Defending champions England and top seeds Egypt will contest the final
of the WSF Men's World Team Squash Championship for the third time in a
row after prevailing in the semi-finals in Marseille.
England, the second seeds, overcame arch-rivals Australia 3/0 while
favourites Egypt saw off surprise semi-finalists Hong Kong China – the
fifth seeds who shocked hosts France in the quarter-finals.
Despite the absence of the home side, the packed crowd at Salle Vallier
fully engaged with the teams on show – particularly throwing themselves
behind underdogs Hong Kong in their battle with Egypt.
The victory over perennial rivals Australia saw England secure a place
in the final for the ninth time since 1983. The two countries have won
the title 13 times between them – and were clashing in the championship
for the 12th time since 1983, with England narrowly ahead 6-5 before
Daryl Selby takes on Zac Alexander
The teams' third strings took to the court for the opening match – with
Aussie underdog Zac Alexander, ranked 126 in the world, facing world
No.15 Daryl Selby (both pictured above). It was the pair's first meeting
and Alexander saved a game ball in the first game before taking the lead
12-10. But Selby soon stamped his authority on the match, taking the
next three games 11-7, 11-5, 11-7 to give England the lead.
Aussie No.1 Ryan Cuskelly came into the second match after being taken
to five games in a gruelling 97-minute encounter with Kiwi Paul Coll the
night before. The New South Welshman faced Nick Matthew, the three-time
world champion whom he had never beaten in four meetings in seven years.
World No.6 Matthew delivered a masterclass in consistent squash to beat
Cuskelly, ranked eight places lower, 11-8, 11-6, 11-4 (both pictured
above) to clinch England's place in the final.
In the best-of-three dead rubber which gave England maximum points,
world No.10 James Willstrop – playing in his third successive world
championship battle against Australia since 2007 – defeated Cameron
Pilley 12-10, 11-6.
The Hong Kong players who lined up for the semi-final were the three
stalwarts who silenced the crowd 24 hours earlier by denying the hosts a
crack at the title – and consigned France to the lowest finish in the
event for at least 16 years.
In the opening match, Egypt's world No.5 Marwan Elshorbagy dropped a
game before prevailing 11-3, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7 over the Hong Kong No.3
Yip Tsz Fung.
The second match went the full distance – Egypt's reigning world
champion Karim Abdel Gawad twice having to contend with fightbacks from
Max Lee before beating his HK opponent (both pictured below) 11-9, 7-11,
12-10, 7-11, 11-7 in 67 minutes.
In battles for lower positions, France recovered from the shock of their
quarter-final defeat to beat Scotland 2/0 to set up a meeting with New
Zealand in the play-off for fifth place. The sixth seeds defeated eighth
seeds India 2/1.
South African veteran Rodney Durbach, the 45-year-old who is marking his
ninth appearance in the championships since making his debut 22 years
ago in 1995, wound back the clock to survive his second successive
five-game marathon to lead his country into the play-off for 17th place.
South Africa beat 17th seeds Pakistan 2/1 and, seeded 22, will finish
well ahead of their seeding.
 Egypt v  England
Results – WSF Men's World Team Squash Championship
 EGYPT bt  HONG KONG CHINA 2/0
Marwan Elshorbagy bt Yip Tsz Fung 11-3, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7 (39m)
Karim Abdel Gawad bt Max Lee 11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-7 (67m)
 ENGLAND bt  AUSTRALIA 3/0
Daryl Selby bt Zac Alexander 10-12, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7 (62m)
Nick Matthew bt Ryan Cuskelly 11-8, 11-6, 11-4 (48m)
James Willstrop bt Cameron Pilley 12-10, 11-6 (22m)
5th – 8th place play-offs
 FRANCE bt  SCOTLAND 2/0
Lucas Serme bt Douglas Kempsell 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 (27m)
Gregory Gaultier bt Alan Clyne 11-9, 11-4, 11-6 (34m)
 NEW ZEALAND bt  INDIA 2/1
Ben Grindrod lost to Mahesh Mangaonkar 4-11, 7-11, 5-11 (29m)
Paul Coll bt Saurav Ghosal 7-11, 11-13, 12-10, 11-4, 11-1 (70m)
Campbell Grayson bt Vikram Malhotra 11-8, 13-15, 11-1, 11-4 (51m)
9th – 12th place play-offs
 USA bt  MALAYSIA 2/1
Chris Hanson bt Addeen Idrakie 15-13, 11-6, 11-6 (36m)
Todd Harrity lost to Nafiizwan Adnan 13-11, 4-11, 11-6, 7-11, 7-11 (73m)
Christopher Gordon bt Eain Yow Ng 11-5, 12-10, 6-11, 12-10 (47m)
 GERMANY bt  SPAIN 2/1
Valentin Rapp lost to Bernat Jaume 2-11, 2-11, 5-11 (26m)
Simon Rösner bt Iker Pajares Bernabeu 11-7, 5-11, 11-13, 11-1, 11-2
Rudi Rohrmuller bt Carlos Cornes 11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 11-4 (50m)
13th – 16th place play-offs
 WALES bt  FINLAND 2/1
David Haley bt Jami Äijänen 12-10, 13-11, 11-7 (41m)
Peter Creed bt Olli Tuominen 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8 (49m)
Emyr Evans lost to Miko Äijänen 12-10, 1-11, 7-11 (45m)
 CANADA bt  SWITZERLAND 2/1
Michael McCue bt Roman Allinckx 11-9, 11-5, 11-3 (43m)
Nick Sachvie lost to Nicolas Müller 9-11, 4-11, 4-11 (31m)
Shawn Delierre bt Dimitri Steinmann 11-9, 17-15, 10-12, 4-11, 11-7 (99m)
17th – 20th place play-offs
 SOUTH AFRICA bt  PAKISTAN 2/1
Rodney Durbach bt Asim Khan 9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-13, 12-10 (58m)
Thoboki Mohohlo lost to Farhan Zaman 9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 7-11 (39m)
Christo Potgieter bt Shahjahan Khan 11-6, 6-11, 2-11, 11-9, 11-7 (54m)
 ARGENTINA bt  IRELAND 2/1
Rodrigo Obregon lost to Sean Conroy 11-7, 11-2, 8-11, 7-11, 10-12 (67m)
Leandro Romiglio bt Arthur Gaskin 11-9, 11-7, 11-6 (43m)
Robertino Pezzota bt Brian Byrne 13-15, 11-7, 4-11, 11-6, 11-7 (67m)
21st – 24th place play-offs
 CZECH REPUBLIC bt  AUSTRIA 2/1
Jakub Solnicky bt Paul Mairinger 11-9, 11-2, 11-6 (26m)
Daniel Mekbib lost to Aqeel Rehman 5-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 6-11 (50m)
Martin Svec bt Jakob Dirnberger 3-11, 11-1, 11-9, 11-8 (39m)
 JAMAICA bt  IRAQ 2/1
Dane Schwier lost to Hasanain Dakheel 3-11, 8-11, 1-11 (16m)
Christopher Binnie bt Husham Al-Saadi 11-9, 11-6, 14-12 (38m)
Lewis Walters bt Mohammed Hasan 14-12, 13-11, 11-6 (30m)
Hong Kong China relegated hosts France to their lowest finish in the WSF
Men's World Team Squash Championship for at least 16 years after
upsetting the hosts in the quarter-finals in Marseille.
