Men's World Team
Championships 2003
19-25 October, Vienna, Austria

Men's World Team Championships, 19-25 Oct, Vienna ...

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Ian McKenzie reports from Vienna ...

Last 16 | Quarters | Semis
Pools: Day One | Two | Three

Day Seven, Sat 25th:

[1] Australia  3-0  [4] France

David Palmer bt Thierry Lincou  9/0 9/3 6/9 9/5 (77m)
Anthony Ricketts bt Gregory Gaultier
9/4, 9/7, 2/9, 8/10, 9/0 (74m)
Paul Price bt Renan Lavigne   9/3, 9/3 (20m)

Ricketts hangs on to
give Aussies World Title

David Palmer got Australia off to a great start against Thierry Lincou, then Anthony Ricketts, almost literally, fought off a comeback from Gregory Gaultier to clinch the match and retain Australia's World Team title before Paul Price wrapped it up in the dead rubber.

Ian McKenzie reports on the final

It was one step away from a punch-up - and the crucial action happened after the bell at the end of the fourth round as Anthony Ricketts and Gregory Gaultier attempted to leave the court by the door at the same time.

There was shoving, grabbing, elbowing and the main reason a punch wasn't thrown was that they had rackets in their hands. Ricketts is bigger than Gaultier and you got a hint that he was a bit fed up with the young Frenchman's antics by the way he carried him across the court at the end of the fourth and tried to put him through the ropes.

The referee, Wendy Danzey stepped in at that point with a conduct warning against Ricketts - there was not much else she could do.

Later Ricketts was to say, "I probably took it too far and the referee was right to give me a conduct warning but I was trying to make it clear to her what was happening. I think I did and I think she got the idea."

The fourth deteriorated into farce. Ricketts was ahead 2/1 and the games were about to level as Gaultier established an 8-2 lead in two hands. He is the young player most like Jonathon Power. His hands are very fast, he uses an open stance on both sides but especially on the forehand, is lightening fast to the front, counters with little touch drops with a full follow-through, has holds and lots of variety but lacks Power's sense of humour.

Let's hope he can develop one for he will need it when it comes to looking back at performances like this. Really, his comeback in the fourth game after being 2/1 down was masterful, but flawed. Floored was what Ricketts wanted to do to him - but that came at the end of the game.

Gaultier lifted the ball for length, very high and straight with whole series of lobs, too high to attack and making it very hard for Ricketts to apply pressure. The attack, blended with this slow paced rallying, was sudden and unexpected and used by Gaultier to seize game ball 8-2.

There was a twist however. Gaultier was blocking, as he had done with Beachill, and Ricketts was now so fed up that the situation reached bizarre proportions. He retaliated and started to move for the ball directly through his opponent.

Gaultier was now the victim. "Can I have a let. Did you see what he did to me," complained the Frenchman to an unimpressed Danzey. Ricketts went through in a hand from 3-8 to 8 all as Gaultier, thinking the game was already his, lost his slow paced length and let Ricketts front court to slam crosscourts past him.

At 8 all it was bizarre, riveting squash. Every rally was an incident. Gaultier's Gaelic jestering and complaining, Ricketts blowing steam out his nostrils as they charged into each other. And there were some great shots.

This was a vocal crowd. They cheered and jeered and groaned. Six hands swapped at 8 all. They threw the ball at each other then Ricketts delivered it personally and very closely. Anything could have happened. A brilliant rally was ended with a fast boast from Gaultier's fast hands to win the vital game ball before Ricketts won serve back, lost it on a no let, then bulldozed Gaultier half way across the court and into the side wall.

The stadium at the Wellness Centre echoed to prolonged jeering. The red mist had come down over Ricketts' eyes - he had lost it. Referee Danzey had no option but to give the conduct warning and Gaultier levelled the match with a superb forehand drop and all the triumphal gesturing that is so unappealing.

Ricketts didn't like it too much either. The red mist was still there and he was not seeing to well. He bumped Gaultier, rather perhaps mowed him down. Gautlier was all elbows and shoves and yelling as a dog fight developed. Palmer was on his feet.

The Australian manager Byron Davies was to say later that he was more worried about Palmer, who got into the fray as Ricketts slipped away. Kneipp was on his feet. French manager Bertrand Bonnefoy showed extreme courage in standing up to Palmer and the front of the court was awash with green Australian tracksuits and white French tracksuits with their neat blue trim darting back and forth.

Ricketts needed speaking to. "Play squash," said Davis. "You're a better squash player than him. Play straight. Re-focus."

"To his credit he did," said Davis later.

Gaultier gave the impression that talking to him would be a waste of breath.

There were three hands without score at the start of the fifth when Ricketts won serve with a forehand drop and Gaultier pulled up short. He scored with another and then Gaultier imploded into mistakes. The controlled floating rallies of the fourth game were all gone now. He let Ricketts front court easily and slashed at balls as if they were going to miraculously emerge as winners. Five errors helped Ricketts on his way.

