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30/07/2017
World Games 2017

Latest

draw

World Games 2017
Men's Draw

25 - 28 Jul
Wroclaw, Poland

Round One
 24 Jul
Round two
 25 Jul
Quarters
 26 Jul
Semis
 27 Jul
Final
 28 Jul
[1] Simon Rösner (GER)
11-3, 11-2, 11-1 (23m)
Wojciech Nowisz (POL)
Simon Rösner
11-8, 11-3, 11-7 (26m)
Rhys Dowling
Simon Rösner
9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7 (74m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez
Simon Rösner
9-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-7 (69m)
Mathieu Castagnet

 
 

Simon Rösner
15-13, 1-6, 9-11, 11-8
Gregoire Marche

[9/16] Rhys Dowling (AUS)
11-7, 8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 12-10 (54m)
Daniel Mekbib (CZE)
[9/16] Ivan Yuen (MAS)
11-6, 13-11, 11-8 (31m)
Matias Tuomi (FIN)
Ivan Yuen
4-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-5 (39m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez
[5/8] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
11-4, 11-5, 11-4 (20m)
Vasile Hapun (ROM)
[5/8] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
w/o
Lau Ulrik Kiehn (DEN)
Mathieu Castagnet
9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-2 (57m)
Douglas Kempsell
Mathieu Castagnet
8-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-7, 11-3 (67m)
Raphael Kandra
[9/16] Douglas Kempsell (GBR)
11-6, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4 (42m)
Joe Chapman (IVB)
[9/16] Raphael Kandra (GER)
11-7, 11-9, 11-7 (27m)
Ahmed Hany Hussein (EGY)
Raphael Kandra
11-6, 11-3, 11-7 (26m)
Cesar Salazar
[3/4] Cesar Salazar (MEX)
11-7, 5-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4 (50m)
Balázs Farkas (HUN)
[3/4] Diego Elias (PER)
11-4, 11-4, 11-4 (23m)
Alex Eustace (AUS)
Diego Elias
11-7, 8-11, 11-3, 11-5 (51m)
Nafiizwan Adnan
Diego Elias
11-0, 8-11, 11-9, 13-11 (37m)
Yip Tsz Fung

Diego Elias
11-7, 11-4, 11-8 (42m)
Gregoire Marche
[9/16] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
w/o
Alex Pavulans (LAT)
[9/16] Ben Coleman (GBR)
11-9, 11-5, 11-7 (48m)
Yuri Farneti (ITA)
Ben Coleman
6-11, 11-4, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7 (66m)
Yip Tsz Fung
[5/8] Yip Tsz Fung (HKG)
11-2, 11-1, 11-5 (15m)
Kostiantyn Rybalchenko (UKR)
[5/8] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
11-2, 11-2, 11-7 (21m)
Mateusz Kotra (POL)
Gregoire Marche
11-4, 8-11, 11-3, 11-1 (38m)
Rory Stewart
Gregoire Marche
11-8, 11-9, 11-2 (42m)
Max Lee
Rory Stewart (GBR)
11-8, 11-3, 11-4 (28m)
[9/16] Shehab Essam (EGY)
Jan Koukal (CZE)
11-7, 11-9, 5-11, 13-11 (42m)
[9/16] Joshua Masters (GBR)
Jan Koukal
11-6, 11-3, 11-2 (31m)
Max Lee
Alexey Severinov (RUS)
11-4, 11-8, 11-6 (22m)
[2]
Max Lee (HKG)

World Games 2017
Women's Draw

25 - 28 Jul
Wroclaw, Poland

Round One
 
 24 Jul
Round two
 
 25 Jul
Quarters
  26 Jul
Semis
  27 Jul
Final
  28 Jul
[1] Camille Serme (FRA)
11-3, 11-4, 11-3 (18m)
Natalia Ryfa (POL)
Camille Serme
11-5, 13-11, 11-6 (33m)
 Alison Thomson
Camille Serme
11-3, 11-4, 11-1 (19m)
Nadine Shahin
Camille Serme
11-6, 11-5, 11-7 (31m)
Fiona Moverley



