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Al-Ahram Weekly
Sports Little women
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 30 - 06 - 2011

Egypt's U-14 girls qualified for the World Junior Tennis finals in the Czech Republic, reports Ghada Abdel-Kader
Egypt qualified for the Africa U-14 girls in the World Junior Tennis finals (WJT).
However, the country lost in the Junior Davis Cup (JDC) boys U-16 and Junior Fed Cup (JFC) girls U-16.
The WJT U14 will be held from 1-6 August in Prostejov, the Czech Republic, while the JDC and JFC U-16 will be held in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, from 27 September to 2 October.
The championship took place at the Smash Tennis Academy in Cairo from 21-26 June. Participants were Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia, Morocco, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritius, Algeria, Nigeria and Ghana. Earlier, Namibia withdrew.
"The championship was held for the first time on the African continent," tournament director Hani Nasser said. "It was previously held with the African Junior championship but this year, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) decided to hold it separately. ITF chooses the best results of six countries, boys and girls, U-14 and U-16. Egypt qualified for three events -- girls U-14 and U-16 and boys U-14. As a host country, we also participated in U-14 boys."
Countries that qualified for the WJT finished first and second in girls U-14 and only the country that finished first in the boys U-14 event.
In the JDC, the teams that qualified came first and second in the boys U-16 event while in the JFC only the top country in girls U-16 event made it.
Egypt participated in the tournament with four teams in the under-14 (boys and girls) and under- 16 (boys and girls).
The coach for U-14 boys Mustafa Naim chose three players for the tournament: Nabil Fouad, Mohamed Sabri and Mohamed Hatem. Concerning the girls U-14, coach Ali Sherbini selected Sandra Sameh, Sara Mohamed and Hanaa Ahmed.
The coach for boys U-16, Karim Zaher, picked Mazen Osama, Omar Gamaleddin and Mohamed Moawad.
The U-16 women's coach Mohamed El-Shorbagi took Mayar Sherif, Marina Albert and Nour Tohami.
Sameh has been playing tennis for eight years. "I'm very happy with our victory. It was unexpected that we qualified. The matches were not easy especially with Morocco but our team did its best. What's even more important after qualification is what comes after. I hope we have good results."
Egypt in the girls U-14 event and Morocco in both boys and girls U-14 qualified for the WJT.
Nasser added, "Last year, there was no Egyptian team which qualified but the result was good this year. One team went through."
The results of the Egyptian girls U-14 round robin saw Egypt beat Zimbabwe 3-0 and Tunisia 3-0 before going down to Morocco Egypt 2-1.
Sherbini told Al-Ahram Weekly, "The choice of the players was based upon elimination among four of them. Mortagi and Mohamed qualified and Sandra was an automatic choice because she reached the final in the African Junior Championships from 4 - 8 April in Botswana and a warm up tournament in Morocco."
Sherbini said he spent 10 days preparing in Al-Gezira Sporting Club. "We expected to qualify but not win all the matches. Tunisian and Moroccan players provided strong opposition but the performance of the Egyptian players was amazing. They got good results in singles and doubles."
In the JFC girls U-16 round robin Egypt beat Algeria 3-0, defeated Mauritius 3-0 and blanked Zimbabwe and Morocco 3-0. Only South Africa managed to beat Egypt, 3-0.
The results of the WJT boys U-14 round robin were a whitewash: Egypt beat Democratic Congo 3-0, Zimbabwe 3-0, Morocco 2-1, Tunisia 2-1 and South Africa 2-1.
However, the results of the JDC boys U-16 round robin were the reverse: South Africa beat Egypt 2-1, Zimbabwe beat Egypt 2-1, Nigeria defeated Egypt 2-1, Ghana defeated Egypt 2-1 and Morocco beat Egypt 3-0.
"Throughout history, Egyptian teams have never gotten good results in the WJF," Sherbini said. "Egypt's ranking has always been among the last eight countries. This time, we have a talented team which has a good chance of being among the top eight."


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