Nine points were won in a hand and Australia were world champions.

Ricketts had some energy left, for there was an amazing performance of leaping, jumping and punching the air like a very small child having a temper tantrum but of tremendous speed and violence.

Gaultier wisely stepped out of the way. Evidently this was joy Australian style. The players managed a handshake and the Frenchman's racket disappeared across the back of the court.

"It is awesome," said Ricketts after rejoining the sane world. "To be involved in this was awesome.

"This is his first time in the team and there was a lot of pressure on him. For us this is it and everything goes into it," said Davis.

The third match was a formality won by Price 9-3, 9-3 to give Australia a clean sweep and retention of the title they had won in Melbourne in 2001.

Palmer puts Aussies one up ...
In a brilliant all court game David Palmer put Australia in the driving seat to retain their world title with a 9-0, 9-3, 6-9, 9-5 win over the French no.1 Thierry Lincou.

Palmer started brilliantly, reaching 9-0, 7-0 before Lincou responded.

It took outstanding play from Lincou in the third to wrestle a game from Palmer, and although the Frenchman was 6-3 up in the game it took another 14 hands to see it out. Lincou scored with straight drops of the most delicate touch and had to go very high to beat Palmer outstanding volley. Often after Palmer dropped, Lincou would lob, Palmer would take it out of the air deep, Lincou would volley drop and and so they would go around and around the court. Palmer hung into the backhand (left side) and poached the ball off the wall for outstanding volley drops that took Lincou right to the front at speed and there were numerous drop exchanges.

Down two games Lincou came back to take the third and lead 3-0 in the fourth but with brilliant retrieving from both players, shots and deception this was a brilliant spectacle.

But Palmer was fresh here and was not going to be broken down. It was close. Lincou came back from 6-3 to 5-6 but then lost it in a hand as Palmer passed him with superb straight winners in the 77th minute.

Malcolm Willstrop
on THAT dramatic semi

Play off Draws
& Results (Excel)

1/2:  Australia 3-0 France
3/4:  England 3-0 Egypt
5/6:  Wales 2-1 Canada
7/8:  Scotland 3-0 Hong Kong
9/10: Pakistan 2-1 South Africa
11/12: Netherlands 2-1 Ireland
13/14: Switzerland 2-1 Malaysia 
15/16: Germany 2-1 Sweden
Full results (pdf)

17/18: Italy 0-3 New Zealand
19/20: Kuwait 3-0 USA
21/22: Austria 3-0 Hungary
23/24: Czech Rep. 2-1 Japan
25/26: Finland 2-1 Slovenia
27/28: Korea 2-1 Bermuda
29:30: Mexico 3-0 Russia
Full Results (pdf)

Malcolm Willstrop
England's Bronze

3rd/4th Play-off:
[2] England  3-0  [3] Egypt
Lee Beachill bt Karim Darwish  9/4, 9/3, 9/3
James Willstrop bt Mohamed Abbas  7/9, 9/2, 9/7, 9/1
Nick Matthew bt Wael Eh Hendy  9/7, 9/2

After the previous day's disappointment, the England team picked themselves up to defeat Egypt 3/0 in the 3/4 play-off.

Lee Beachill, having played for 105 minutes against France, showed his worth when he despatched Karim Darwish 3/0 in a match where skill with the racket dominated. This was the Beachill we are more used to, attacking and positive.

James Willstrop continued his rise to the top with a 3/1 win over Mohammed Abbas. The first three games were well contested and quality squash, but Abbas could no longer contain the World Junior Champion, who finished in the fourth 9-1. He can be well pleased with his debut Team Championships winning six out of six.

Nick Matthew completed the 3/0 win with a 2/0 dead rubber victory over Wael El Hindi.

This may have been lower key than the semi-final over France and after Gaultier's efforts to spoil matches, but it was more enjoyable.

