[1] Mohammad Hamza Khan (Pak) 3-2 [5/8] Mohammed Nasser   11-3, 5-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7
[9/16] Mohamed Zakaria 3-2 [9/16] Brice Nicolas (Fra)   10-12, 11-3,11-3, 6-11, 11-6

[1] Kenzy Ayman v [5/8] Saran Nghiem (Eng)  10-12, 11-2, 11-8, 5-11, 11-7
[5/8] Salma El Tayeb 3-0 [3/4] Aira Azman (Mas) 11/7, 11/6, 11/8
[3/4] Fayrouz Aboulkheir  3-1 [9/16] Anahat Singh (Ind)
[2] Amina Orfi 3-0 [5/8] Malak Khagafy

Quarter-finals day in Nancy saw the end of some giantkilling runs as players from four nations booked their places in the semi-finals.

Fourteen year old Mohamed Zakaria ended the run of France’s Brice Nicolas in five fiercely contested games in front of a passionate home crowd, and he’s the only Egyptian in the men’s last four.

Top seed Mohammed Hamza Khan was taken the full distance before seeing off Mohamed Nasser and the Pakistan favourite now meets European champion Finnlay Withingthon who won an all-English clash with Sam Osborne-Wylde. Unseeded Colombian Juan Torres Lara finally lost out, in four games to Holland’s 3/4 seed Rowan Damming who now meets Zakaria, the lowest rakned player left.

The women’s semis will be all-Egyptian affairs but it was far from plain sailing for top seed Kenzy Ayman, who was twice behind against England’s Saran Nghiem but prevailed despite receiving conduct warnings for coaching and time-wasting in the decider.

Salma El Tayeb produced the upset of the day as the 5/8 seed beat 3/4 seeded Malaysian Aira Azman in straight games, while the other semifinal will be between second seed Amina Orfi and 3/4 Fayrouz Aboulkheir, who ended the run of India’s Anahat Singh.

WSF reports

Mohamed Zakaria became the second youngest ever player to reach the men’s World Junior Championships semi-finals, and the youngest since 2004, as he broke home hearts by coming from a game down to beat France’s Brice Nicolas 3-2 in Nancy, while in the women’s draw his compatriots enjoyed a perfect day as Egypt took all four semi-final places.

Home favourite Nicolas had made a confident start to his match against Zakaria, with the 18-year-old’s pace and accurate winners too much for the Egyptian to handle as the Frenchman edged the first game 12-10.

Zakaria’s response, though, shocked the home crowd. The Alexandrian played with previously unseen intensity to snatch the momentum with a brace of dominant 11-3 wins.

Now it was time for Nicolas to hit back and, roared on by the vocal French crowd, he took the match into a fifth game with a hard-fought 11-6.

Zakaria did not appear flustered, though, and flew into a 5-1 lead in the decisive game. As the rallies became stretched and increasingly desperate, it was the 14-year-old who better held his nerve and length to seal an 11-6 win of his own and become the youngest man since Aamir Atlas Khan to reach the final four.

Zakaria will play fellow history maker Rowan Damming in the semi-final after the 17-year-old 5/8 seed became the first Dutch player to reach the semi-finals with a 3-1 win over unseeded Colombian Juan Jose Torres Lara.

Zakaria said:

“I feel amazing, I’ve always dreamed of playing on an amazing court like this, with an amazing crowd! It’s all thanks to my coaches. I’ve trained for a long time for this day and I’ve been waiting for it for a long time. I’m thankful that my hard work paid off.

“Egypt is the most supportive team ever. To be part of such a prestigious team is a dream. I was so thankful to have them in my corner, cheering every point.”

In the women’s draw, 5/8 seed Salma El Tayeb upset Malaysia’s 3/4 seed Aira Azman on a day of Egyptian domination.

El Tayeb and Azman went into the match having met as recently as last month, where Azman recorded a 3-1 victory in the in the final of the Tuanku Muhriz Trophy. Today, though, El Tayeb had her revenge.

The World No.69 was in dominant form throughout, with her immaculate squash wearing down the Malaysian, who was hassled into too many errors. After taking the first game 11-7, El Tayeb pushed on, winning the second 11-8 to move into a commanding position.

Although Azman pushed hard early in the third, she was unable to get the better of the 18-year-old, who wrapped up the match with an 11-6 win in the third game.

El Tayeb will play top seed and compatriot Kenzy Ayman in tomorrow’s semi-final, after the competition’s highest ranked player narrowly avoided a shock defeat to England’s 5/8 seed Saran Nghiem by coming back from 1-0 down to win 3-2.

El Tayeb said:

“It’s fun playing with Aira, we’ve been playing since we were 11 years old and it’s always 50/50 and I’m so happy I got the win today. She’s a very good player and I’m so happy with my performance.

“I’m so excited to be playing Kenzy tomorrow, we’ve played a lot of times in Egypt, so I’m excited to see what it’s going to be like playing outside of Egypt.”

Ayman added:

“I’m seeded one, and in the first game of my first match, I felt really nervous because I’m top seed and you feel you have to win the whole championship. But I told myself to play with all I have and if I win, plan from there and keep going, and if I lose then I’ll learn why and learn about what I can do.”

The other women’s semi-final will be contested by 3/4 seed Fayrouz Abouelkheir and No.2 seed Amina Orfi. With Orfi’s fiery victory over 5/8 seed Malak Khafagy in the last match of the day an all-Egyptian encounter, Abouelkheir’s measured performance to beat India’a 9/16 seed Anahat Singh guaranteed an entirely Egyptian semi-finals for the fourth time.