Camille Serme
11-4, 11-3, 11-4
Joey Chan
[9/16] Alison Thomson (GBR)
11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6 (42m)
Tessa ter Sluis (NED)
[9/16] Catalina Pelaez (COL)
11-9, 8-11, 6-11, 12-10, 11-8 (45m)
Ineta Mackevica (LAT)
Catalina Pelaez
11-2, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6 (27m)
Nadine Shahin
[5/8] Nadine Shahin (EGY)
11-3, 11-4, 11-4 (28m)
Franziska Hennes (GER)
[5/8] Fiona Moverley (GBR)
11-2, 11-6, 11-7 (18m)
Nadiia Usenko (UKR)
Fiona Moverley
11-6, 11-9, 11-7 (21m)
Misaki Kobayashi
Fiona Moverley
7-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-9 (39m)
Millie Tomlinson
[9/16] Misaki Kobayashi (JPN)
11-9, 11-2, 11-2 (21m)
Zuzana Kubáňová (CZE)
[9/16] Rachel Arnold (MAS)
12-10, 11-13, 11-8, 11-6 (40m)
Anna Serme (CZE)
Rachel Arnold
7-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-8, 15-13 (50m)
Millie Tomlinson
[3/4] Millie Tomlinson (GBR)
11-2, 11-2, 11-6 (18m)
Céline Walser (SUI)
[3/4] Joey Chan (HKG)
11-6, 11-2, 11-4 (19m)
Alina Bushma (UKR)
Joey Chan
14-12, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9 (43m)
Milou van der Heijden
Joey Chan
7-11, 5-11, 11-1, 11-4, 11-8 (50m)
Coline Aumard
Joey Chan
7-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-4, 11-5 (54m)
 Nicol David
[9/16] (NED)

bye
Lisa Aitken (GBR)
11-5, 14-12, 12-10 (26m)
[9/16] Jessica Turnbull (AUS)
Lisa Aitken
11-5, 6-11, 11-9, 11-4 (46m)
Coline Aumard
[5/8] Coline Aumard (FRA)
11-4, 11-2, 13-11 (25m)
Csenge Kiss-Máté (HUN)
[5/8] Nele Gilis (BEL)
11-4, 11-7, 11-5 (22m)
Magda Kamińska (POL)
Nele Gilis
11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (34m)
Tamika Saxby
Nele Gilis
11-9, 12-10, 11-7 (45m)
 Nicol David
[9/16] Tamika Saxby (AUS)
9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-4 (31m)
Sina Kandra (GER)
[9/16] Samantha Teran (MEX)
12-14, 11-6, 11-3, 11-5 (41m)
Cristina Gomez (ESP)
Samantha Teran
11-3, 11-6, 11-8 (29m)
 Nicol David
Irina Beliaeva (RUS)
11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (18m)
[2]
Nicol David (MAS)

 Reports

Rösner & Serme Win World Games Gold In Wroclaw

Simon Rösner and Camille Serme won gold for Germany and France, respectively, in Poland tonight to bring the four-day Squash Championships in the World Games at the Hasta la Vista club in Wroclaw to an exuberant close.

A full house crowd at the world's biggest squash club cheered, clapped, stamped and whistled in appreciation of exhilarating rally after exhilarating rally on the all-glass showcourt, where medals were also won by Hong Kong and Malaysia - with France claiming an historic gold, silver and bronze set.

Squash was making its fifth appearance in the World Games, the quadrennial multi-sport event for non-Olympic programme sports - the 10th edition of which is the biggest sports event ever to be staged in Poland, under the patronage of the IOC.

Serme faced unexpected opponent Joey Chan, a 3/4 seed from Hong Kong who produced the event's biggest shock when she dethroned Nicol David, the three-time gold medallist, in a five-game semi-final.

The match clearly took its toll on the left-hander ranked 19 in the world as Serme swooped to victory in just 26 minutes, winning 11-4, 11-3, 11-4.

"That's the best I could have expected," said the beaming French number one clutching the French flag. "I played well and was sharp.

"Joey played two five-setters in the last two days, so I think she was tired - I played some shots she didn't even go for.