(David Palmer bt Thierry Lincou 9-0, 9-3, 6-9, 9-5 (77m); Anthony Ricketts bt Gregory Gaultier 9-4, 7-9, 9-2, 8-10, 9-0 (74m); Paul Price bt Renan Lavigne 9-3, 9-3 (20m))
    3rd place play-off:
(Lee Beachill bt Karim Darwish 9-4, 9-3, 9-3 (33m); James Willstrop bt Mohamed Abbas 7-9, 9-2, 9-7, 9-1 (68m); Nick Matthew bt Wael El Hindi 9-7, 9-2 (22m))
    5th place play-off:
[7]WALES 2 [5]CANADA 1
(Alex Gough lost to Graham Ryding 9-1, 2-9, 9-5, 1-9, 0-9; David Evans bt Shahier Razik 9-1, 9-4, 9-0; Gavin Jones bt Viktor Berg 9-5, 9-4, 9-1)
    7th place play-off:
[6]SCOTLAND 3 [17/24]HONG KONG 0
(John White bt Wong Wai Hang 9-3, 9-2, 9-3; Martin Heath bt Dick Lau 9-2, 9-0, 9-1; Peter O'Hara bt Roger Ngan 9-6, 9-2)
    9th place play-off:
(Mansoor Zaman lost to Rodney Durbach 8-10, 4-9, 6-9; Farrukh Zaman bt Craig van der Wath 9-3, 10-8, 9-10, 10-9; Majid Khan bt Gregory La Mude 9-7, 10-8, 9-1)
    11th place play-off:
(Tommy Berden bt Derek Ryan 9-1, 9-2, 9-4; Michael Fiteni lost to John Rooney 0-9, 9-4, 7-9, 9-10; Dylan Bennett bt Graeme Stewart 6-9, 9-5, 9-6, 7-9, 9-6)
    13th place play-off:
(Lars Harms bt Ong Beng Hee 9-3, 9-3, 9-5; Andre Holderegger lost to Moh'd Azlan Iskandar 1-9, 3-9, 0-9; Marco Dätwyler bt Timothy Arnold 9-2, 10-8, 4-9, 9-6)
    15th place play-off:
[16]GERMANY 2 [14]SWEDEN 1
(Simon Frenz lost to Christian Drakenberg 5-9, 0-9, 1-9; Stefan Leifels bt Henrik Löfvenborg 9-0, 6-9, 9-4, 9-5; Oliver Post bt Joakim Karlsson 9-0, 9-0, 9-0)
    17th place play-off:
[17/24]NEW ZEALAND 3 [17/24]ITALY 0
(Glen Wilson bt Andrea Capella 10-9, 0-9, 9-1, 9-0; Daniel Sharplin bt Francesco Busi 9-0, 9-2, 9-4; Callum O'Brien bt Andrea Torricini 9-7, 9-0)
    19th place play-off:
KUWAIT 3 [17/24]USA 0
(Bader Alhosaini bt Preston Quick 9-3, 9-6, 9-5; Ali Alramezi bt Damian Walker 10-8, 10-8, 9-1; Nasser Alramezi bt Tim Wyant 9-7, 9-5)
    21st place play-off:
(Leopold Czaska bt Andras Torok 9-7, 10-8, 9-3; Clemens Wallishauser bt Mark Krajcsak 9-2, 9-6, 9-3; David Huck bt Sandor Fulop bt 9-6, 9-2)
    23rd place play-off:
[17/24]CZECH REPUBLIC 2 [17/24]JAPAN 1
(Jan Koukal bt Kimihiko Sano 9-0, 9-3, 9-3; Martin Stepan bt Takehide Nishio 9-6, 5-9, 9-7, 4-9, 9-7; Pavel Sladecek lost to Jun Matsumoto 0-9, 7-9)
    25th place play-off:
(Olli Tuominen bt Damir Bezan 9-0, 9-1, 9-2; Hameed Ahmed lost to Klemen Gutman 7-9, 9-5, 2-9, 5-9; Matias Tuomi bt Miha Kavas 9-7, 9-3, 7-9, 10-8)
    27th place play-off:
(Yong-Chun Chong lost to Nicholas Kyme 2-9, 3-9, 5-9; Dong-Woo Kim bt James Stout 10-9, 9-6, 3-9, 4-9, 10-8; Jaung-Gue Park bt Sam Stevens 9-0, 9-0, 9-3)
    29th place play-off:
[17/24]MEXICO 3 RUSSIA 0
(Eric Galvez bt Alexei Severinov 9-3, 9-5, 9-0; Armando Zarazua bt Serguei Kostrykine 9-1, 9-4; Mauricio Sanchez bt Maxim Shokin 9-1, 9-1, 9-2)

Day Six, Fri 24th
France Through In Thriller
France are through to the final to face Australia, after Gregory Gaultier beat Lee Beachill 10/9 in the fifth in the decider against England.

Ian McKenzie reports on a dramatic semi-final ...

England are out.
It is a tragedy!  It is a travesty!
It is a failure! It is a disaster!
They should not be.

Gregory Gaultier played brilliantly at times, often erratically, invariably petulantly - in a match that was spoilt by his behaviour and his blocking, but in the end there was such drama that much of this will be overlooked.

His opponent Lee Beachill will be mad. He had chances to finish this off. Strong positions were squandered. At 8-6 in the third Beachill had three game balls; he had six serves at 7-1 in the fifth and a matchball - but he failed.

It was an unfair contest, the referee never sorted it out and Beachill had a horrendous task - but he should have won this match.

