Wispa

ATCO Junior Open 2010 25-29 June, Cairo    

WISPA Semi-Finals:
Engy's experience tells,
Sherbini too sharp


With three teenagers in the WISPA semi-finals, there was only one chance for experience to tell, and top seed Engy Kheirallah duly took it as she ended the run of America's Amanda Sobhy.

With the match broadcast live on Nile TV, the Egyptian took early control and never relinquished it as Sobhy suffered from a few too many errors on the very hot centre court.

The second match featured two of Egypt's brightest up and coming stars, 15-year-old Kanzy El Defrawy Nour El Sherbini, just 13.

Both had been impressive in their earlier rounds, but Sherbini's defeat of top Egyptian junior Heba El Torky was especially impressive, and the three-time BJO champion continued to be so in this match.

Both strike the ball well, but Sherbini's movement is sharper, and her range of shots greater, and she's taller, too. After closing out a tight first game on extra points - although she was never behind - Sherbini held the upper hand throughout the next two games, and although the rallies were always competitive she always looked the likely winner.

Both are 9/16 seeds in the forthcoming world juniors in Chennai (Sobhy is 17/32), but on this week's evidence we could quite easily see a 13-year-old world finalist ...
 

ATCO Miro Classic 2009
26-29 Jun, Cairo, Egypt, $8k
Round One
27 Jun
Quarters
27 Jun
Semis
28 Jun
Final
2
9 Jun
[1] Engy Kheirallah (Egy)
11/4, 11/4, 11/4
[Q] Haida Lala (Egy)
[1] Engy Kheirallah
11/7, 11/4, 11/6
Nour Baghat
[1] Engy Kheirallah

11/5, 11/6, 11/4 (20m)

[7] Amanda Sobhy

[1] Engy Kheirallah

11/8, 11/9, 7/11, 7/11, 11/7

Nour El Sherbini

[8] Milou Van Der Heijden (Ned)
11/8, 11/4, 11/3
Nour Baghat (Egy)
[3] Lucie Fialova (Cze)
11/8, 11/8, 11/5
Salma Hany (Egy)
[3] Lucie Fialova
11/7, 4/11, 11/4, 11/4
[7] Amanda Sobhy
[7] Amanda Sobhy (Usa)
11/6, 9/11, 11/6, 11/6
Salma Nassar (Egy)
[Q] Yathreb Adel (Egy)
11/8, 11/8, 12/10
[5] Olivia Blatchford (Usa)
[Q] Yathreb Adel
11/8, 8/11, 11/7, 11/5
[4] Kanzy El Defrawy
[4] Kanzy El Defrawy

12/10, 11/6, 11/6 (45m)

Nour El Sherbini

Merhan Amr Mahmoud (Egy)
4/11, 11/1, 11/7, 11/3
[4] Kanzy El Defrawy (Egy)
Farah Abdel Meguid (Egy)
11/6, 11/4, 11/5
[6] Linda Hruzikova (Svk)
[6] Linda Hruzikova
11/5, 11/2, 11/4
Nour El Sherbini
Nour El Sherbini (Egy)
11/9, 11/7, 11/6
[2] Heba El Torky (Egy)


26-Jun, Qualifying:
 
Haida Lala (Egy) bt Zephanie Curgenven (Eng)
        11/4, 11/6, 11/7
Yathreb Adel (Egy)  bt Sherouk Ehab Roushdy (Egy)
        11/13, 11/6, 11/2 rtd

WISPA Quarters:
Sherbiny sails on


The best that Egypt's five quarter-finalists could yield was three places in the semis, and that's exactly what they achieved as the upsets continued in the second round of play in the WISPA event.

Top seed Engy Kheirallah had little trouble in ending the run of Nour Baghat, one of the afternoon giant-killers, but at the other end of the draw there was no stopping young Sherbiny as the 13-year-old continued to make hay with the seedings.

Her victim this time was sixth seed Linda Hruzikova, the Slovakian having little answer to Sherbiny's power and shotmaking.

That wasn't the end of the upsets either, as another youngster, USA's Amanda Sobhy, made it a bad day for the Eastern Europeans as she played a confident, strong game to oust third seed Lucie Fialova. Sobhy then went virtually straight back onto court, to win her U19 quarter-final 13/11 in the fifth!

Sobhy meets Kheirallah for a place in the final while Sherbiny meets her slightly older compatriot Kanzy El Defrawy, who ended the run of qualifier Yathreb Adel to set up a repeat of their nailbiting BJO final earlier in the year.

Nour won that one, just, and looks to have improved significantly since then, but so too has Kanzy, one of the star pupils of the ATCO academy. It should be a good 'un ...
 

WISPA Round One:   Draw & Results
Sherbiny shines as hosts take five

It was a good day for Egypt in the first round of the ATCO Miro Classic - but then it would be, as 12 of the starting 16 hailed from the host nation - as the local girls grabbed five quarter-final places.

Top seed Engy Kheirallah had no trouble in getting past young qualifier Haida Lala, and she will meet Nour Baghat, who ousted Milou Van Der Heijden in straight games.

A non-Egyptian semi-finalist is guaranteed though, with Lucie Fialova and Amanda Sobhy both beating Salmas - Hany and Nassar respectively.

Qualifier Yathreb Adel produced a big upset as she beat fifth seed Olivia Blatchford, the American never looking properly settled as she lost three close games. Adel meets compatriot Kanzy El Defrawy for a place in the semis.

Slovakia's Linda Hruzikova took the seventh quarter-final place with a comfortable win over Farah Meguid, and will face Nour El Sherbiny, who created a huge upset in beating second seed Heba El Torky.

Before the match Nour's coach told me that she had won their last encounter 17/15 in the fifth, and that may have been preying on Heba's mind as she struggled to impose herself on her young compatriot.

Heba looked at times to be trying too hard, leading to too many loose balls and strokes against her, while Nour remained calm and steady throughout. The youngster took, and held, leads in the first two games and came from behind in the third to take the match with a run of eight unanswered points.

They have six British Junior Open titles between them, but El Torky, ranked 42 in the world, has one more (and of course next month's world juniors in Chennai, where she is second seed) before she leaves the junior ranks while El Sherbiny, five years her junior, is aiming to win five more, and on today's evidence I'm not betting against it ..      Draw & Results

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