"I am very happy to win - beating a top 20 player 3/0 like that will give me confidence going into the new season."

On the French success in the Games, Serme explained: "At the beginning of the week we didn't expect to do this well. We have tried to get into the Olympics three times now, so if Paris win the 2024 bid, I hope this success will show that we have the chance to win medals."

In the men's final which brought the final day to a fitting climax, top seed Rösner battled for 78 minutes with French outsider Gregoire Marche, a 5/8 seed who overturned two higher-ranked opponents to reach the title decider.

The German number one, runner-up in the event four years ago, led 6-2, 8-5 and 9-7 in the first game before reaching game-ball at 10-8 - but underdog Marche went on to have two game-balls of his own before Rösner finally clinched the game 15-13.

After winning the second, world No.11 Rösner built up a 7-3 lead in the third as the gold medal looked in sight. But Marche, ranked 12 places lower, was not aiming for a silver medal - and fought back to 9-all before closing out the game 11-9 against expectations to reduce the deficit.

The German favourite seemed to have refocussed when he stormed to a 6-1 lead in the fourth but a succession of unforced errors allowed Marche to establish a 7-6, then 8-7 lead.

That was the end of the 27-year-old Frenchman's run, however, as a patient Rösner, 29, moved ahead point by point before converting his first match-ball to win 15-13, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8.

"It's amazing," said Rösner as the success sunk in. "I am truly over the moon!

"Greg is such a tough competitor - in that third game when I was 7-3 up he was fighting hard and I might have been too impatient.

"In the fourth I needed to be 100% focussed - actually 200% - to get through.

"It was such a great feeling playing in front of such a great crowd - and it's been like this since day one. That's what makes this event so special!"

Was there additional pressure, being the No.1 seed? "I'm used to it - I've had it for the last ten years in the German National Championship," explained the 11-time champion. "I try and turn it into a positive.

"I think the most important thing about tonight was that I played more patiently."

France's third medal came in the bronze-medal play-off when 5/8 seed Mathieu Castagnet came back from game-balls down in both the first two games against Diego Elias to beat the 3/4 seed from Peru 14-12, 12-10, 11-8 in 56 minutes.

On ensuring France's third medal, the 30-year-old former world No.6 exclaimed: "This is amazing for our country. It's been so important for the French Olympic Committee that we bring medals back for the country.

"I had to fight back in both games - I really wanted to make the most of my opportunity. But I feel sorry for Diego as it would have been good for the sport for Peru to have won a medal. Finishing fourth is a nightmare.

"My goal here was to reach the final - but I felt the pressure to win today to make sure we won three medals.

"Before I die, I really want to see our game in the Olympics!"

On the French success in Wroclaw, national coach Renan Lavigne said: It's a great result overall - the best ever for us in the World Games. But we put a lot of investment into this event - the French National Olympic Committee were right behind us - in fact the President Denis Masseglia was watching the finals tonight.

"Even though it is in the middle of summer training, we tried to be ready and bring the best out of each player.

"It's not easy for Camille to be favourite - and win - and Mathieu did really well considering what he's had to deal with recently. But he was very disappointed after last night so we had to fire him for today. And Greg, as a 5/8 seed, did well to reach the final and showed that he can dig in."

On the subject of the Olympics, Lavigne added: "Paris 2024 have done a fantastic job and if they get it we hope we have shown that we can get medals in seven years - not just through our success here but, for instance, our success in the recent world junior championships where Victor Crouin reached the final."

Nicol David bounced from her shock semi-final defeat - where she fell to a fellow Asian opponent for the first time in 15 years - to take the women's bronze medal, beating Great Britain's surprise semi-finalist Fiona Moverley, a 5/8 seed, 11-4, 11-8, 11-3.

"The chance to win a medal is still something to play for - I wanted to get on and give it everything I had," said the former world number from Malaysia who was seeded to reach a fourth successive final. "I am really pleased to have won the medal.

"I will hopefully learn a lot from yesterday - I want to take a lot of positives out of it. You see things you need to sharpen up - I need to step up my training and be sharper."