The third seeds, led by world No.1 Gregory Gaultier, were expected to
survive this early encounter en-route to reaching their predicted place
in the semi-finals, before then fully exploiting home advantage in
Sunday's final by winning the title for the first time.
Hong Kong were the fifth seeds – bidding to achieve their highest ever
position since finishing in 8th place in 2003.
Gaultier was in his usual defiant form as he put France ahead with his
fourth successive straight games win in the championship.
The match against the Hong Kong number one Max Lee, however, ended in
controversial circumstances when, some 10 minutes after winning match
ball at 10-9, he and Lee returned to the court to play out the finish
again after it was realised that the referee had miscalled the score at
9-8 when it was in fact eight-all.
The crowd went silent when Lee moved ahead to game ball at 11-10 – but
the French 'General' was in no mood to drop his first game of the
tournament and snatched the next three points to close out the match
11-6, 11-5, 13-11 to wild applause from the partisan crowd.
After celebrating this early lead, the crowd was silenced again when
Hong Kong drew level when third string Yip Tsz Fung fought back from 2/1
down to beat France's world No.27 Mathieu Castagnet 11-7, 7-11, 9-11,
11-2, 11-4 in 67 minutes.
The decider had the crowd on the edges of their seats – with home
favourite Gregoire Marche facing four-time Hong Kong champion Leo Au
with just seven positions between them in the world rankings.
It was a nail-biting affair in which Marche wins were greeted by
deafening applause and Au successes by silence. After 57 minutes of
tense action on the all-glass showcourt it was Au who emerged
victorious, winning 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-2 to end the French dream.
“It is a very special achievement for Hong Kong,” said 27-year-old Au
minutes later. “We put a lot of effort into our preparations for this
and really wanted to do well here.
“The crowd was really behind France, but I had my team-mates in my
corner and that helped me a lot.”
Hong Kong's Leo Au takes on Gregoire Marche of France
Event favourites Egypt, now boasting a squad with three players in the
world top five (based on the new December PSA world rankings), cruised
into the semis courtesy of a 3-0 win over surprise opponents Scotland,
the 10th seeds.
Karim Abdel Gawad put the three-time champions into the lead following a
12-10, 11-6, 11-6 win over Alan Clyne. Scot Kevin Moran had few answers
to the mercurial skills of the 'Artist' that is Ramy Ashour as the
former world number one took just 24 minutes to win 11-5, 11-9, 11-4.
“It's an honour to be here,” Ashour (pictured above in
Marseille action with Moran) told the crowd afterwards.
“I have all the members of the team, and the coach, in my head while I'm
playing – I am really enjoying this kind of team spirit.”
Defending champions England, the No.2 seeds, were the first team to
secure a place in the semi-finals – incredibly, the country's 18th
successive appearance in the event's last four. But the five-times
champions were given a hard ride in the opening first string match
against eighth seeds India when Saurav Ghosal twice drew level with
England's seasoned campaigner Nick Matthew (both pictured below) and, in
the decider, was only points away from his first ever win over the
former World No.1.
When the two players clashed at match ball in the fifth, the referee
awarded a let – which Matthew questioned, requesting a 'video review'.
The video review official overruled the decision and awarded the
Englishman a stroke, thus putting England ahead after 76 minutes in an
11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-9 scoreline.
It was Matthew's second five-game battle in a row after the 37-year-old
world No.6 staged a mighty recovery from two games down in the last 16
round to beat Swiss number one Nicolas Müller.
A consummate 3/0 win by the English number three Daryl Selby over
Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu in the second match put England into the semis
– and James Willstrop beat Vikram Malhotra in the dead best-of-three
rubber to give England maximum points.
England will face Australia after the fourth seeds recovered from a
match down to beat trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand.