It took 105 minutes and swung one-way and then the other. Gaultier's firepower took the first 9-2, setting a pace that Beachill could not settle to, but he came back well and levelled before they settled into the 26 hands of the third game.

The problem with this point for point struggle was that Gaultier blocked incessantly, in every rally, and the referee failed to see it. In fact Gregory argued, commented and tried to influence the referee in every rally and was never spoken to once.

It spoilt it! Any time he could get an advantage when Beachill played loose around the mid-court he would take up as much room as possible and block Beachill's line. And when he recovered he would come straight to the T right into Beachill 's path.

It was a travesty. How Beachill kept his cool is beyond me. But he did, although it knocked him off his stride again and again. He had to fight to get lets and as often as not on the difficult balls that he may have been able to get he received a no let. It was all very unsatisfactory.

There was no sanction on Gaultier to follow any other policy. It was really up to the referee but part of the solution was in Beachill's hands. If he got his length and kept Gaultier out of the middle the problem would largely be alleviated, but he struggled to find those tight lines today, and when he found length it would inevitably drift back to the middle and Gaultier would again give him a long path to the ball.

Palmer would have flattened him. They would have taken the Frenchman out on a stretcher. But that is not Beachill's style.

Beachill was furious with the referee and the frustration did not help his game. But he got to 8-6 in a good patch in the third, then struggled to finish it. A stunning volley kill, one of Gaultier's trademark shots, saved game ball as Beachill failed with four attempts (this was an ominous sign for the English) in traumatic scenes. A block, a questionable no let when all the French were on their feet and there was every indication that they influenced the referee.

Gaultier went through to nine and finished it on his second attempt 10-8 to go 2/1 up.

Bizarrely he then capitulated from early in the third. From 2-0 Beachill was through to 7-0 in two hands and Gaultier was walking out the door on two occasions when Beachill hit the ball back to him and prolonged the game fractionally. Beachill won it 9-1 and suddenly it was 2 games all.

In the fifth Beachill was away. Happier with himself now, he was away to 5-0 when the ball broke.

"The ball has been broken for two rallies," said Gaultier, again in complaint. As they started to warm the ball Beachill enquired of the referee how long he was going to allow the Frenchman to continually speak to him in such terms.

Beachill had this match. At the resumption he was through to 7-1 and Gaultier was all over the place.

After winning the third the Frenchman had won just two points while Beachill had taken 16 and stood within two points of victory and a chance of a world title for England.

Almost incidentally, while waiting to lose, Gaultier slowed it a bit and lobbed. Then he settled to rally straight and found a bit of length. Beachill rallied with him and waited to win but it was not to

Beachill served seven times at 7-1 without scoring and gradually the points slipped away - at first incidentally and then worringly. In a hand it was  4-7 and, in another hand from 4-7 to 7-7.

The England bench sat mute, stunned, as Gaultier got his racket up earlier to stop Beachill's clearance and earned him a stroke. The Frenchman was at matchball.

In frantic scenes it swung back and forth.

Beachill won serve back and then was awarded a stroke to howls from the French bench. Gaultier got through to 9 with a brilliant volley kill. He passed Beachill but blocked him when the French were on their feet and a let was played.

A careless smash in the tin gave Beachill a chance. A questionable no let penalised him and Matthew was on his feet unable to stop screaming at the referee, as there was general pandemonium.

It gave the initiative back to the French at 9 all and Gaultier won it with a backhand volley.

The English, stunned, clapped. The French were on court screaming, hugging running around the court in a bizarre train. Nicol came over and congratulated them.

The Marseillaise rang out. The French were in the final for the first time.

Nicol Down ...
England no.1 Peter Nicol crashed to Frenchman Thierry Lincou in the semi-final here this evening, going down 8-10, 9-4, 9-7, 9-2. The first game was taken to a tie -break by Lincou who came back to level 8 all but he could not finish it although he left the court perturbed.

"In the first and second we had huge rallies but I knew he was going to pay," said Lincou. "I controlled the T and at the end he was a bit tired because he had a hard match yesterday" (with Jonathon Power).

In the second Lincou was superb, controlling play and finishing the rallies, but in the third as Nicol's play became more laboured he kept his opponent in the game with a handful of unforced errors. Then the ball broke.

"That was the turning point," said Lincou. "It was a bit faster. I got my length again which I had lost and got the opening. It gave me extra speed."

That game took time to close out and Nicol, although struggling, almost got away with it, for he desperately needed this game, reached 7-5 on some Lincou carelessness before the Frenchman grabbed the initiative with a beautiful winning drop of the back wall to regain serve and then surge back to take the game 9-7.

He screamed in excitement at the end as it he had won, fists in the air and Nicol was not to impressed but there was nothing he could do in the fourth. Nicol was jaded and Lincou surged to matchball in a hand and before allowing Nicol two consolation points.

The French were exuberant. England sat glumly on their seats. It was now down to Beachill...

