Squash Challenger Cup – Quarter Finals

Day THREE :  Bryant advances as semi-finalists decided in Ipswich

Jonah Bryant, England’s top junior player now mixing it with the pros on the PSA Challenger tour, is into the semi-finals of the Ipswich Sports Club PSA 12k Challenger second round after a comprehensive win over fourth seed Jakub Solicky.

The 18-year-old prospect produced a solid, mature display never really looking troubled by his more experienced opponent. The 3-0 win far from flattered Jonah who now goes up against Egypt’s Moustafa Elsirty.

Elsirty’s path to the last four came courtesy of a lively and heated match-up with Malaysia’s Darren Pragasam. A series and dives and outrageous retrievals were some compensation for far too many on-court ‘conversations’.

Women’s top seed Katie Malliff upped her game from the night before with a classy, comprehensive performance against Egypt’s Nour Khafagy. Her 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 win in 30 minutes booked a semi spot against Yasshmita Jadish Kumar from Malaysia who finally ended the excellent run of Wales player Lowri Roberts.

The performance of the night came from 16-year-old Lauren Baltayan from France, already occupying the world # 81 ranking. Her aggressive and creative shot-making combined with impressive court speed was too much for the fourth seed Rana Ismail. The 3-1 victory gives her a shot at another Egyptian, Nour Heikal who beat New Zealand’s Kaitlyn Watts in three.

England’s Declan James and Owain Taylor, flying the flag for Wales, will meet tonight. Declan downed Spain’s Ivan Perez  in three close games while Owain came through an 81-minute humdinger with Ameeshenraj Chandaran, conqueror of top seed Victor Byrtus in round two.

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