WSF Men's World Team Squash Championship
 HONG KONG CHINA bt  FRANCE 2/1
Max Lee lost to Gregory Gaultier 6-11, 5-11, 11-13 (45m)
Yip Tsz Fung bt Mathieu Castagnet 11-7, 7-11, 9-11, 11-2, 11-4 (67m)
Leo Au bt Gregoire Marche 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-2 (57m)
 AUSTRALIA bt  NEW ZEALAND 2/1
Ryan Cuskelly lost to Paul Coll 8-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9, 9-11 (97m)
Zac Alexander bt Evan Williams 11-4, 11-6, 12-10 (35m)
Cameron Pilley bt Campbell Grayson 11-3, 11-8, 11-9 (49m)
 ENGLAND bt  INDIA 3/0
Nick Matthew bt Saurav Ghosal 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-9 (76m)
Daryl Selby bt Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu 11-2, 11-4, 11-2 (37m)
James Willstrop bt Vikram Malhotra 11-4, 9-11, 11-8 (26m)
9th – 16th place play-offs
 MALAYSIA bt  FINLAND 2/1
Nafiizwan Adnan lost to Olli Tuominen 11-6, 12-14, 5-11, 3-11 (42m)
Addeen Idrakie bt Jami Äijänen 6-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 (44m)
Eain Yow Ng bt Miko Äijänen 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 (31m)
 USA bt  WALES 2/1
Todd Harrity bt Joel Makin 9-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9 (65m)
Chris Hanson bt Emyr Evans 9-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-7 (46m)
Christopher Gordon lost to Peter Creed 11-8, 8-11, ret. (16m)
 GERMANY bt  SWITZERLAND 2/0
Simon Rösner bt Nicolas Müller 14-12, 11-7, 11-7 (40m)
Valentin Rapp bt Reiko Peter 12-14, 12-10, 10-12, 11-9, 11-6 (86m)
17th – 24th place play-offs
 PAKISTAN bt  AUSTRIA 2/1
Farhan Zaman lost to Aqeel Rehman 11-7, 5-11, 11-13, 7-11 (39m)
Asim Khan bt Paul Mairinger 11-3, 11-5, 11-4 (27m)
Shahjahan Khan bt Jakob Dirnberger 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 (37m)
 SOUTH AFRICA bt  CZECH REPUBLIC 2/1
Christo Potgieter lost to Daniel Mekbib 11-8, 3-11, 9-11, 11-9, 8-11
Gary Wheadon bt Ondrej Uherka 11-7, 11-2, 11-3 (33m)
Rodney Durbach bt Martin Svec 6-11, 11-8, 11-7, 5-11, 13-11 (55m)
 IRELAND bt  IRAQ 2/1
Arthur Gaskin bt Mohammed Hasan 11-8, 11-6, 13-11 (36m)
Sean Conroy bt Rasool Alsultani 14-12, 11-7, 11-3 (34m)
Brian Byrne lost to Hasanain Dakheel 11-9, 10-12, 4-11 (32m)
 ARGENTINA bt  JAMAICA 2/1
Leandro Romiglio lost to Christopher Binnie 9-11, 4-11, 11-8, 8-11 (53m)
Rodrigo Obregon bt Bruce Burrowes 11-3, 11-3, 11-7 (25m)
Robertino Pezzota bt Lewis Walters 11-7, 7-11, 11-3, 7-11, 11-3 (53m)
The top 16 seeds all eased their way through to the latter stages of the
WSF Men's World Team Squash Championship in Marseille.
Spain ended a 28-year absence from the top 16 after beating event
newcomers Iraq 3-0 to secure second place in Pool E. With all the
players facing each other for the first time, long-time top-ranked
Spaniard Borja Golan led the 12th seeds to victory, supported by
team-mates Carlos Cornes (pictured below in action against Mohammed
Hasan) and Bernat Jaume.
“For years we have been relying on Borja but now we have strength in
depth with players like Bernat, Carlos and Iker (Pajares Bernabeu) – and
others like Edmon (Lopez) who we left at home,” explained Jonas Gornerup,
Spain's team manager.
“It's great to be in the top 16 for the first time since 1989. But we
are seeded to do better than we have ever done – and it's because we are
Spain's Carlos Cornes beats Mohammed Hasan of Iraq
Competing in the event for the first time since 2009, Wales defeated
Czech Republic 3-0 to ensure their place in the top 16.
Number one Joel Makin put the 13th seeds ahead in the Pool D tie before
Welsh second string Peter Creed beat Swiss Martin Svec 11-7, 7-11, 11-5,
12-10 to clinch victory. Whilst, 21-year-old event debutant Emyr Evans
ensured maximum points with a straight games win over the 19th seeds'
“We have to prioritise which world team events we play and haven't
played this event for a few years,” explained Welsh national coach David
Evans, a former British Open champion.
“But with Joel at his highest world ranking and Peter and Emyr both
playing well, we thought we could do well here. And now we've achieved
our first objective, which was to make the last 16.
“The 3-0 score of our defeat to Australia yesterday doesn't do us
justice as it was very close. I'm pleased with today's performance as it
shows that we can back it up.
“Now it's another tournament and I think we play France – which would be
After upsetting higher-seeded India in their opening qualifying tie,
ninth seeds Malaysia confirmed their supremacy in Pool H when they beat
But the 23rd seeds gave Malaysia a fright in the opening match when
Aqeel Rehman twice led Nafiizwan Adnan, the Malaysian number one who 24
hours earlier stunned top-ranked Indian Saurav Ghosal to lead the
Adnan raised his game, however, to close out the match 8-11, 11-8, 9-11,
11-3, 11-4 before team-mates Eain Yow Ng and Addeen Idrakie also
prevailed to cement Malaysia's top 16 berth.
“Today was tough for two reasons,” said Malaysian manager Major Maniam.
“Firstly the boys had really hard matches yesterday and so are feeling a
little tired, and secondly the glass court yesterday was a little dead,
so on this plaster court it's very difficult to win points.”
The win sees Malaysia through to face Scotland: “At this stage all the
teams are good,” Maniam continued.
“The Scottish boys are hard and aggressive players and they're going to
come at us. It's going to be a hell of a battle!”