Matthew sets England off
The England selectors made a tough decision, with an eye to the final, before their semi-final against France and decided to rest James Willstrop and give the third place berth to Nick Matthew. He was drawn to face Jean-Michel Arcucci, a great performer for France. Forget the world rankings - Arcucci is a class act and a seasoned performer and he is prepared to die on court for his country.

Here he did not play badly, he tried everything but Matthew had it covered. He lobbed and Matthew hit winning volleys out of the air; he hit hard and low and Matthew collected them and moved the ball easily with telling boasts and drops.

Matthew fully justified his selection and id the job for England 9-1, 9-3, 9-2 in 46 minutes.

"Nick just out played him," said England manager David Pearson. "He dominated the middle, held it and didn't give Arcucci sniff. He only made four unforced errors in the whole match."

Looking at his players and looking ahead to the final Pearson said, "Peter Nicol is OK after playing Power. He is not knackered. Peter has done a lot of work over the last 15 months on his shots and he was able to use them."

"Lee Beachill is an unknown quantity. He just hasn't had a match."

Another Step for Australia
Ian McKenzie reports from Vienna
Joe Kneipp put Australia one step nearer to the final and a chance of defending their world team title with an opening win (in the 3, 1, 2 order of play) over the Egyptian no.3 Mohamed Abbas in the semi-finals in Vienna.

Kneipp's control and variety of shot held sway in the first two games but then it fell apart a bit as Abbas bounced back to take the third and go 3-0 up in the fourth. There were nervous cries from the Australian bench exalting Kneipp on, for this was a match Australia wanted under their belt with David Palmer and Anthony Ricketts facing Karim Darwish and Amr Shabana - two dangerous opponents.

"I played well in the first two but then I lost my focus and starting worrying about what my opponent was doing and how he was predicting my game rather than concentrating on my play. When you start doing that it can be disastrous," said Kneipp.

Kneipp went defensive and the tall Abbas is a fine player who needs to b e knocked out of his rhythm. Only when he was down in the fourth did Kneipp regain a simple focus and the confidence to attack. With Kneipp leading 7-4 Abbas halted his opponent's progress before the Australian was able to push through to take the match.

"I was happy to come out of it with a win," said Kneipp. "He is a good player and we needed that start. Our chances are better with the first rubber under our belt."

Palmer puts Australia in final
Australia are in the final of the World Team Championship after no.1 David Palmer saw off Egypt's Karim Darwish 9-5, 8-10, 9-4 9-2 to give them a second win.

Palmer was in control throughout except for a short patch of Darwish brilliance in the second. With Palmer on game ball in the second Darwish fought back and to level. At full stretch using his long lunge he scrapped up what could have been a winning boast and astonished to play an outright winning drop with Palmer right behind him winning game ball. A long angle rebounded loosely but Darwish read Palmer's reply and conjured another winning drop to level the games in two hands to much applause and congratulations from the Egyptian bench.

At 1/1 and 3 all , it was close but, Palmer struck with two unplayable boasts, fast and dying before the side, that left his opponent standing to take the initiative 5-3 before he faltered with two errors for Darwish to close to 4-5. A let refused however proved to be the turning point. Darwish really created the interference on his long lunge but was just short of the ball and took out his frustration with a minor bit of petulance with the racket only to receive a conduct warning. There after he never recovered the serve until 7-0 in the fourth by which time it was all over.

Palmer saw out the game out 9-2.

There was warm applause and Magdi Saad led the Egyptian to congratulate the Australians.

"That is the first real match all week," said Palmer. "I relaxed in the second, went short too early and the ball got cold. Overall I dominated and it was not to bad.

"It has been a goal to win this week. We have been building up to this. It would be nice to win it."

Play off Draws
& Results (Excel)


[1] Australia  3-0  [3] Egypt
David Palmer bt Karim Darwish 9/5 8/10 9/4 9/2 (70m)
Joseph Kneipp bt Mohamed Abbas 9/6 9/4 5/9 9/4 (75m)
Anthony Ricketts bt Amr Shabana  9/5 9/0 (17m)

[2] England  1-2  [4] France
Nick Matthew bt Jean-Michel Arcucci  9/1, 9/3, 9/2 (46m)
Peter Nicol lt Thierry Lincou 10/8, 4/9, 7/9, 2/9 (76m)
Lee Beachill lt Gregory Gaultier  4/9, 9/7, 8/10, 9/1,
9/10 (105m)

5/8: Wales  3-0  Hong Kong
Scotland  1-2 
9/12: South Africa  3-0  Netherlands
Ireland  1-2 
13/16: Malaysia  2-1  Germany
Switzerland  2-1  Sweden
17/20: Italy  2-1  Kuwait
New Zealand  3-0  USA
21/24: Hungary  3-0  Japan
Austria  2-1  Czech Republic
25/28: Finland  3-0  Bermuda
Korea  1-2 
29/30: Mexico  3-0  Russia

