Whitehorse’s Mustafa Syed produced a balanced 2-2 record at the 2014 Canadian Junior Squash Championships in Markham, Ont., over the weekend.
Syed had two wins and two losses – against seeded players – in the U17 boys division.
“It was really great to play someone really good so I can get better,” said Syed. “That’s why I enter tournaments: to get better experience by playing better players. In the Yukon there’s not much of a variety of people to play with…
“It’s great to play people like this and to know I’m improving.”
Syed, who was the only Yukon player at the championships, opened with a 3-1 win over Richard Johansen, who went on to reach the final of the bronze draw.
He then fell to ninth seed Ravi Seth, who went on to reach the semis of the main draw.
Syed, 16, then topped Tommy Scott in four sets in the consolation draw before a loss to fifth seed Noel Heaton in three. Heaton is ranked 11th in Canada for U17 boys.
“That was my favourite match because I could have beaten him; it was really close,” said Syed, who is currently ranked 39th nationally for U17 boys. “I was happy I was that close with him, it could have gone either way.
“Even though it was 3-0, I was like, ‘I’m pretty close to this guy.’ I guess I just have to train harder and hopefully next time I can beat him.”
Syed was held to one win at last year’s junior nationals and later went on to reach the open men’s final of the Yukon Open in May.
He also went 2-2 to place fourth in the A division of boys under 17 Jester’s Pacific Northwest Junior Squash Championship this past February.
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