Seeds Sail Through While History Made At WSF World Junior Championships In Melbourne
19 Jul 2023
The 2023 WSF World Junior Squash Championships got off to an entertaining start in Melbourne, as the seeded players navigated tough challenges; hosts Australia saw two players progress to round three; and history was made for Lithuania.
On a hectic day of action, in which 135 matches and two rounds took place across ten courts inside the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, the seeded players knew they could ill afford a lapse in concentration.
With the seeded players receiving a first-round bye they went into their second round matches fresher, but perhaps less sharp than their round two opponents, who came through first round clashes in the day's first session.
While the majority appeared to show no signs of rust, with women's defending champion and top seed Amina Orfi of Egypt and men's top seed Jonah Bryant of England cruising through, there were some scares for the seeds, most notably for No.2 seed and men's defending champion Rowan Damming.
In a hotly-contested encounter, the Dutchman - who arrived at the venue having reached five successive finals on the PSA World Tour over the past two months - threatened to be a high-profile opening day casualty when he dropped the opening game to France's Antonin Romieu, but the Dutchman was able to settle, eventual going through 7-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-6.
Joining Damming and the other seeds in the next round are home hopefuls Madison Lyon and Oscar Curtis, who have set up third round clashes with Egyptian 9/16 seed Nadien Elhammamy and Malaysian 5/8 seed Joachim Chuah, respectively.
In a thrilling back-and-forth encounter, Lyon came from behind to beat Malaysia's Anrie Goh 9-11, 11-3, 5-11, 11-9, 11-8, while Curtis stormed past Macau's Keng In Leong 11-1, 11-0, 11-0 in round one before beating Ireland's Jack O'Flynn 11-8, 11-1, 11-6 in round two.
Earlier in the day, Lukas Kazemekaitis made history when he secured Lithuania's first ever win at a World Junior Championship, with the 16-year-old, coached by Mazen Gamal, coming from behind to beat South Africa's Devon Osborne before eventually losing out to India's Shaurya Bawa in the second round.