On her World games experience, David added: "It's fantastic to have an event like this in Poland. The World Games is really good for squash and I hope we will get more recognition through participating in it."

World Games images courtesy of theworldgames2017.com 

For all the latest images - photos.app.goo.gl/MJ0St1Uxv6ig3qX13
 

David Defeated While France Close In On World Games Gold

France will go for gold in both the men's and women's World Games squash finals in Poland tomorrow (Friday), but the day's semi-final headlines were grabbed by Hong Kong's Joey Chan who upset three-time gold medallist Nicol David on the all-glass showcourt at the Hasta la Vista club in the city of Wroclaw, bringing to an end the illustrious Malaysian's unbeaten 16-match World Games run since 2005.

Squash is making its fifth appearance in the World Games, the quadrennial multi-sport event for non-Olympic programme sports - the 10th edition of which is the biggest sports event ever to be staged in Poland, under the patronage of the IOC.

David, unbeaten by a fellow Asian in 15 years*, was meeting world No.19 Chan - an opponent to whom she had only ever conceded a single game since a World Games clash in 2009 - for the ninth time.

The second seed took the opening game and when 3/4 seed Chan drew level, David again asserted her dominant game to pull ahead 2/1.

But Chan had a plan - and after calmly taking the fourth for the loss of just four points, the 29-year-old left-hander conceded one match ball at 10-4 before clinching the match 7-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-4, 11-5 in 54 minutes to claim a shock place in the final.

"I can't believe it," said the Hong Kong No.2. "Nicol has always been my idol - she's a role model for all squash players.

"I think I've been getting close to her recently - but to finally beat her for the first time is amazing. I am very happy.

"Nicol always begins strongly - she was very sharp today and pushing up the pace. I had to concentrate on controlling the ball - I had to slow it down.

"At 10-5 match-ball I was a little bit tense - I was seeing the finishing post. But I was quite relaxed during the match - under no pressure.

"For this event, I feel I am fighting for my country!"

Hong Kong national coach Faheem Khan added: "We talked this morning and I said to her if you're really going to beat her you have got to stick to your game plan. You have to be patient.

"Her patience was really good - and it worked!

"There was no pressure on her and she played really well - with confidence.

"She will definitely benefit from this win."

Chan will face top seed Camille Serme in the final after the world No.3 from France beat surprise opponent Fiona Moverley, a 5/8 seed representing Great Britain, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7.

"When I saw Nicol had lost, I was a little bit nervous," said Serme later. "I didn't want to be another seed to lose in the semi-finals!

"Even though I've beaten her twice before, I didn't take Fiona lightly - she has been tough on other players this week," added the 28-year-old from Creteil who has yet to drop a game in Wroclaw.

"I was surprised that Joey beat Nicol - but it is the middle of summer and anything can happen. I don't think Nicol will be too worried. I was looking forward to playing her - she's the only player I have never beaten!

"It's important for France to win medals here so it's great that Greg (Marche) and I are now both guaranteed medals. It would be good for our Olympic 2024 bid if we did win gold - especially if Paris gets it.

"Poland has been very welcoming to us all - it's just like being in the Olympics."

France are certain of at least two silver medals after 5/8 seed Gregoire Marche avenged three successive defeats by 20-year-old Peruvian Diego Elias to beat the 3/4 seed 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 in 42 minutes in the first men's semi-final.

"This is a new event for most of us and it's special to be part of the French team at the Games," explained the French No.2 who ousted the No.2 seed in the previous round.

"There are no ranking points at stake and you're not alone on court - so you feel more relaxed. I haven't felt any stress this week - I must remember to try and feel this way when I'm playing my next PSA event!

"I've been playing well but as I hadn't played much before I got here, I didn't know what to expect.

"I've lost to Diego twice this year so I knew it would be a tough battle," added the world No.23. "But I learnt a lot from those losses. It's good to beat these young guys!

"It would be perfect to have a French final - but whatever happens I will be going for gold!"

In the final match of the night - in front of an exuberant near sell-out crowd surrounding the showcourt - Simon Rösner put paid to an all-French men's final when he recovered from a game down to beat Mathieu Castagnet 9-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-7 in 69 minutes.

