Photography courtesy of Dale Walker.
The largest individual junior squash tournament in the world—the 2015 U.S. Junior Open Squash Championships—has come to a close with ten champions emerging from a field of 910 players from 37 countries Tuesday at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
Of the ten champions, four represented Egypt, three the United States, one England, and the U19 champions Pakistan and Japan.
In the U19 divisions, Pakistan’s Israr Ahmed and Japan’s Satomi Watanabe became the first players from their countries to ever hoist a U.S. Junior Open U19 winners trophy since the tournament’s inception in 1993.
Ahmed, the top seed, defeated Watanabe’s countryman and two seed Ryunosuke Tsukue 11-9, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8 to claim Pakistan’s third U.S. Junior Open title in the history of the event.
Watanabe sealed her third consecutive U.S. Junior Open title, defeating Egyptian Rowan Reda 11-7, 8-11, 11-3, 11-9. Watanabe, Japan’s only U.S. Junior Open champion ever, continued her progression up the winners list having won the U15 title in 2013, the U17 title in 2014, and now the top honors in the U19 division.
Team USA’s Sam Scherl and Grace Doyle claimed their first U.S. Junior Open titles in the U17 divisions. Scherl, the BU17 national champion, commanded his final against Egyptian six seed Mostafa Assal 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 to complete a perfect title run without dropping a game all tournament.
After upsetting fifth-seeded American Elle Ruggiero in the semifinals, Doyle came back from 2-0 down in the final to defeat Seattle-based Dutch international Elena Wagenmans 8-11, 4-11, 11-6, 13-11, 11-6.
Rising Team USA star Marina Stefanoni made it three titles for the home crowd in what was a repeat of her 2014 GU13 final against Egypt’s two seed Nouran Youssef. As she did last year, the Darien, Connecticut-native recovered from losing the fifth game 11-4, to come back and win the final 11-8, 11-8, 11-7.
After enduring a five-game semifinal, Westminster School’s Aly Tolba fulfilled his top seeding by winning the BU15 title 11-6, 12-10, 11-5 against fellow Egyptian Ismail Abdelgawad.
England’s Sam Todd completed a nearly-perfect title run in the BU13 division, dropping just one game in the quarterfinals. Todd controlled the final against Egyptian three seed Ahmed Marzouk 11-3, 11-6, 11-6.
Egyptian two seed Jana Safy pulled off a comeback victory against Team USA’s Nina Mital in the GU13 final. Down 2-0, Safy recovered to win 5-11, 6-11, 11-9, 13-11, 12-10.
The U11 division finals were contested by four Egyptians. Both victors were seeded third and won the finals in three games. In the boys’ final, Omar Ali Azzam defeated nine seed Youssef Bastawy 11-5, 11-9, 11-4, and in the girls’ final Lojayn Gohary defeated five seed Alya Omar 11-9, 11-4, 13-11.