The U.S. junior national team made final preparations ahead of the 2023 WSF World Junior Championships in Melbourne, Australia with a week of intensive training, June 26-30, at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center in Philadelphia.
The 2023 edition of the World Juniors will feature the annual World Junior Men’s and Women’s Individual Championships, July 18-23, followed by the biennial World Junior Women’s Team Championship July 24-29–the first staging since 2019.
The U.S. junior women will aim to return to the podium after recording a sixth place finish in 2019. Team USA’s best performances were three consecutive second place finishes in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
The U.S. squad will be led by U.S. Junior Women’s Head Coach Scott Devoy, U.S. Junior Men’s Interim Head Coach Simba Muhwati, U.S. Junior Women’s Assistant Coach Margo Prow and U.S. Junior Men’s Assistant Coach Charlie Johnson.
Of the twelve players representing Team USA, six return for their second World Juniors and five earned seeded positions. The U.S. women’s team will be led by U.S. junior champion and individual 5/8 seed Caroline Fouts, who placed in the world’s top twelve last summer. Madison Ho–who won a historic British Junior Open title in January–and Riya Navani are both set for their World Junior Teams debut and are 9/16 individual seeds. Emma Trauber returns for her second World Juniors and first on the U.S. women’s team. Sonya Sasson will compete in her second straight World Junior individuals, while Caroline Eielson will make her World Junior individuals debut.
“It’s been a good week, everyone’s been working hard and they’ve all been playing well,” Devoy said. “Between now and Australia there’s room for more growth and as a team we’re in a really good spot. Egypt are always going to be the challenge and that’s going to be the bar that we want to reach. This team is capable of a top three finish, whether that’s first, second or third, that’s the area we’re aiming for. If we can get the most out of ourselves and take care of the things that we can control, it could be us on the top of the podium–you never know. We’re all looking forward to it. Everyone’s been putting in a lot of hard work. We can’t wait to get there and get going.”
The six U.S. men feature two returning World Juniors players in U.S. junior champion Rishi Srivastava and Zane Patel. Srivastava and U.S. finalist Hollis Robertson–who is making his world juniors debut both enter individuals as 9/16 seeds. Varun Chitturi, Thomas Soltanian and Arhan Chandra are all set for their first World Juniors appearances.
“We’re excited for the boys individuals this year and they are all ready for the challenge ahead,” Muhwati said. “We have two players returning from the event last year, Rishi and Zane, whose experience at this stage will serve them well. We have done comprehensive work and have included a mental program for the first time, which I think we be crucial to overcoming the obstacles that can present themselves during a tournament of this magnitude. We believe in our physical and mental preparation, and the season that Rishi, Hollis, Varun, Zane, Arhan and Thomas endured on the road to making the team means they have the competitive squash qualities required to cause their opponents some problems. Finally, as the head of the boys coaching staff, the honor to represent my country at the highest stage is something I do not take for granted and will cherish forever. Please get behind this group as we will do everything in our power to make you proud!”
Live streaming, draws, tickets and more tournament information are available on wsfworldjuniors.com.