The German world No.11, a runner-up in the 2013 World Games in Colombia, made a slow start - and was shaky in the second when he squandered 9-4 lead to see Castagnet recover to 9-all, then 10-all, before closing out the game in the tie-break to draw level.

"I felt a bit flat at the beginning of the match but managed to get out of trouble and started playing to my strengths," explained the 29-year-old from Paderborn. "Luckily I was able to put him into the corners.

"You have to realise that that for most of us this is the first event after our summer break. But it was a really good match - and to be fair to Mathieu he's had a lot of distractions recently, including surgery, weddings, stag events, etc!"

When it was pointed out that his victory prevented an all-French final, Rosner replied: "Somebody had to stop the French! Now there is a German in the final!

"There was a great atmosphere in the arena tonight - it was fantastic to play in front such a big crowd. We don't often get the chance to play on such a big stage as this - so we have to make the most of it."

* Nicol David's last defeat by an Asian player was in October 2002 when she lost in straight games to the former Hong Kong number one Rebecca Chiu in the Asian Games final in Korea
 

France Eyes Up Record World Games Medal Haul In Wroclaw

After all four French players made it through to today's quarter-finals of the World Games Squash Championships in Poland, three progressed on to tomorrow's semi-finals as the nation set its sights on a record medal haul at Hasta la Vista in the city of Wroclaw.

Squash is making its fifth appearance in the World Games, the quadrennial multi-sport event for non-Olympic programme sports - the 10th edition of which is the biggest sports event ever to be staged in Poland, under the patronage of the IOC.

Frenchmen will be on either side of the men's semi-final draw after Mathieu Castagnet and Gregoire Marche - both 5/8 seeds - fought off quarter-final opposition on the all-glass showcourt at the 33-court Hasta la Vista, the world's largest squash club.

World No.24 Castagnet twice came from behind to beat German left-hander Raphael Kandra 8-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-7, 11-3.

"He's such a talented guy, definitely much better than he was before," said 30-year-old Castagnet. "He has so much control and really good drop shots - it's not easy to play him.

"I led 10-6 in the third and was really depressed that he beat me. My coach Renan (Lavigne) gave me some positive thoughts in the break and that worked - I played much better in the next game.

"I really want to bring back a medal. It's so important for us to do well here. We have to do all we can to get our sport into the Olympics."

Later Marche produced the biggest upset in the event when he despatched Hong Kong's No.2 seed Max Lee 11-8, 11-9, 11-2.

Despite being ranked six places behind Lee, Marche boasted a 5/2 head-to-head advantage over the Hong Kong 29-year-old going into the match.

"Maybe he doesn't like my game?" Marche suggested.

"I really felt tired at first and I don't think I was leading in the first game until I played two good shots and managed to win the game. That gave me confidence," added the 2014 French national champion.

"I was happy because I managed to stay focussed.

"Having two of us in the semis is good for France. There is a great atmosphere amongst us all - we feel we are part of an Olympic team.

"Being here at the World Games with athletes from other sports is so different from, say, the European Team Championships. We feel all the others sports are behind us.

"Sport is really important for the French. It would be good if we can show we can get medals here - and then at the Olympics."

In the last women's match of the day, France's top seed Camille Serme needed just 19 minutes to see off 20-year-old Egyptian Nadine Shahin 11-3, 11-4, 11-1.

"I was surprised, as I thought it was going to be tougher than that," said the world No.3 from Creteil. "I played her before and beat her 3/0 - but that was tough!

"For us, it's the middle of summer, so we don't really know what to expect - but I'm feeling better and better each day."

For a place in the final, Serme will face Great Britain's Fiona Moverley, a 5/8 seed who pulled off the only upset in the women's event when she beat compatriot Millie Tomlinson, a 3/4 seed, 7-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-9.

"I was a bit nervous, a bit edgy - it's difficult playing someone from your own camp," explained Moverley, a 30-year-old from Hull who is enjoying a new phase of her career after taking four years off.

It was Moverley's first ever win over world No.26 Tomlinson. "I'm not sure I've even got a game off Millie before?

"For an unfunded player, it means a lot to do well. I'm looking to make my way up the rankings.

