A close day, but not close enough for the two New Zealand males remaining in the world junior squash championships.
Both Matthew Lucente and Gabe Yam had hard battles in their third round singles in Chennai, India against seeded players.
The players who both hail from the Belmont Club on Auckland’s North Shore had opportunities to make the fourth round. Lucente was defeated by Egyptian Yehia Elnawasany in 40 minutes in four games while Yam took on Malaysian seed Darren Rahui Pragasam who is ranked 135 on the PSA tour and lost in one of the longest matches of the tournament so far, a 50 minute epic 10-12, 11-5, 9-11, 11-2, 5-11.
Lucente and Yam will now ready themselves to play in the junior men’s side which starts start its campaign in the teams competition at the same venue in a few days’ time
Meanwhile in the women’s individual champs it was a tough day for Kiwi players with Georgia Robcke, 16, from Thames making it through the first round with a five game, 45 minute win over Swiss player Sarah Ludin 13-11, 11-6, 10-12, 1-11, 11-8. In the second round she was beaten in straight games by a seed from Malaysia.
The remaining New Zealand players were knocked out in the first round with a couple pushing their opponents all the way. Courtney Trail from Palmerston North had a lengthy five game loss to her Polish opponent in 37 minutes in her first round match while Kaitlyn Watts also from Palmerston North lost her match to Laila Sedky from the United States in 34 minutes in four tight games.
Both Annaleise Faint and Diya Joukani lost in 3 games to players ranked in the top 16 – Ingy Hammouda (Egypt) and Wen Li Lai (Malaysia) respectively. Winona-Jo Joyce lost to Canadian, Emma Jinks also in straight games.
Five out of the six players in the women’s team will still be eligible for the 2019 world junior champs in Malaysia which includes the world junior teams championships.
Women’s singles first round;
Georgia Robcke bt Sarah Ludin (Switzerland) 13-11, 11-6, 10-12, 1-11, 11-8
Courtney Trail lt Karina Tyma (Poland) 3-11, 11-4, 11-7, 6-11, 3-11
Diya Joukani lt Wen Li Lai (Malaysia) 5-11, 6-11, 2-11,
Kaitlyn Watts lt Laila Sedky (United States) 10-12, 10-12, 11-8, 4-11,
Annaleise Faint lt Ingy Hammouda (Egypt) 2-11, 0-11, 4-11,
Winona Jo Joyce lt Emma Jinks (Canada) 6-11, 8-11, 2-11.
Women’s second round:
Georgia Robcke lt Farida Mohamed (Egypt) 7-11, 3-11, 3-11.
Men’s singles third round:
Matthew Lucente lt Yehia Elnawasany (Egypt) 5-11, 5-11, 14-12, 5-11,
Gabe Yam lt Darren Rahui Pragasam (Malaysia) 10-12, 11-5, 9-11, 11-2, 5-11,