It was in Pool G that 10th seeds Scotland confirmed their place in the
elite knockout stage by defeating Jamaica 3-0.
The Scots took no prisoners – Alan Clyne, Greg Lobban and Kevin Moran
seeing off their opponents, all making their debuts in the event, in
straight games. The win saw the Scots finish as runners-up to Germany,
the No.7 seeds.
“I don't think it mattered too much whether we won or came second in the
pool,” said Scottish team manager Martin Heath.
“We knew we'd expect either Malaysia or India in the next round.
“We have a strong squad and are looking for wins at every position.
“At this stage of the event, it can come down to little swings of
momentum one way or the other and we're ready to deal with that.”
Jamaica, seeded 21, are appearing in the championship for the first
time. Team manager Douglas Beckford said: “We were really hoping to get
into the last 16, but in reality we knew it would be difficult and are
now fighting for 17th place. We came in seeded 21 and hope to improve on
“It's been a tremendous event for us and we haven't been overwhelmed at
all: 3/0 scores can sometimes give the wrong impression!
“We have two players competing on the PSA Tour – and winning titles – so
that's good for Jamaica.”
Finland survived the only tie decided by the third rubber when they beat
18th seeds Argentina 2-1.
Olli Tuominen, the 38-year-old former World No.12 celebrating his ninth
appearance in the championships, put the 15th seeds ahead when he beat
Leandro Romiglio 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9 – but Argentinean Robertino
Pezzota set up a decider when he beat Miko Äijänen in three games.
It was left to older brother Jami Äijänen to clinch
victory for the Finns, overcoming Juan Pablo Roude (both pictured above)
11-7, 11-7, 11-9.
“We were definitely slightly nervous about this match,” said Finland
national coach Tomi Niinimäki.
“I watched Argentina play England on the first day and they were good.
Winning today is a big relief – we are really happy to be in the top 16.
“We have some good players coming through – the (Äijänen) brothers are
quite young and will be here for a long time. We can expect a lot in the
“Playing Egypt next will be big for us – especially for the younger
Seeded 14, Canada maintained their presence in the top 16 for the 22nd
time since 1971 after beating Ireland 3-0. Team number one Nick Sachvie
put the side ahead against the 20th seeds, beating Arthur Gaskin 11-7,
11-5, 9-11, 11-2 before Shawn Delierre and Andrew Schnell wrapped
matters up with 3-0 wins.
“We knew we would be challenged here and had to be ready,” said Canada's
national coach Yvon Provencal.
“Nick is playing his first worlds – and he is just fearless, and that's
great for the team to see.
“Shawn was in the zone today so I knew we were OK. Andrew was in need of
a good match and he had a good run.
“We're working to get up there with the top guys.”
Canada will face 4th seeds Australia for a place in the quarter-finals.
The final places in the top 16 were decided in the evening: 11th seeds
USA confirmed their place by defeating South Africa, the 22nd seeds,
3-0. After Todd Harrity put the Americans ahead with a 3-0 win over
Thoboki Mohohlo, second string Christopher Gordon put the result beyond
South Africa's reach after recovering from a game down to beat
45-year-old Rodney Durbach 9-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-3.
US team manager Paul Assaiante said: “The 1,2,3 playing order was good
for us. Thoboki moves like a cat so we had to keep the pace high.
“We were surprised to see Rodney at two: he has magical hands and is a
wonderful competitor, and still plays a great game. But Chris dealt with
“Now we get into the tall weeds – and will probably play Hong Kong. The
team feels good and the guys are enjoying each other's company.”
Durbach, the championship's oldest ever participant who made his event
debut 22 years ago, commented: “I felt good after the first game – I hit
my shots well, it was nice.
“I didn't feel at all out of place. It was probably the length of the
rallies that I wasn't used to – back home they don't last that long!
“But I'm disappointed – I thought I could have done better.
“The highest we can now get is 17 – so that's what we're going for!”
In the final tie of the day, 16th seeds Switzerland beat former
champions Pakistan, the 17th seeds, 3-0 and will face defending
champions England in a bid to reach the quarter-finals for the first
WSF World Team Squash Championship
3rd & final qualifying round Pool A:
 SWITZERLAND bt  PAKISTAN 3/0
Nicolas Müller bt Farhan Zaman 11-3, 14-12, 9-11, 12-10 (42m)
Dimitri Steinmann bt Amaad Fareed 11-6, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4 (36m)
Reiko Peter bt Asim Khan 11-6, 7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8 (50m)
Final positions: 1 Egypt, 2 Switzerland, 3 Pakistan
 FINLAND bt  ARGENTINA 2/1
Olli Tuominen bt Leandro Romiglio 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9 (47m)
Miko Äijänen lost to Robertino Pezzota 5-11, 6-11, 6-11 (37m)
Jami Äijänen bt Juan Pablo Roude 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 (40m)
Final positions: 1 England, 2 Finland, 3 Argentina
 CANADA bt  IRELAND 3/0
Nick Sachvie bt Arthur Gaskin 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-2 (52m)
Shawn Delierre bt Brian Byrne 11-8, 11-9, 11-4 (39m)
Andrew Schnell bt Sean Conroy 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 (31m)
Final positions: 1 France, 2 Canada, 3 Ireland
 WALES bt  CZECH REPUBLIC 3/0
Joel Makin bt Daniel Mekbib 11-3, 11-9, 11-7 (35m)
Peter Creed bt Martin Svec 11-7, 7-11, 11-5, 12-10 (48m)
Emyr Evans bt Jakub Solnicky 11-9, 11-6, 16-14 (41m)
