By Chris McClintick
The Hasta La Vista Squash Club was constructed in Wroclow, Poland, with eighteen international courts, including two all-glass surrounded by stadium seating, with one goal in mind: to host the most spectacular World Junior Championships to date. And a spectacle it was.
Streamed live to a global audience, the 2013 edition of the World Junior Championships included the Boys and Girls U19 Individual Championships, which were followed by the Girls Team Championship.
National Team Coaches Scott Devoy, Gilly Lane and Lynn Leong, led the travelling U.S. juniors consisting of the top four girls in the nation playing in both the individual and team competitions: national champion Sabrina Sobhy; national finalist Maria Elena Ubina; Reeham Sedky; and Olivia Feichter with Katie Tutrone and Kayley Leonard joining them in individual play.
U.S. players in the boys individuals included national champion Dylan Murray; national finalist Devin McLaughlin; Edward Columbia; Pierson Broadwater; and Hayes Murphy. McLaughlin and Columbia advanced the furthest of the U.S. boys reaching the Round of 32 before elimination by 5/8 seeds, while Murray was upset in his first match of the tournament, although the U.S. Champion won the ensuing boys plate.
The U.S. girls advanced three players to the last 32, with Sobhy, Fiechter and Ubina advancing past the opening rounds. Fiechter would be the first eliminated at the hands of a 5/8 seed in five games, and Ubina would come back from 2-0 to win in five, joining Sobhy in the last 16. Sobhy dropped the opening game in her Round of 16 clash but recovered to win in four and reach the quarterfinals, while Mariam Metwaly ended Ubina’s individual run in three games. A semifinal appearance eluded Sobhy as Habiba Mohamed defeated the American in three games.
After three wins in team pool play and an easy quarterfinal win over New Zealand, the U.S. squared-off against England in the semifinals. With a berth in the finals on the line, Sobhy took the court against Victoria Temple-Murray in what proved to be the match of the tournament—Sobhy replied resiliently from 2-0 down to win 11-4, 11-8, 11-4 and give the U.S. a 1-0 lead.
With Fiechter losing to Nada Elkalaawy to level the score 1-1, the deciding match came down to Reeham “The Hammer” Sedky who was too powerful, defeating her English opponent in three games.
In the final, Egyptian individual semifinalist Habiba Mohamed and Sedky were up first with the Egyptian gliding past the American in three games, leaving it to world No. 11 and three-time individual champion Nour El Sherbini. El Sherbini defeated Sobhy in three games, maintaining her perfect tournament record to win the fourth consecutive championship for Egypt.