"It's great to be in the semis of the World Games - I'm now guaranteed a medal match! Hopefully I can get on the podium."

The other women's semi-final will see defending champion Nicol David, the record three-time World Games gold medallist from Malaysia, take on Asian rival Joey Chan.

Hong Kong No.2 Chan, a 3/4 seed, recovered from two games down to beat 5/8 seed Coline Aumard 7-11, 5-11, 11-1, 11-4, 11-8 - denying the French camp 100% representation in the semi-finals.

Second seed David took on 5/8 seed Nele Gilis, a 21-year-old Belgian making her country's debut in the event. Despite training together, the pair had never played each other before.

"Nele and I train together in Amsterdam so I knew she would put me under pressure," said former world number one David after her 11-9, 12-10, 11-7 victory in 45 minutes.

"There were some long rallies and I had to make the big points count.

"I really enjoyed the match - we both wanted to play the ball. It sets me up nicely for tomorrow's semi-finals."

Marche's semi-final will be 3/4 seed Diego Elias, a 20-year-old from Lima who is the first Peruvian to compete in the World Games.

After a one-sided start, in which he won 13 points without reply, Elias had a tough battle on his hands trying to fend off Hong Kong's Yip Tsz Fung before winning 11-0, 8-11, 11-9, 13-11.

"I've not played him before but he has a really good hand and likes going for his shots.

"I was 8-10 down in the fourth but managed to pull it back.

"Being in the semis feels pretty good - I was really nervous before, so it's a big relief to be through. I think I had a pretty tough draw - and probably the toughest second round opponent - so I'm happy to be playing tomorrow."

The day's final match treated the capacity crowd in the showcourt arena to a dazzling display of court coverage from top-seeded German Simon Rösner and the 'Colombian Cannonball' Miguel Angel Rodriguez.

In a finely-contested battle which ended up by being the longest match of the tournament to date, Rösner clinched a 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7 victory after 74 minutes to secure his anticipated place in the last four.

"It's always tough against Miguel," said the 11-time German national champion. "I found myself losing the first game - then in the second tried to get more aggressive and play my game. Then I lost my way in the fourth.

"It's the same for all of us, but it's really the first tournament after the summer break and we trying to find some rhythm.

"I had to remind myself that this tournament only happens once every four years so I had to push myself through the pain.

"I'm really happy - but I need to recover now for tomorrow.

"This event feels like the Olympic Games to us, with other athletes and officials coming to support us. You don't get that too often!"
 

Newly-Weds Castagnet & Kandra Set Up World Games Clash

Following both their weddings just over a week ago, Germany's Raphael Kandra and Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet set up a surprise quarter-final clash in the World Games Squash Championships tomorrow (Wednesday) in Poland after surviving second round matches at Hasta la Vista in the city of Wroclaw.

Squash is making its fifth appearance in the World Games, the quadrennial multi-sport event for non-Olympic programme sports - the 10th edition of which is the biggest sports event ever to be staged in Poland, under the patronage of the IOC.

Kandra, the world No.43 from Paderborn, married fellow squash player Sina Wall some 10 days ago - and the day after Castagnet tied the knot with compatriot Laura Pomportes, also a French national squash player.

After a first round win in the morning over Egyptian Ahmed Hany Hussein, 9/16 seed Kandra faced Mexican Cesar Salazar, a 3/4 seed, in the last 16 round.

Despite being 22 places lower in the PSA world rankings, left-hander Kandra stormed to an 11-6, 11-3, 11-7 victory over world No.21 Salazar in just 26 minutes.

"In fact I have never lost to him - therefore I knew what to expect," said the 26-year-old German. "I have the feeling he doesn't really like playing me, so I always feel it's down to me to beat him by playing my usual game.

"I was really looking forward to playing this tournament - last season ended earlier for me than for most players, so I started my summer training earlier and was ready for the event."

Meanwhile, 5/8 seed Castagnet benefitted from a bye in the first round, then faced Great Britain's Douglas Kempsell, a 9/16 seed. After dropping the opening game, the world No.24 took control of proceedings to secure a 9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-2 win after 57 minutes.

