• French Open Junior • Lille • du 16 au 19 février 2012 •  

du 16 au 19 février - Lille

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Don't ask me exactly what happened squash wise today. Not a clue. I mean, I sort of browse in front of the court, watched a bit of this, chatted with that one, and that other one, in two languages. Took a few photos, but, do I have a clue of what happened, really? Nope.

Well, let's have a look at the draws then.
Only boys on court today from 5, and the babies - they'll love that, U13 - were not playing.

For the U19, only 5 matches, and already a few surprises, as 4 out of five matches went against seeding.

Excellent day for the English really, with Jack Fowler getting the better out of Dutch Tom Lucas [17/32], along with Chris Longman, beating another Dutch Stepfan Welters [17/32]. Same for Gavan Hitchenor and Blake Bettley, ousting Morten Wold (Norway) Roel Zwagerman (Ned) respectively.

For the U17, it was all about the Barbary family really!!!! [17/32]Mathias Pontet bowed to Omar El Barbary, from Egypt, while Youssef el Barbary  [17/32] lost to English Joshua Masters, and Ryan Duke [17/32] from England, losr to Magdy El Barbary, 11/9 in the 5th!

As for the U15... One good win for French Philippe Marin, getting on top of Swiss Alexander Jost 
[17/32], and one bad loss, Guillaume Ducos [9/16] to English boy Jack Martell.

En Bref, #1
(All you NEED to know)

Photos, Day 1

Benoit Letourneau, French coach, and Damien Volland Emmanuel Crouin et Fred Lecomte André Delhoste

Les tableaux

Les Infos
La Presse


As ever in a tournament, one always have a moment of panic as it's about to start. Multiply that feeling by 25.000 for a junior open.

So many faces I don't know, or faces I knew a little while ago, who have grown soooo much, so many coaches/parents, of different nationalities. Girls refusing to have their photos taken, cause "hair ain't right", boys on the contrary taking the pose, bref, a normal day in a junior open....

To be perfectly honest, I don't know that much about junior squash, but enough I hope to find my way around. With the little help of my friends, hopefully.

Speaking with Fred Lecomte - now in charge of the tournament, along with Dominique Fontanon, President of the tournament, and André Delhoste (who you know as French National coach), tournament director -  I have now a few notions of who is to be watched...

Let's start with the kiddies, U13.

For the girls, Nadiia Usenko, seeded 1 from Ukraine, is logically favorite, along with [3/4] Perein Abou Seada from Egypt. From a French point of view, Yuna Loac seems to be our best bet.

As for the Boys, the "Bleu" Heart is going with Victor Crouin, from Toulon, but the favourite are James Wyatt, a very talented English boy, along with Yousseff Abou Seada (brother of!).

For the U15.

Enzo Corigliano carries the French hopes, seeded one, and Jules Cremoux could be creating a surprise, as seeded 2. But you'll need to keep an eye for Blal Nawar [3/4] from Egypt.

For the girls, French hopefuls are basically a nice trio, Laura Gamblin, Julie Rossignol et Elisa Romba. But the favourite are Elin Harlow, seeded 1, from Wales, Tinne Gilis, from Belgium, 2.

Now, Steve Cubs - all comfy in Witley Bay, about to go to squash, the lucky b..., had the kindness to do a little Crystal Ball about the U17 and U19. May he be thanked warmly...

Fiona Geaves & Lee Drew, ES

French junior open 2012 - ones to watch
by Steve Cubbins

Not that it's going to be particularly easy to follow any particular players, as all the draws seem to be split over the three clubs .. but here goes anyway !

Girls U17
Some less familiar names here, but Finland coach Mike Harris talks highly of second seed Emilia Soini, so we'll expect her to do well. There's more strong Englishy interest here, with Ellie Lake, Lucy Beecroft, Lily Taylor, Anna Kimberley, Martha Posseger and Alicia Mead all amongst the seeds. [for the French view, watch out for Lea Van der Swalder, Marion Andriamifidy, and Marie Stephan, FG]

Boys U17
A Swiss-Portuguese final between Manuel Wanner and Claudio Pinto is predicted by the seedings here, but you guessed it, there's a posse of young Englishmen including George Parker, Hamish Falconer, Tom Lee and Angus Gillams who will have other ideas. Home hopes rest with Baprtiste Masotti, seeded 3/4.

Girls U19
France's Melissa Alves is top seed but should face a strong challenge from Belgium's second seed Nele Gilis, but 3/4 seeds Caroline Sayegh and Julia Lecoq will have their sights on the final too.

There's strong English interest too, with Victoria Temple-Murray, Katie Smith, Brogan Lane, Georgina Ingham and Catherine Finlayson lurking among the seeds.

Boys U19
Given that they have to navigate their way around the clubs, it could be a TomTom final as De Mulder (Belgium) and Ford (England) are seeded to meet in the final. [French bets are on Damien Volland. FG]

Ford has a strong supporting team, with Ashley Davis, Oiver Holland Taminder Gata-Aura and Matt Sidaway all high up in the seedings. One to watch is Qatar speed merchant Abdulla Al-Tamimi.

Marco Palmieri, transport, Charlotte Delsinne, Physio

Ian Thomas, Millfield



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