[5/8] Adam Hawal (Egy) [5/8] Ali Ahmed Rahma (Egy) 12-10, 11-5, 11-7
 Marawan Mohamed Assal (Egy) 3-1 [5/8] Adham Wael Abdelazim (Egy)
Two good matches to start the day. I am constantly amazed by the quality of the U11 in Egypt. Mind you, I haven’t seen many in England, Malaysia or HK, maybe the quality is as high. But seriously, this is good stuff. Technique is there, rally construction, tick, determination, tick, fighting spirit, tick, asking for too many lets and trying to get cheap strokes, tick!
I have to reiterate how CRUCIAL example is for those kids. I can see the pattern produced by the senior players.. The kids just imitate whoever they are admiring, and sometimes, it’s not a good idea….
On the glasscourt, very close match between Ali and Adam. Not a point between them in the first game, from 5/5 to 9/9. Very good squash, and thank the Lord for a strong referee as little Adham was asking for lets a bit too much in our opinion. I say “our opinion” as although I don’t speak Arabic, I heard the ref give no lets several times and a few lets with “no let next time”… Bless them, they learn early don’t they…
Still, excellent squash, good mixing of the pace for both, straight drives executed like pros, I kid you not. Game ball save by Ali, but it’s still Adham in the closing post, 12/10.
Ali kept fighting hard up to 5/5 in the second, but he was doing most of the running, and although he found some delicate winners, Adham was more present at the front, forcing his opponent to cover a heck of a lot of ground. Lots of talent there I have to say.
For the other match, I arrived during an injury break with Marawan up 2/0 against Adham, and having to stop for a little while. When he came back, Adam was very focused, and got some good rallies going, taking that third 11/9. “GoldenHands” Marawan Asal reassessed in the 4th though, and got the control back, 11/7..
 Maya Mandour (Egy) 3-2 [3/4] Kenzy Mohamed Abostate (Egy) 5-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6
 Aysel Ahmed (Egy) 3-2 [3/4] Yara Ramy Mohamed (Egy) 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 7-11, 11-9
Two stunning semis for that age group. And with the 4 girls playing the ball, asking very few lets. Boys, take note… you CAN play squash and NOT ask lets every point… Also, very refreshing from the four coaches/parents, no coaching during games, no shouting at the refs, calm, composed, supporting their players, and clapping the opponent…
It was quite hard to differenciate Maya from Kenzy I have to admit. Apart from the colour of the shoes, there were dressed identically, white top and black short, same poney tails, and same white glasses! Ahhgggghhh..
If Kenzy looked solid in the third, she started making a lot of unforced errors, and in particular played several shots outside the court. In the 5th, she seemed to be more focused and taking the momentum back – she was leading 2/1 – but Maya found her more assured and sharp game at the end, and Kenzy today didn’t find solutions to stop her…
For the other semis, Islam Adel – who was coaching Aysel – kept cool and calm the whole time, but he must have got a few grey hair! Junior squash is not a quiet flowing river, I can tell you.
Yara and Aysel have got two completely different squash style. Aysel will hold and find the point to the front. While Yara will power the ball through and win the point at the back. It’s a bit of a short summary, but you see my point.
As Yara’s game needs a lot of strength, she would play her best squash at the start of each game, then have a bit of an energy drop, allowing her opponent to place her lovely combinations and finish the points. The end of the games were close and intense…
Aysel managed to close the first two, 5, and 8, but very close in the second up to 7/7. The third is dominated by Power Yara, 4/0, 7/2, only to see Aysel clawing back to 7/7. Another big push from Yara though and she takes that one 11/8. The fourth follow the same pattern, 4/1, 5/2, 5/6, and 11/7.
Again a great start in the 5th for Power Yara, 3/0, but DelicateHands Aysel never says die She stays in the rallies, 5/5. Yara takes the control back again, 7/5. Super rallies follow, and we are levelled again 8/8, 9/9. At that point, we are reminded that we are in the U11 age group when poor mite Yara serves out, giving a match ball to her opponent, who finds her best mixing of shots in the last rally, ending with a superb winner to take the 5th 11/9…
Never in doubt…