 5th - 8th place play-offs:
[7]WALES 3 [17/24]HONG KONG 0 (Alex Gough bt Wong Wai Hang 9-6, 9-1, 9-2; David Evans bt Dick Lau 9-3, 9-5; Gavin Jones bt Roger Ngan 9-2, 9-2, 9-0)

[5]CANADA 2 [6]SCOTLAND 1 (Jonathon Power bt John White 9-5, 4-9, 10-8, 9-7; Graham Ryding bt Martin Heath 4-9, 9-6, 9-6, 9-3; Viktor Berg lost to Neil Frankland 8-10, 9-3, 9-4, 4-9, 5-9)

9th - 12th place play-offs:
[11]SOUTH AFRICA 3 [12]NETHERLANDS 0 (Rodney Durbach bt Tommy Berden 9-4, 9-5, 8-10, 1-9, 9-2; Craig van der Wath bt Lucas Buit 9-6, 9-0; Gregory La Mude bt Michael Fiteni 9-2, 9-5, 9-1)

[9]PAKISTAN 2 [10]IRELAND 1 (Mansoor Zaman bt Derek Ryan 9-3, 9-4, 9-1; Farrukh Zaman lost to John Rooney 6-9, 5-9; Majid Khan bt Graeme Stewart 9-0, 9-0, 9-6)

13th - 16th place play-offs:
[8]MALAYSIA 2 [16]GERMANY 1 (Ong Beng Hee bt Simon Frenz 9-3, 9-6, 4-9, 7-9, 9-5; Moh'd Azlan Iskandar bt Stefan Leifels 9-5, 9-1, 9-1; Timothy Arnold lost to Oliver Post 0-9, 0-9, 2-9)

[15]SWITZERLAND 2 [14]SWEDEN 1 (Lars Harms lost to Christian Drakenberg 3-9, 4-9, 9-4, 8-10; Andre Holderegger bt Joakim Karlsson 9-3, 6-9, 9-1, 9-0; Marco Dätwyler bt Badr Abdel Aziz 9-10, 5-9, 9-7, 9-7, 9-3)

17th-20th place play-offs:
[17/24]ITALY 2 KUWAIT 1 (Andrea Capella lost to Bader Alhosaini 10-8, 3-9, 0-9, 7-9; Francesco Busi bt Ali Alramezi 9-1, 9-1, 9-0; Andrea Torricini bt Abdullah Almezayem 7-9, 9-3, 9-1, 9-1)

[17/24]NEW ZEALAND 3 [17/24]USA 0 (Glen Wilson bt Preston Quick 9-7, 6-9, 6-9, 9-7, 9-2; Daniel Sharplin bt Damian Walker 9-4, 9-3; Callum O'Brien bt Jamie Crombie 9-4, 5-9, 4-9, 9-2, 9-3)

21st-24th place play-offs:
[17/24]AUSTRIA 2 [17/24]CZECH REPUBLIC 1 (Leopold Czaska lost to Jan Koukal 9-6, 9-7, 1-9, 2-9, 1-9; Clemens Wallishauser bt Milos Pokorny 9-2, 9-5, 9-2; Andreas Fuchs bt Martin Stepan 9-3, 9-7, 7-9, 9-1)

HUNGARY 3 [17/24]JAPAN 0 (Andras Torok bt Kimihiko Sano 9-1, 3-9, 9-10, 9-6, 9-3; Mark Krajcsak bt Takehide Nishio 10-8, 9-2; Sandor Fulop bt Takeshi Aoyama 9-3, 9-3, 9-2)

25th-28th place play-offs:
[13]FINLAND 3 BERMUDA 0 (Olli Tuominen bt Nicholas Kyme 9-2, 9-0, 9-7; Juha Raumolin bt James Stout 9-4, 9-5; Matias Tuomi bt Sam Stevens 9-1, 9-2, 9-1)

SLOVENIA 2 KOREA 1 (Damir Bezan lost to Yong-Chun Chong 4-9, 4-9, 5-9; Klemen Gutman bt Dong-Woo Kim 10-9, 9-6, 9-5; Miha Kavas bt Jaung-Gue Park 6-9, 9-0,
9-2, 9-4)

29th place play-off:
[17/24]MEXICO 3 RUSSIA 0 (Eric Galvez bt Alexei Severinov 9-3, 9-5, 9-0; Armando Zarazua bt Serguei Kostrykine 9-1, 9-4; Mauricio Sanchez bt Maxim Shokin
9-1, 9-1, 9-2)

Malcolm Willstrop on THAT match ...

Tuesday's draw, which gave England a quarter-final against Canada, a match of final proportions, meant that the rest or the task was going to be problematic.

