Yusuf’s U15 Squash Silver
Congratulations to L4 pupil Yusuf who recently won a silver medal in the Dunlop British Junior Open. This tournament is the most prestigious event in the world junior squash calendar.
More than 600 of the world’s top young players were in Birmingham for this platinum event which took place over 5 days from 2-6 January 2020. Between them they represented over 35 countries. In November 2018, Yusuf took the British Boys’ U13 title but this time he was competing in the Boys’ U15 competition at international level. There were 128 contestants in this category alone. Yusuf was one of the youngest in his age group, and the youngest player to reach the U15 final eight.
He went into the competition seeded 5/8 behind fellow England players Jonah Bryant and Abdallah Eissa, but his determination and hard work over the Christmas period were evident.
Yusuf faced a tough draw in the semi-finals against the much stronger and experienced Pakistani number 1, Muhammad Ammad. Ammad was favourite to win the tournament. Going into this semi Yusuf was very nervous but he drew confidence from his quarter final win against Yuvraj Wadhwani, the Indian number 1. By playing some fantastic squash Yusuf took a straight 3-0 win which earned him a place in the finals. In the final, he faced number 2 seed, Pakistan’s Muhammad Humza Khan. Yusuf admits that he underperformed in the final but he also acknowledged his opponent’s skill. Although disappointed not to get the Gold on this occasion, Yusuf was ecstatic to have reached the final. He is now determined to come back stronger next year.
Yusuf was very impressive at this year’s Dunlop British Junior Open. Reaching the final is a massive achievement and a great platform to build from as it is the equivalent of a World Junior Championships in his age category. Yusuf works very hard at his game and reaching the final is reward for his effort. This age category is strong so there is exciting times ahead for a player like Yusuf if he keeps working and developing as he is.Lee Drew, National Junior Coach