looking tired – held on in the fourth, saved three match balls to win it 16-14 and set up the decider.
Ameeshenraj led most of the fifth, but a desperately tired Hassan simply refused to lose and took four points in a row – finishing with an outrageous slam-dunk nick to keep his amazing run going, 11-13, 11-6, 2-11, 16-14, 11-9 in 66 minutes.
The crowd went wild (check the gallery).
PS : You’re on last again, Hassan.