Final positions: 1 Australia, 2 Wales, 3 Czech Republic
 SPAIN bt  IRAQ 3/0
Borja Golan bt Husham Al-Saadi 11-1, 11-2, 11-9 (27m)
Carlos Cornes bt Mohammed Hasan 11-6, 11-9, 11-2 (24m)
Bernat Jaume bt Hasanain Dakheel 11-2, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7 (41m)
Final positions: 1 Hong Kong China, 2 Spain, 3 Iraq
 USA bt  SOUTH AFRICA 3/0
Todd Harrity bt Thoboki Mohohlo 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 (31m)
Christopher Gordon bt Rodney Durbach 9-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-3 (46m)
Chris Hanson bt Gary Wheadon 11-9, 11-4, 11-7 (36m)
Final positions: 1 New Zealand, 2 USA, 3 South Africa
 SCOTLAND bt  JAMAICA 3/0
Alan Clyne bt Christopher Binnie 11-7, 11-1, 11-6 (37m)
Greg Lobban bt Lewis Walters 11-9, 14-12, 11-6 (37m)
Kevin Moran bt Bruce Burrowes 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 (22m)
Final positions: 1 Germany, 2 Scotland, 3 Jamaica
 MALAYSIA bt  AUSTRIA 3/0
Nafiizwan Adnan bt Aqeel Rehman 8-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4 (54m)
Eain Yow Ng bt Jakob Dirnberger 11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 11-7 (36m)
Addeen Idrakie bt Lukas Windischberger 11-7, 11-2, 11-7 (25m)
Final positions: 1 Malaysia, 2 India, 3 Austria
Last 16 draw:
 Egypt v  Finland
 Malaysia v  Scotland
 France v  Wales
 Hong Kong China v  USA
 New Zealand v  Spain
 Australia v  Canada
 Germany v  India
 England v  Switzerland
17-24 place draw:
 Pakistan v  Austria
 Czech Republic v  South Africa
 Ireland v  Iraq
 Argentina v  Jamaica
Malaysia produced the first upset in the WSF Men's World Team
Championship by beating India, the eighth seeds in the second qualifying
round in Marseille.
Playing in team order 1, 3 & 2, World No.21 Saurav Ghosal opened
proceedings for India by taking on Nafiizwan Adnan, a lower-ranked
Malaysian, to whom he had never before lost.
The Malaysian No.1 took the opening game before Ghosal fought back to
forge a 2-1 lead. Adnan, the 31-year-old UK-based World No.31, drew
level to force a decider – but twice again Ghosal led, 8-6 & 9-7.
Underdog Adnan persevered however and, after 72 minutes, clinched the
11-8, 8-11, 5-11, 11-4, 11-9 victory which swung the momentum in favour
of the ninth seeds.
India struck back when Mahesh Mangaonkar recovered from a game down to
beat 21-year-old Mohd Syafiq Kamal 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 to level the
Teenager Eain Yow Ng takes on Harder Pal Singh Sandhu
Teenager Eain Yow Ng, who, like Kamal, was making his maiden appearance
in the championship, then faced India's experienced Harinder Pal Singh
Sandhu, a 28-year-old from Chennai celebrating his fourth time in the
It was the pair's first meeting, but 19-year-old Ng was unfazed – and
battled back from 2-1 down to overcome Sandhu 11-7, 5-11, 8-11, 11-6,
11-5 in 62 minutes to strengthen Malaysia's bid to top Pool H.
Malaysia's team manager Major Maniam, who only a year ago returned to
his home country after a lengthy period as the Indian National Coach,
was delighted with his team's performance: “With our No.2 out with an
injury, we arrived in Marseille with a slightly weakened team – but Wan
(Nafiizwan) and Yow were outstanding today.
“Wan was absolutely focussed and faced an experienced opponent in Saurav.
“And with Yow, what can I say! He played another very experienced player
and truly lived up to our expectations. We were expecting a good hard
fight. Hari just didn't have an answer in the fifth.
“I am very happy with the way the boys played.”
Sixth seeds New Zealand were also taken the full distance before seeing
off USA, the 11th seeds, 2-1 to ensure top place in Pool F.
'Superman' Paul Coll, the current World No.9, put the Kiwis ahead after
beating US top string Todd Harrity, 11-9, 11-7, 11-3 – but Chris Hanson
forced a decider when he defeated New Zealand's Evan Williams in four
It took Campbell Grayson 58 minutes to finally get the better of US No.2
Christopher Gordon, winning 11-6, 11-3, 9-11, 11-7, much to the relief
of his Kiwi team-mates.
“It's the world team championship so the seeding doesn't mean much,”
explained NZ team manager Kashif Shuja.
“They have some great players and we knew it was going to be tough – and
it was. Chris Gordon's sportsmanship really impressed me – that was a
“It's good to be in the last 16, but we are just going to take each day
as it comes. It's a rest day tomorrow so we are going to relax and
hopefully come back fresh.
“Paul (Coll) has done a fantastic job – not just for himself but for
squash back in New Zealand.
“He has shown our kids back home that you can do it. What he's achieved
over the past two years is amazing and it's great having him in the
The longest battle of the day took over four hours to resolve when
fourth seeds Australia ultimately prevailed 3-0 over 13th seeds Wales.
Left-hander Ryan Cuskelly, competing as the Australian No.1 for the
first time, survived an 85-minute five-game encounter against
fast-rising Welshman Joel Makin winning 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 4-11, 11-7,
before Rex Hedrick sealed victory for record eight-time champions
Australia with a 12-10, 11-8, 11-1 win over event newcomer Emyr Evans in
The third rubber also went the full distance before hard-hitting Aussie
Cameron Pilley claimed his 10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5 victory in 68
minutes over 30-year-old Welshman Peter Creed.
“We knew Wales would be tricky to get past,” said Paul Price, the
Australian national coach and a former World No.4.
“If Joel had won the match with Ryan, that could have changed
everything, but the boys are really focussed and we now look forward to
finding out who we play next.”
