Monday, June 28, 2010


Another successful day in Cologne for the US Team.

Youngsters Maria Elena Ubina and Katie Tutrone fell short in the plate but, again, gained invaluable experience at the international level. Haley Mendez continued her successful run in search of 17th place defeating the #1 Dutch player Tessa ter Sluis. Olivia Blatchford, gunning for 5th place, fell short in a tight 4 game match versus Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY). She will play for 7th place tomorrow.

In the main draw semi finals Amanda Sobhy booked a place in the final with an EXTREMELY tight 3 game victory over world junior champion Nour El Sherbini 12-10, 14-12, and 11-9. It was a match that had the spectators (and coaches) mesmerized. Amanda will play Nour El Tayeb for the championship tomorrow at 8pm Cologne time.

Jack Wyant
US Junior Women's Coach

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Quarters

Quick update from Cologne. Amanda Sobhy played very solidly to book a spot in the semi-finals--I believe this is a first for any USA player. She beat a game Anaka Alankomony (IND) by the score 11-9, 11-4, 11-6. Next up, World Junior Champion Nour El Sherbini!

Olivia wasn't as fortunate. She started slowly and by the time she got going it was too late, Nour El Taeb was too far in front and secured a three game victory.

In the back draw Maria Elena moved on with a withdrawal, Katie won her second straight 5-gamer and Haley lost to an on fire Anwesha Reddy (IND). All five Americans will be in action tomorrow.

Jack Wyant

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Game on

Round of 32

The first round matches included mix results for Team USA. Olivia and I won our first round matches, the youngsters weren’t so lucky. Haley, Maria Elena, and Katie fell 3 love but put up a good. This was the first time for Katie and Maria Elena to be representing the US at a World Championship, and although they lost, they gained valuable learning experience to take with them in future matches. Tomorrow, with a fresh start, each member of the team will show their opponent what the US is really made of.

Round of 16

Today was the second round of matches for everyone and US performed very well. Haley was first up beating her opponent from Germany in four tight games. Katie also prevailed, pulling through to win in five over the #1 Austrian. Maria Elena put up a good fight against her French opponent, only to lose in a close four gamer.

The afternoon session was great for the US. Olivia performed beautifully and put to rest last summer’s tough round of 16 loss in the 2009 World Juniors. Olivia was poised and got the win over Melissa Alves of France was in three tight games.

I was next up taking on an up and coming Egyptian, Yathreb Adel. It was a tense affair but I stuck to my game plan and managed a close 4-game win. Two Americans in the quarterfinals is a great accomplishment for the team and represents how far the USA has come internationally.

Now, we can enjoy the rest of the night and cheer on USA in the World Cup. GO USA!!!!

Amanda Sobhy

Friday, June 25, 2010

Final Prep Day

This morning we all woke up for a nice 9 o’clock breakfast–or so we thought. When we got downstairs we found out that Amanda had been woken up early for a random drug testing by the tournament directors.

After breakfast we made our way to the courts for a hit. We played a few games–Jack said the best way to get used to the courts is to play games. Once everyone felt prepared we packed it up and tried to get on the shuttle to the hotel. We had to wait a long time (very un-German-like) for the shuttle but finally got dropped off directly at our favorite new lunch spot - Vappiano. Katie and Maria Elena had a hard time getting the chef to cook what they really wanted but in the end no one went home hungry.

After lunch Olivia headed into the city to do some pre-tournament shopping with some of our new international friends: Tamika (Australia) and Catalina Palaez (Columbia) while the other girls worked on cleaning their hotel rooms and modeling our new Harrow uniforms.

Everyone reconvened in the center of Cologne to check out the cathedral and grab some dinner. On the way home we learned the art of ghosting people (following strangers copying exactly what they do) while buying the tickets at the tram station to go back to our hotel. As Haley was ghosting Jack to the tracks they got separated from the rest of the group and then we all missed the train - but luckily there was another one 5 minutes later.

Once back at the hotel we made a plan for breakfast and shuttle bus times to make sure we are all on time for the opening ceremonies in the morning. Then everyone was off to bed to get some sleep before the first day of action.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

As we began our first full day together, it was clear we would spend most of our time in fits of giggles, sitting around the breakfast table. When we finished our breakfast- much to Katie's delight, the Indian team had arrived and so Katie was given the opportunity to greet her opponent, or so she thought.....Hitting through jetlag, aiming for targets we were able to adapt to the courts and find 'our length' as Jack called it. After a stretch and a bit of music blasting from Haley's ipod touch we piled into the van and headed on back to the Dorint Hotel.

Amanda who had flown in from Egypt at 4 in the morning looking surprisingly refreshed went for a hit as the others relaxed at the hotel. Although we parted ways for lunch, US representation would not be lost, to Olivia's absolute joy, the US soccer team scored with 2 min to go in over time putting them at the top of the pool! YESSSSS! Later we reconnected and this time the US team would experience what can only be described fierce German national pride, while we sat down for dinner surrounded in a sea of crazy Deutschland supporters! With Maria Elena snapping pictures and Khaled generously buying our dinner we were able to experience the true energy that is football! And now we look forward (especially Amanda) to a cozy nights sleep so that we start the day with pizazz, ready to dominate!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Katie was the first to meet up with Jack. They trained it from Wilmington to Newark Airport where they met Maria Elena coming from Connecticut. After a few mechanical issues the plane took off for Hamburg, Germany; where we almost missed their connecting flight! But made it just in time, unfortunately our bags did not make it as fast as they did. Luckily the airport gave us emergency survival kits that helped greatly. Haley left from JFK on her own, sitting next to a Lithuanian couple that kept her very entertained. She made it bags and all to the Dorint Hotel to meet up with Jack and the other girls in time for lunch. After that, they came back to hotel for some down time. In order to stay awake we took a swim in the beautiful spa pool. Haley being the only one with a swim suit- the others were reluctant to go in, but ended up going in one way or another. Olivia and her sister Georgia took the train from Amsterdam to meet us for dinner. It will be an early night for everyone trying to fight the jet lag, but we are all excited for some training and exploration of Koln tomorrow!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Off to Germany!

Today we depart for the World Junior Women's Individual Championships. Haley Mendez, Maria Elena Ubina, Katie Tutrone and I leave for Cologne, Germany this evening meeting up with Amanda Sohby and Olivia Blatchford tomorrow.

It promises to be an exciting 10 days of team bonding, some sightseeing, learning and competition. We'll keep you posted on our progress.

Jack Wyant
US Junior Women's Coach