Team USA has two representatives in the 2017 WSF World Junior Championships quarterfinals after Marina Stefanoni upset 3/4 seed Nada Abbas and Andrew Douglas fulfilled his 5/8 seeding to set up a quarterfinal match against the boys top seed Friday, July 21, at the Devoy Squash & Fitness Center in Tauranga, New Zealand.
Fourteen-year-old Stefanoni, a 9/16 seed, made her breakthrough on the glass court against Abbas, professionally-ranked world No. 37, with a 12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, performance in forty-one minutes.
“I’d never played her before, but I watched her play yesterday and saw how her opponent was winning points so I tried to replicate that,” Stefanoni said after the match. “I started well but she fought back and I had to try to catch up again. At 6-1 in the fourth I lost a bit of focus, thinking it would be pretty cool to be in the quarters, but at 7-6 down I knew I had to get back to my game.”
After reaching the world juniors third round as a thirteen-year-old last summer, the result marks Stefanoni’s first world juniors quarterfinal appearance.
“It feels great to be in the quarters, really excited about that,” Stefanoni said.
Stefanoni’s quarterfinal opponent is Japan’s two-time U.S. Junior Open champion Satomi Watanabe, who advanced to the quarterfinals with a three-game victory.
In the boys draw, Douglas reached his first career world juniors quarterfinal with a decisive three-game win against England’s 9/12 seed Tom Walsh, 11-4, 11-9, 11-6.
Douglas’ first match on the glass court is set to be an encounter with Egypt’s one seed Youssef Ibrahim, who survived a five-game round of sixteen match to reach the quarterfinals.
Douglas and Ibrahim will be on the glass court first Saturday, July 22, at 4pm local time, 12am ET, with Stefanoni and Watanabe following on at 5pm local time, 1am ET.
Live stream both matches on www.wsfworldjuniors.com.