Germany eased into the last 16 with a second successive victory in Pool
G – but this time the No.7 seeds dropped a match as opponents Scotland,
the 10th seeds, claimed some consolation after going 2-0 down when
second string Scotland's Greg Lobban beat Raphael Kandra in five games.
German coach Oliver Pettke said: “I'm happy with the win – and it's
definitely positive for the team spirit for the rest of the week.
“It's always close with Scotland – and it's more difficult than the
European Championships where there are four players in the team.
“It's good to be in the top 16, but our best is yet to come!”
Ramy Ashour made his first appearance in the 2017 championship when he
helped favourites Egypt to a 3-0 win over Switzerland, the 16th seeds.
Appearing in his fourth championships, he beat the tournament's youngest
player Roman Allinckx, a 19-year-old, 11-2, 11-5, 11-5 to extend his
all-time unbeaten record in the championship to 15 matches since 2009.
“It's unusual for me to be the oldest player in the team and the fact
that I've played in the event before makes it a little bit more
comfortable as I know what to expect,” said the former World No.1 and
three-time World Champion.
“It's special for me to be playing in this event and I'm honoured to be
representing my country for a fourth time – and to be the team captain,
which I've never been before!”
Finland's record 17-time national champion Olli Tuominen also reached a
notable milestone in Marseille when, in his ninth appearance in the
championships since 1999, he played his 50th match.
The former World No.13 went down 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 to long-time European
rival James Willstrop as defending champions England eased into the last
16 with their second 3-0 win in two days.
Results – WSF World Team Squash Championship, Marseille, France 2nd qualifying round
Pool A:  EGYPT bt  SWITZERLAND 3/0
Ali Farag bt Dimitri Steinmann 11-3, 11-4, 8-11, 11-7 (36m)
Ramy Ashour bt Roman Allinckx 11-2, 11-5, 11-5 (21m)
Marwan Elshorbagy bt Reiko Peter 12-10, 11-5, 11-5 (28m)
Pool B:  ENGLAND bt  FINLAND 3/0
James Willstrop bt Olli Tuominen 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 (33m)
Adrian Waller bt Matias Tuomi 11-4, 11-7, 11-3 (27m)
Daryl Selby bt Jami Äijänen 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 (27m)
Pool C:  FRANCE bt  CANADA 3/0
Gregory Gaultier bt Nick Sachvie 11-6, 11-6, 11-1 (31m)
Mathieu Castagnet bt Andrew Schnell 11-7, 11-4, 12-10 (35m)
Gregoire Marche bt Shawn Delierre 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 (32m)
Pool D:  AUSTRALIA bt  WALES 3/0
Ryan Cuskelly bt Joel Makin 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 4-11, 11-7 (85m)
Rex Hedrick bt Emyr Evans 12-10, 11-8, 11-1 (54m)
Cameron Pilley bt Peter Creed 10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5 (68m)
Pool E:  HONG KONG CHINA bt  SPAIN 3/0
Max Lee bt Borja Golan 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9 (56m)
Yip Tsz Fung bt Carlos Cornes 11-5, 12-10, 11-3 (35m)
Leo Au bt Iker Pajares Bernabeu 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 11-4 (55m)
Pool F:  NEW ZEALAND bt  USA 2/1
Paul Coll bt Todd Harrity 11-9, 11-7, 11-3 (40m)
Evan Williams lost to Chris Hanson 11-8, 8-11, 7-11, 7-11 (47m)
Campbell Grayson bt Christopher Gordon 11-6, 11-3, 9-11, 11-7 (58m)
Pool G:  GERMANY bt  SCOTLAND 2/1
Simon Rösner bt Alan Clyne 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 (44m)
Rudi Rohrmuller bt Douglas Kempsell 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-6 (73m)
Raphael Kandra lost to Greg Lobban 11-9, 3-11, 10-12, 12-10, 8-11 (57m)
 MALAYSIA bt  INDIA 2/1
Nafiizwan Adnan bt Saurav Ghosal 11-8, 8-11, 5-11, 11-4, 11-9 (72m)
Mohd Syafiq Kamal lost to Mahesh Mangaonkar 11-8, 8-11, 5-11, 5-11 (53m)
Eain Yow Ng bt Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu 11-7, 5-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5
Fixtures – November 29
All times are local (GMT +1)
WORLD TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Group D – Wales VS Czech Republic (STV)
Group H – Malaysia VS Austria
Group B – Finland VS Argentina
Group E – Spain VS Iraq (STV)
Group C – Canada VS Ireland
Group G – Scotland VS Jamaica
Group F – United States VS South Africa
Group A – Switzerland VS Pakistan
The top eight seeded nations sailed through their opening encounters on
day one of the WSF Men's World Team Championship in Marseille, all
The 25th staging of the biennial World Squash Federation event is being
held in France for the second time in four years. After qualifying
rounds at Modern, knockout action from the last 16 round onwards will
take place on an all-glass showcourt at Salle Vallier, leading to the
final on Sunday (December 3).
The event got underway with a confrontation between two of the giant
nations of world squash: Egypt the top seeds looking to gain revenge for
their surprise defeat to England in the 2013 final and win the title for
a fourth time, faced Pakistan, who reigned supreme between 1981 and
1987, and have been champions six times in total – but in 2017 are the
Whilst the favourites come into the event with four players in the world
top 11, underdogs Pakistan have a squad featuring only one player ranked
within the top 150.
With day's playing order set at 3,2,1, third string Marwan Elshorbagy,
ranked six in the world, put Egypt firmly in the driving seat with an
11-4, 11-5, 11-6 victory over Amaad Fareed, the World No.162.