France had progressed to the semi-final with less damage and a 2-1 win over Scotland, who have no chance at this level at three.

I doubt if either camp envisaged a Nick Matthew v Jean-Michael Arcucci encounter: the English saw it Matthew v Renan Lavigne, the French probably James Willstrop v Arcucci.

In the event Matthew was far too good: striking purposefully, he only went from strength to strength and crushed the Frenchman impressively 3/0.

Peter Nicol, who followed and Lee Beachill, who played last, both hard extreme but opposite problems: it seemed unlikely that Nicol could recover in time from his epic with Power, which took him deep into his reserves.

Although he gave Thierry Lincou a hard time of it, the tank actually ran dry and the Frenchman, who played some excellent squash, certainly contributed to that. It was a fine match, played in sporting manner, well received by an appreciative packed house.

Gregory Gaultier, who definitively, does not follow the sporting example of his captain and surprisingly urged on by the rest of his camp, gave a vulgar and arrogant display.

Beachill, who had not had a match of any consequence throughout the championship, understandably began slowly, but although Gaultier won the first, Beachill had began to play.

He quickly took the second, but a renewed effort by Gaultier, who played in fits and starts, gave him a 2/1 lead. Beachill quickly levelled at two all and with the ball cooling down romped to 7-1 in the fifth.

A burst ball with renewed bounce gave Gaultier hope and gradually and with much posturing, and mouthed abuse towards the weak referee, who admonished him not at all, and square-on blocking in the front right, he levelled at 7-all. Beachill saved match ball and served for the match at match at 9-8.

He didn¹t make it and it was the Frenchman who got home 10-9.

Throughout a distasteful display by Gaultier, which included mimicking one of his opponent¹s winning shots, how low can you sink?

Beachill remained sporting and dignified, so England may have lost a match, but gained some approval. Certainly several people, none of who were English, whom I respect, have said as much.


Day Five, Thu 23rd
England survive as
Canada implode ...

The top four teams will contest the semi-finals, with Australia cruising, Egypt and France fretting, and England surviving ... somehow.
It was as if the Canada v England match was destined for incident and farce.
Ian McKenzie reports from Vienna

England have survived, and Peter Nicol survived another marathon against Jonathon Power. But I do not know how.

Nicol took the first two games 9-3, 9-3 against Jonathon Power but then the magic in Power's racket came alive. The rallies were carefully paced as Power's touch and nicks flowed easily as he interspersed length, volleys, lobs and attack - all so easily as if it was the most natural thing in the world - and Nicol kept working, countering  when he could, while we marvelled at the masterful if flawed Power.

Power took the third  9-2 quickly, the fourth  9-4 in a friendly enough encounter. At one stage Nicol came to the door when referee Jack Allen was warning Power for unnecessary physical contact, (when he found Nicol in his diagonal path and crashed into him) and explained it was an accident. 

Power controlled the rallies but there were errors. He moved Nicol all over the court and his kills, hit so easily, died so easily before the short line.

He passed Nicol almost at will, sensing Nicol presence and hitting wide just out of Nicol's despairing reach or straight angled to rebound off the side wall and around behind him. Nicol twisted and turned and ran, but at 5-1 down in the fifth Power was totally in control. This was a Power masterclass.

Then a few points just slipped away. Suddenly Nicol was a little closer. Then Power tinned on a drop to give Nicol 4-5, and screamed "No", for the nightmare of his 'choke' in the British Open semi-final rushed into his brain. He hit the tin on a drop again - and then again - all unforced and Nicol, rejuvenated, scored a beautiful crosscourt nick and backed into Power taking  the ball late to earn a stoke and matchball.

It had all slipped away in one remarkable, nightmarish, hand.

Power saved matchball 5-8 forcing a winner, saved it again three times as he came back (Interestingly the WSF discussed the merits of Standard and PARS scoring today at their conference - this comeback would not have been possible in PARS scoring.)

Then Power was beaten by a crosscourt, dived frantically and doubled up in pain on the floor. Bizarrely Nicol bent down to bend his toes up and stretch his calves as the Canadian support flowed onto court and Referee Jack Allen fought his way down the stairs. 

They shouted at each other, Power claiming he had hurt his knee. Allen was unimpressed, diagnosing cramp and finally got play underway again - as is required if the 'injury' is merely cramp. Power stood awkwardly, dejected. He hobbled into play and attacked, hopeful for a nick off Nicol's serve.

Nicol lobbed, and lobbed again, and all Power could do was hobble into the back and bash the ball back into himself to give Nicol an astonishing victory; 9-3, 9-3, 2-9, 4-9, 9-6 in 99 minutes and keep England's world title hopes alive.

"I knew I could do it," said Nicol.

