Nine members of junior Team USA have advanced to the World Junior Individual Championships round of thirty-two following the first two days of match play, July 29-31, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The U.S. made a strong start to the individual competition with all but one American winning their first match in the first or second round. Serena Daniel, Nicholas Spizzirri and Caroline Spahr all recorded first and second round victories to reach the round of thirty-two. Spizzirri marked his world juniors debut by pulling off one of the biggest results of the first two rounds, upsetting New Zealand’s 9/12 seed Gabe Yam 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 on Wednesday.
Ayush Menon, Dana Santry, Dillon Huang, Thomas Rosini, Olivia Robinson and Marina Stefanoni all enjoyed first round byes before winning their round of sixty-four matches to advance to the round of thirty-two. Rosini, a 13/16 seed, had to face teammate Myles McIntyre, in the second round, advancing in a close three games 11-9, 11-8, 11-8.
Team USA is guaranteed at least two representatives in the last sixteen with two all-American matches slated for the round of thirty-two. High school teammates Spizzirri and Santry, who pulled off a five-game comeback in the second round, will have to face off for a spot in the last sixteen at Thursday, August 1, 2pm local time, 2am ET. In the girls’ draw Marina Stefanoni, a 5/8 seed, will take on unseeded Daniel at 11am local time August 1, 11pm ET July 31.
Robinson, who is making her world juniors debut following winning National Juniors, will hope to fulfill her 13/16 seeding against Malaysia’s Aira Azman, while Spahr will take on Egypt’s 13/16 seed Nour Khaled Aboulmakarim.
Menon will face fellow unseeded player, Hong Kong’s Wai Lok To for a chance to face Egypt’s top seed Mostafa Asal in the round of sixteen. Rosini will hope to fulfill his 13/16 seeding against Pakistan’s Muhammad Farhan Hashimi, while Huang will play Egypt’s Karim Elbarbary.