Fresh from making the finals of three major PSA World Tour events in the
past six weeks, and becoming the U.S. Open champion, World No.4 Ali
Farag sealed Egypt's overall win by beating Shahjahan Khan 11-3, 11-4,
Karim Abdel Gawad in action for Egypt
It was in the third match that Pakistan secured their only game of the
day when Farhan Zaman claimed the third against Egypt's Karim Abdel
Gawad (both pictured above) before the World No.2 and current World
Champion wrapped up the match 11-7, 13-11, 7-11, 11-4.
“We would have preferred to play opponents like Pakistan in the second
match – it's a pity that such a great squash battle happened on the
first day,” said Ashraf Hanafi, the Egyptian National Coach.
“We don't know their players – but we knew they'd be dangerous. It was a
tough draw for Pakistan.
“The most important thing for us is the team spirit – I know we have a
lot of stars in our team, and it's important to respect that,” added the
former British Open O35 champion.
“We lost our title four years ago and we want to win it back.”
Second seeds England began the defence of their title in a tie against
Argentina. The 18th seeds were making their seventh appearance in the
championships, with a best-ever finish of 13 in 1995, while England,
with five titles to their name, have never failed to reach at least the
semi-finals in all 17 appearances since 1981.
Third string Daryl Selby put England ahead with an 11-3, 11-6, 11-6 win
over Juan Pablo Roude before team-mate James Willstrop took to the court
with fellow 34-year-old Robertino Pezzota, the world No.94 from
Argentina who recently became the Pan American champion for the first
James Willstrop enjoyed a tough tussle with
Argentina's Robertino Pezzota
Earning his 151st cap for England, former World No.1 Willstrop battled
for 41 minutes to survive a physical encounter with his Argentinean
opponent, ultimately prevailing 7-11, 11-2, 11-2, 9-11, 11-6.
England No.1 Nick Matthew – like Willstrop, making his seventh
successive appearance in the event – beat Leandro Romiglio 11-4, 11-8,
11-5 to give the team maximum points.
The event welcomed a team representing Iraq for the first time in the
tournament's history. The newcomers put up a commendable fight before
going down to Hong Kong China, the fifth seeds, who are predicted to
achieve their best ever finish in their 16th appearance in the
championships since 1979.
“I am very happy that Iraq is participating in this event for the first
time,” said Ali Albawi, President of the Iraq Squash Federation.
“This is a big day for us – we now have six players who are ranked by
PSA and we are determined to do well.
“It would be great if we could make the top 16 this time – but we hope
to do even better next time!”
The Hong Kong squad, led by World No.28 Max Lee, achieved their 3-0 win
under the direction of new national coach Chris Robertson, the former
World No.2 from Australia, who was also the former national coach of
Wales and later England.
In the final session of the day, all attention was focussed on twice
runners-up France, who are seeded three and bidding to win the title for
the first time.
The hosts faced European rivals Ireland, the 20th seeds whose best
finish is 10th place.
Event newcomer Lucas Serme delighted the partisan crowd with an 11-9,
8-11, 11-2, 11-7 win over Irish number three Sean Conroy, before
Gregoire Marche also survived a four-game battle with Brian Byrne,
winning 11-7, 10-12, 11-5, 11-3.
The surprise first ever encounter between the two nations top strings
saw the 'French General' and World No.1 Gregory Gaultier see off Arthur
Gaskin 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 to end the day on a local high.
“Ireland put on a good fight – and we needed it,” said French National
Coach Renan Lavigne afterwards.
“They played their top three and they tried their best – and we expected
“It was a good win for us. It wasn't ideal playing at night and it was
important we didn't start too hard and pick up any injuries.”
When asked what it would mean to win the title, Lavigne said: “We've
never experienced it so it's difficult to imagine. I remember it was an
unbelievable feeling when Greg won the world individual title and when
we won the European team title after losing in the final so many times.
“We will have to wait – we know what to do and we know how important it
would be. The sports minister will be here on Friday. The team is fully
Results – WSF World Team Squash Championship, Marseille, France
 EGYPT v  SWITZERLAND
 SWITZERLAND v  PAKISTAN
Pool B:  ENGLAND bt  ARGENTINA 3/0
Daryl Selby bt Juan Pablo Roude 11-3, 11-6, 11-6 (30m)
James Willstrop bt Robertino Pezzota 7-11, 11-2, 11-2, 9-11, 11-6 (41m)
Nick Matthew bt Leandro Romiglio 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 (29m)
 ENGLAND v  FINLAND
 FINLAND v  ARGENTINA
Pool C:  FRANCE bt  IRELAND 3/0
Lucas Serme bt Sean Conroy 11-9, 8-11, 11-2, 11-7 (44m)
Gregoire Marche bt Brian Byrne 11-7, 10-12, 11-5, 11-3 (44m)
Gregory Gaultier bt Arthur Gaskin 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 (29m)
 FRANCE v  CANADA
 CANADA v  IRELAND
Pool D:  AUSTRALIA bt  CZECH REPUBLIC 3/0
Zac Alexander bt Jakub Solnicky 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (35m)
Cameron Pilley bt Ondrej Uherka 11-2, 11-4, 11-4 (27m)
Ryan Cuskelly bt Martin Svec 11-4, 11-6, 11-4 (33m)
 AUSTRALIA v  WALES
 WALES v  CZECH REPUBLIC
Pool E:  HONG KONG CHINA bt  IRAQ 3/0
Yip Tsz Fung bt Rasool Alsultani 11-2, 11-13, 11-1, 11-2 (39m)
Leo Au bt Mohammed Hasan 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 (28m)
Max Lee bt Husham Al-Saadi 11-3, 11-5, 11-3 (21m)
 HONG KONG CHINA v  SPAIN
 SPAIN v  IRAQ
Pool F:  NEW ZEALAND bt  SOUTH AFRICA 3/0
Evan Williams bt Gary Wheadon 11-9, 12-10, 11-4 (36m)
Campbell Grayson bt Christo Potgieter 11-3, 11-8, 11-5 (24m)
Paul Coll bt Thoboki Mohohlo 11-4, 9-11, 11-2, 11-2 (38m)
 NEW ZEALAND v  USA
 USA v  SOUTH AFRICA
 GERMANY bt  JAMAICA 3/0
Valentin Rapp bt Bruce Burrowes 11-5, 11-1, 11-8 (23m)
Raphael Kandra bt Lewis Walters 12-10, 11-3, 7-11, 11-6 (36m)
Simon Rösner bt Christopher Binnie 11-7, 12-14, 11-2, 11-9 (45m)
 GERMANY v  SCOTLAND
 SCOTLAND v  JAMAICA
 INDIA bt  AUSTRIA 3/0
Mahesh Mangaonkar bt Paul Mairinger 11-0, 11-6, 11-2 (23m)
Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu bt Jakob Dirnberger 11-9, 11-6, 11-6 (27m)
Vikram Malhotra bt Aqeel Rehman 11-6, 11-5, 11-1 (25m)
 INDIA v  MALAYSIA
 MALAYSIA v  AUSTRIA
opening round fixtures for the 2017 Men’s WSF World Team Championship
have been announced.