"I only played him a few months ago in the European Championships - so I know he's a fighter," explained 30-year-old Castagnet later. "I had a bye in the first round, and I think that turned out to be a disadvantage as it took me some time to get used to the court. I think I woke up at about 8-4 down and got it back to 10-9 - then he hit a really good shot and won the first game.

"I played better from then on. I used to put pressure on myself but now I am much more relaxed."

The top two men's seeds cruised into the last eight - German favourite Simon Rösner beating Australian Rhys Dowling 11-8, 11-3, 11-7, while second-seeded Hong Kong player Max Lee ended the run of unseeded Czech opponent Jan Koukal, winning 11-6, 11-3, 11-2.

Koukal, the 18-time Czech champion, boasts 34 titles on the PSA World Tour but retired from the pro circuit a year ago. The 34-year-old - who is now focussed on winning 20 national titles - produced the only 1st round upset after beating seeded Briton Joshua Masters, a 22-year-old ranked 58 in the world, 11-7, 11-9, 5-11, 13-11.

"I came into this event completely fresh - that's the difference from playing events all the time," said the Prague squash star. "It's the first time I've played this event and it feels great!"

Rösner will now face Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez, a 5/8 seed from Bogota who beat Malaysian Ivan Yuen 4-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-5.

"I'd never played him before - but I know he's very talented and needed to be careful," said the 31-year-old former world No.4 who is the highest-ranked South American of all-time. "I was much more positive in the second game. I had to be patient."

On participating in the World Games, Rodriguez said: "This is our Olympic Games - and it's bigger than the PanAm Games for me. Colombia has only got 52 athletes in the whole of the Games and we have already won seven gold medals.

"If I got a medal it would be great news in Colombia."

Fellow South American Diego Elias also made it through to the quarter-finals - beating Malaysia's Nafiizwan Adnan 11-7, 8-11, 11-3, 11-5 to become the first Peruvian to make the event's last eight.

"It was a bit hot on that court and I think he got a bit tired towards the end," said the 20-year-old from Lima. "I was moving well and am pleased to be in the quarter-finals for the first time.

"We don't have many athletes here from Peru so if I won a medal here it would be great for my country."

France's Camille Serme led the top eight seeds through to the women's quarter-finals. The top seed, ranked three in the world, beat Great Britain's Alison Thomson 11-5, 13-11, 11-6.

Malaysian Nicol David, the second seed and defending champion, reached the quarters after beating close friend Samantha Teran, a Mexican once ranked 11 in the world, 11-3, 11-6, 11-8. Both players were celebrating their fourth appearances in the event.

"It's always tough to play one of your friends - but she had a job to do and so did I," explained David, the illustrious former world number one bidding for a record fourth successive gold medal.

"I felt good on the court and she probably took a bit of time to get used to it as it was her first match on the showcourt.

"We've played each other so many times before - and she's a great player. But hopefully we'll go our separate ways in future events!"

David will face Nele Gilis - not only the sole Belgian playing in the event, but also the first player from her country ever to compete in the World Games. Seeded in the 5/8 group, the 21-year-old beat Australian Tamika Saxby 11-6, 11-8, 11-6.

"I played her twice before and it was one-all - so now it's 2/1 to me!" said the jubilant world No.33

When told she was the first Belgium player ever to take part in the event she said: "I'm honoured - so no Belgian has ever lost in the World Games!

"It's awesome playing in this event - it's just like the Olympic Games. I'm honoured to be part of it."

On playing the record eight-time world champion Nicol David, Gilis said: "I've trained with Nicol before in Amsterdam, but I've never played her before. And we're playing on the glass court so I'm glad I've already had one match on that court. I'm really excited."

The opening match on the all-glass showcourt at Hasta la Vista saw Camille Serme take on local hope Natalia Ryfa, twice a runner-up in the Polish National Championships.

"I've never played Camille before - in fact, I've never played a top 20 player before," said the unranked 22-year-old. "It was a really nice experience.

"I've worked hard to be here - playing in the World Games in my home country is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Everybody is talking about it."
 

