Hong Kong Oust Hosts To Reach World Final In Chennai
7 Aug 2009
Sixth seeds Hong Kong continued their 'giant-killing' run in the Women's World Junior Team Championship when they upset hosts India, the No2 seeds, in today's semi-finals of the World Squash Federation (WSF) championship at the Indian Squash Academy in Chennai to reach the final for only the second time in the nation's history.
Indian star Dipika Pallikal, the second-highest-ranked player in the tournament, delighted the crowd when she put the hosts in the lead with a four-game win over Hong Kong number one Liu Tsz-Ling. But Hong Kong number two Tong Tsz-Wing struck back to beat Anwesha Reddy 12-10, 11-6, 11-8 to level the tie - before third string Carmen Lee clinched the shock win by beating India's Surbhi Misra 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9 to put Hong Kong into the final for the second time since 2005.
"I just went on to win, I couldn't lose," the ecstatic 17-year-old told www.squashsite.co.uk/worldjuniors afterwards. "I knew I had to break a leg to win this match - I lost to India in the Asian Junior teams and I was just thinking I can't lose to them again.
"I could hear the crowd shouting, but I knew the only way to keep them quiet was to keep winning, not give them anything to cheer about," added Carmen Lee.
"It's unbelievable, we're 5/8 seeds, we shouldn't be in the final, but we are - it's just impossible! We're not supposed to win tomorrow, but we'll try our best!"
Hong Kong will face defending champions Egypt - but the top seeds were given a shock by fifth seeds USA when, after squad number one Heba El Torky put the favourites ahead, New Yorker Amanda Sobhy came back to play the game of her life to beat Egypt's new world junior individual champion Nour El Sherbini 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 in just 22 minutes.
"Forget what I said about beating Laura Gemmell being my best match ever, I just beat the World Champion!" gushed Sobhy, the 16-year-old left-hander who is making her US debut in these world championships.
"Coming into the match I was sure I was going to get destroyed, so I didn't go on with a plan, I just went on and played - and I never had so much fun on a court in my life! I wasn't even getting nervous towards the end. Even if I'd lost it would have been to the world champion, so there was no pressure."
Despite dropping their first match in the championship, Egypt soon restored order when squad number three Nour El Tayeb, aged 16, defeated 18-year-old Julie Cerullo 11-6, 11-5, 11-4 in just 17 minutes. The win puts Egypt, champions three times since 1999, into the final for the fourth time in a row.
There was also a significant upset in the 5th-8th place play-offs when former champions England beat third seeds Malaysia 2/1. It was a notable outcome for the No7 seeds, whose winners Millie Tomlinson and Kimberley Hay both beat higher-ranked opponents - Low Wee Nee and Tan Yan Xin, respectively - to record England's unexpected result.
The 2001 champions have the chance to repeat last year's fifth place finish in the play-off for fifth place against Canada, the fourth seeds who beat eighth seeds New Zealand 3/0.
 EGYPT bt  USA 2-1
Heba El Torky bt Olivia Blatchford 11-5, 11-6, 13-15, 11-7 (34m)
Nour El Sherbini lost to Amanda Sobhy 6-11, 6-11, 8-11 (22m)
Nour El Tayeb bt Julie Cerullo 11-6, 11-5, 11-4 (17m)
 HONG KONG bt  INDIA 2-1
Liu Tsz-Ling lost to Dipika Pallikal 4-11, 12-10, 8-11, 6-11 (31m)
Tong Tsz-Wing bt Anwesha Reddy 12-10, 11-6, 11-8 (29m)
Carmen Lee bt Surbhi Misra 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9 (40m)
5th - 8th place play-offs:
 ENGLAND bt  MALAYSIA 2-1
Millie Tomlinson bt Low Wee Nee 12-10, 11-5, 9-11, 14-12 (38m)
Kimberley Hay bt Tan Yan Xin 5-11, 12-14, 11-6, 12-10, 11-4 (45m)
Julianne Courtice lost to Nessrine Ariffin 8-11, 10-12 (14m)
 CANADA bt  NEW ZEALAND 3-0
Laura Gemmell bt Lana Harrison 7-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 (55m)
Samantha Cornett bt Amanda Landers-Murphy 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 (24m)
Jennifer Pelletier bt Emma Millar 11-8, 11-4
9th - 12th place play-offs:
 FRANCE bt  AUSTRALIA 2-1
Emilie Lamilango bt Sarah Cardwell 9-11, 13-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-5 (45m)
Cyrielle Peltier bt Tamika Saxby 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 3-11, 11-6 (38m)
Julia Lecoq lost to Christine Nunn 8-11, 6-11
 GERMANY bt  SOUTH AFRICA 2-1
Lisa-Marie Sedlmeier lost to Cheyna Tucker 4-11, 9-11, 11-4, 1-11 (23m)
Caroline Sayegh bt Robyn Baptiste 7-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-4, 11-2 (34m)
Franziska Hennes bt Alexandra Fuller 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 7-11, 11-8 (43m)
13th - 16th place play-offs:
 NETHERLANDS bt  SPAIN 3-0
Ilona Lagerweij bt Ana Arosa Rodriguez 11-9, 11-3, 11-3 (24m)
Anne Jongerden bt Sara Esperon 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 (15m)
Tessa ter Sluis bt Marina Lopez 11-8, 12-10 (12m)
 DENMARK bt  SWEDEN 2-1
Bine Lind bt Matilda Ravn-Holm 11-5, 11-6, 11-9 (28m)
Anna Sophie Jensen lost to Jennie Lindstrom 9-11, 7-11, 11-6, 8-11 (31m)
Millie Jensen bt Eira Mooney 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 (19m)