The 2017 Championship will be screened LIVE and FREE on SQUASHTV to
digital subscribers as the tournament takes place between November 27 –
December 3 at Modern Squash and Salle Vallier in Marseille.
Defending champions England – who denied Egypt a third successive title
in 2013 – will face Argentina – who are taking part in their seventh
Men’s World Teams – in their opening Group B fixture, which takes place
at 15:30 local time.
Three-time winners Egypt will open proceedings at the tournament as they
take on Pakistan – who in the 1970s and 90s dominated the tournament and
accumulated six gold, four silver and one bronze medals – in Group A.
Other notable fixtures on day one sees eight-time winners Australia take
on the Czech Republic in Group D, while host nation France – who are
targeting their first World title after finishing runners-up in both
2003 and 2009 – will take on Ireland at 19:00 on November 27.
Iraq and Jamaica are both making their debuts at the World Team
Championships in France this year and open against Hong Kong and
All pool matches will take place from November 27-29.
SQUASHTV will be screening live action from the World Team Championships
from November 27 to December 3 for free to Digital Subscribers.
Sign up for a FREE digital subscription to SQUASHTV to watch the action!
Monday 27th November
Group A: Egypt v Pakistan
Group F: New Zealand v South Africa (GC)
Group G: Germany v Jamaica
Group B: England v Argentina (GC)
Group E: Hong Kong v Iraq
Group H: India v Austria
Group C: France v Ireland (GC)
Group D: Australia v Czech Republic
Tuesday 28th November
Group B: England v Finland
Group H: India v Malaysia (GC)
Group F: New Zealand v United States
Group A: Egypt v Switzerland (GC)
Group G: Germany v Scotland
Group D: Australia v Wales
Group C: France v Ireland (GC)
Group E: Hong Kong v Spain
Wednesday 29th November
Group D: Wales v Czech Republic (GC)
Group H: Malaysia v Austria
Group B: Finland v Argentina
Group E: Spain v Iraq (GC)
Group C: Canada v Ireland
Group G: South Africa v South Africa
Group A: Switzerland v Pakistan (GC)
Pool line-ups (with seeding in brackets)
Pool A:  Egypt,  Switzerland,  Pakistan
Pool B:  England,  Finland,  Argentina
Pool C:  France,  Canada,  Ireland
Pool D:  Australia,  Wales,  Czech Republic
Pool E:  Hong Kong China,  Spain,  Iraq
Pool F:  New Zealand,  USA,  South Africa
Pool G:  Germany,  Scotland,  Jamaica
Pool H:  India,  Malaysia,  Austria
National Coach David Campion has revealed the squad that will defend
England’s title at theWSF Men’s World Team Championships in France from
27 November to 3 December.
The England quartet comprises Nick Matthew (Captain), James Willstrop,
Daryl Selby and Adrian Waller who will be making his world team debut.
Led by three-time individual World Champion Nick Matthew, Team England
will be striving to retain the title they won in 2013 when the event
last took place in Mulhouse, France.
Historically, England’s men boast a strong track record in team events,
having been crowned World Champions five times in the ten previous
biennial competitions. Matthew, Willstrop and Selby were part of the
squad who claimed the World Team title in 2013 and more recently in
April, they clinched silver behind France in the Men’s European Team
The England squad has been hard at work training together over the
summer at the National Squash Centre. And by way of further preparation
for Marseille, the players will also be taking part in an England versus
Rest of the World team match for men and women - including England’s
leading lady Laura Massaro - at St George’s Hill, Weybridge on 24
Commenting on the selection, David Campion, National Coach at England
“The World Team Championships is a very special event, which brings out
the best in our players. We have fond memories from the battles with
France and Egypt in 2013 where we were successful and I’m confident our
players will be able to draw from those experiences once again.
“I’m delighted for Adrian Waller, who makes his World Team Championships
debut. With his recent form he will be a great addition to the team.”
Current World No. 5 Nick Matthew, who will be competing in the Team
Championships for the final time before retiring from professional
squash at the end of this season, said:
“I’m excited to be leading the team in defense of our World title. It’s
fitting that the Championships are returning to France where we won in
2013, but we are under no illusions about the difficulty of our task
“The landscape of World Squash has changed in the last four years, but
we have a great record when pulling on the England shirt and look
forward to living up to our proud history.”
The Championships will involve 28 countries with England facing strong
challenges from hosts France, and also from Egypt who are tipped
The Championships will be staged at Marseille’s Modern Squash and Salle
Vallier, where the final stages are to be presented on two all-glass