Tayeb in 3rd World final
Top seed Nour El Tayeb made it three world junior finals in a row with an assured semi-final win over Emily Whitlock at Harvard’s Murr Center in the first semi-final, which was a clash between the reigning British Junior Open U19 and U17 champions. Looking cool and calm from the outset, the Egyptian soon moved into a 5/1 lead in the opening game, but the English girl battled back well, got as close as 7/6 but couldn’t stem the flow of shots coming from the top seed’s racket – she plays some with such deception that neither the crowd nor her opponent know where the ball’s going. Totally dominant in the second, Nour looked to be cruising to victory as she made Emily work hard – European audiences are used to seeing Emily patrolling the ‘T’, making her opponent do all the running, but here she was being forced to be the runner. In the third she performed that role well, for a while. Working very, very hard, Emily managed to get herself 5/2 ahead, but the workrate had to tell, and it did. Nour continued to play her shots, they started paying off more and more, and soon enough she was in the final for a third – and last – time.
Champion in 2009 at the age of 13, Nour El Sherbini is back in the World Junior Final after gaining revenge for her semi-final defeat last year at the hands of Amanda Sobhy, dethroning the reigning champion in the process.
Sherbinis comments were, “I can’t believe I’m back in the final, I’m so happy! I made a good start and won the first, but when I was down in the second I remembered my training, and all the time I’d spent off court. I told myself that I’d won the first and that I could do it again. It was very important to win the second, and the third was close all the way. I thought it should have been a stroke near the end but I told myself to forget it, it didn’t matter, just keep on playing my game and I could win. I’m so glad to be back in the final, and to be playing Nour again like we did in India. We’re good friends and play each other a lot, and hopefully we can have a great match.”