29th January 2020 — More than 600 of the world’s top young players were in Birmingham for this platinum event which took place over five days from 2-6 January 2020. Between them they represented over 35 countries. In November 2018, Yusuf took the British Boys’ U13 title but this time he was competing in the Boys’ U15 competition at international level. There were 128 contestants in this category alone. Yusuf was one of the youngest in his age group, and the youngest player to reach the U15 final eight. He went into the competition seeded 5/8 behind fellow England players Jonah Bryant and Abdallah Eissa. His determination and hard work over the Christmas period were evident.
Yusuf faced a tough draw in the semi-finals against the much stronger and experienced Pakistani number 1, Muhammad Ammad who had previously won against him two years earlier in the first round of the British Junior Open. Ammad was favourite to win the tournament. Going into this semi Sheikh was very nervous but he drew confidence from his quarter final win against Yuvraj Wadhwani, the Indian number 1 and played his best squash of the tournament. His straight 3-0 win earned Yusuf a place in the finals in which he faced number 2 seed, Pakistan’s Muhammad Humza Khan. Khan showed no sign of nerves as he beat Yusuf 11-4, 11-3, 11-7 for Pakistan’s first win since 2012.
Lee Drew, the National Junior Coach said, "Yusuf was very impressive at this year’s Dunlop British Junior Open. Reaching the final is a massive achievement and a great platform to build from as it is the equivalent of a World Junior Championships in his age category. Yusuf works very hard at his game and reaching the final is reward for his effort. This age category is strong so there is exciting times ahead for a player like Yusuf if he keeps working and developing as he is."