Hasta La Vista Prepares To Welcome World Squash Stars

The finishing touches are being made to the world's largest squash club as the 33-court Hasta la Vista in Poland prepares to welcome the sport's top players to compete in the 2017 World Games in the city of Wroclaw from tomorrow (25 July).

Squash will be making its fifth appearance in the World Games, the quadrennial multi-sport event for non-Olympic programme sports. The 10th edition of the Games has attracted more than 3,000 athletes from 31 sports and 111 countries to the participate in the biggest sport event ever to be staged in Poland, under the patronage of the IOC.

63 players from 26 nations will compete in the Squash championships, led by men's top seed Simon Rösner, the world No.11 from Germany, and women's favourite Camille Serme, ranked three in the world, from France.

"The World Games is very important for us," said Rösner, who will be hoping to go one better than his runner-up finish in the 2013 Cali Games in Colombia. "It's our Olympic Games.

"It's good to know that the event will be covered on terrestrial TV - so I hope the squash will be seen in Germany and will help attract more people to our sport," added the 11-time German National champion.

Serme, who finished third four years ago, is making her third appearance in the event. The 28-year-old from Creteil is seeded to meet three-time gold medallist Nicol David in Friday's final.

"It would be good to win a medal here. It's an event that is being talked a lot about back home by the French Olympic committee," said Serme.

Rising Peruvian star Diego Elias is also in Wroclaw on a mission: "It's important for Peru to get medals in the World Games," said the 20-year-old 3/4 seed from Lima, the youngest seeded player in the men's draw. "I have been training hard for this."

At least three players are forsaking honeymoons to compete in Wroclaw. German players Raphael Kandra and Sina Wall tied the knot a week ago - the latter, a two-time German champion, appearing in the women's draw as Sina Kandra for the first time. Just a week after marrying fellow pro Laura Pomportes, Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet will begin his bid to better his quarter-final finish in 2013.

The Polish Squash Federation is celebrating the fact that squash coach Anna Jurkun was selected to read the words of swearing in the name of all participating sports at the Games' Opening Ceremony - an unparalleled initiative warmly welcomed by the Polish Squash movement.

"I felt so proud and touched by this," said Tomasz Banasiak, President of the Polish Squash Federation. "All the work done for the past years brought myself with the whole engaged team here. The World Games 2017 are a big boost for squash in Poland - it is for us like a little Olympics. As an organisation, we are ready for the next step of development.

"TWG 2017 is the most important sport event in the year," Banasiak continued. "It is also the key element of the strategy of the Polish Squash Federation and a milestone in its 15-year history. Thanks to the dedicated program established by the Ministry of Sport and its financial support, Polish Squash has realised an unprecedented four-year development plan for the best Polish players."

World Squash Federation President Jacques Fontaine added: "The WSF would like to thank the city of Wroclaw for organising these 10th The World Games. From all squash parties engaged in the organisation, I have heard only compliments to the WOC's members for their engagement and great cooperation so far.

"Great thanks also to the Polish Squash Federation and its President Tomasz Banasiak and the Field Of Play Manager Tomas Hrazsky."
 

Nicol David In Record World Games Gold Bid

Malaysia's eight-time women's world squash champion Nicol David is bidding to win a record fourth World Games gold medal when the 2017 event takes place in Poland next month.

Squash's fifth appearance in the World Games, the multi-sport event for non-Olympic sports, will take place at the 33-court Hasta la Vista club in Wroclaw from 25-28 July.

Nicol David won gold in the 2005 Games in Duisburg, Germany, then the 2009 event in Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei, before retaining the title in the Cali Games (as pictured) in 2013 in Colombia.

The 33-year-old from Penang, who topped the world rankings for an unprecedented 112 months until August 2015, is the No.2 seed - and expected to face French favourite Camille Serme, the world No.3, in the final.

A new gold medallist is assured in the men's championship where 2013 runner-up Simon Rösner, the world No.11 from Germany, is the top seed. The 29-year-old from Paderborn is predicted to line up against Max Lee, the No.2 seed from Hong Kong, in the final.

The 2017 Games has attracted squash players from 27 nations.
 

 

 


 

 

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