The no.3 string match followed Power and Nicol, which had ended in bizarre circumstances, and 2 hours 16 minutes after the second match  began, ended bizarrely with the Canadian no.2 Graham Ryding standing  up and yelling  to the referee.

"You may as well give him the whole match."  Only to be told by the referee, "Quiet or  you will not hear the end of it." And Power, at the end when the nervous referee tried to relieve the tension by clapping the players, yelled accusingly "Why are you clapping?".

This was a close match with Rizak playing beautifully at times, moving the ball easily with boasts to keep Willstrop working but then not being particularly incisive with his finish which lead to long rallies. All interesting enough.

Willstrop took the first 9-3, Razik levelled  9-5 and led 3-1 in the third  but mistakes crept in gradually and the game moved away from him 9-5. They were careful, slow paced  rallies, with lobs, varied pace drives, straight drops feed from deep, but from 6-5 Willstrop had the  momentum and went away from Razik in a hand to take the game.

At the start of the fourth  there was a clash as Razik banged into Willstrop giving him a dead leg, and a delay. There was much confusion as Willstrop went away for treatment with referee Allanach keeping the spectators informed as best he could and announcing it as a 'contributed injury' which allowed one hour recovery time.

At the resumption, after 44 minutes Willstrop took a while to settle to his work, while Razik went to 3-0 before Willstrop  edged ahead 4-3. A brilliant low crosscourt drive from Willstrop that got away from the Canadian and in frustration he threw his racket into the side wall - rather too forcefully for it ricocheted  around the wall and arrived at the front of the court. Referee Allanach was quite right with the conduct stroke for racket abuse which took Willstrop to  6-3 and increased Razik's frustration considerably.

A no let decision that by general agreement was not one of Allanach's best decisions, and unfortunately crucial, rather compounded things for Razik. He pretended to throw his racket at the referee,  and dropped it. Allanach again wasn't impressed and awarded a conduct stroke for racket abuse. Matchball to  Willstrop.

Ryding and Power were not impressed. The last ball from Razik went out. Willstrop won it  9-3, 5-9, 9-5, 9-3 in 2 hours 16 minutes and England were in the semi-finals.

Just to add a little salt into Canadian wounds  Ryding beat Beachill  9-5, 10-8. It was a dead rubber of course, but Canada must feel it could all have been so different.

France sneak through
Almost un-noticed in the drama of the England v Canada match, third seeds France duly progressed to the semi-finals. John White gave Scotland hope with a 3/0 win over Thierry Lincou, but Renan Lavigne and Gregory Gaultier snuffed out the Scottish challenge to set up a semi-final clash with England.

Play off stage
Draws & Results (Excel)


[1] Australia 3-0 Hong Kong
Anthony Ricketts bt Faheem Khan  9/1, 9/5, 9/5
Joe Kneipp bt Dick Lau  9/3, 9/0
Paul Price bt Roger Ngan  9/1, 9/4, 9/4

[3] Egypt 2-1 [7] Wales
Karim Darwish lt Alex Gough  9/6, 2/9, 5/9, 1/9
Amr Shabana bt David Evans  5/9, 9/4, 9/3, 9/6
Mohammed Abbas bt Gavin Jones 9/2, 9/3,9/3    

[4] France 2-1 [6] Scotland
Thierry Lincou lt John White 1/9, 6/9, 7/9
Gregory Gaultier bt Martin Heath  5/9, 9/4, 9/6, 9/1
Renan Lavigne bt Peter O'Hara  9/1, 9/3, 9/3 

[2] England 2-1 [5] Canada
Peter Nicol bt Jonathon Power 9/3, 9/2, 2/9, 4/9, 9/6  99m
Lee Beachill lt Graham Ryding  5/9, 8/10  28m
James Willstrop bt Shahier Razik  9/3, 5/9, 9/5, 9/3 136m (44m injury break)

9/16 Quarters:
Netherlands 3-0 Malaysia
South Africa 3-0 Germany
Ireland 3-0 Switzerland
Pakistan 3-0 Sweden

17/24 Quarters:
Italy 3-0 Japan
Kuwait 2-1 Hungary
USA 2-1 Austria
New Zealand 2-1 Czech Republic

25/30 Quarters:
Finland 2-1 Mexico
Korea 3-0 Russia

Malcolm Willstrop reflects
on an epic quarter-final ...

The draw did no favours to either Canada or England when it brought them together in the quarter-finals.

Nor did the intransigent organisers act sensibly when, despite protestations from England's management and incredulity from Jonathon Power, they insisted on playing the match on an outside court with limited viewing. The court was full at half past three for a start time of five o'clock. Spectators were right up to the glass back wall, reminiscent, for some, of the days when crowds were allowed to overspill at football and cricket matches.

There was little room for coaches and players and with matches in full flow in either side - one between Austria and USA, where noise was violent for obvious reasons, the scenarios was nightmarish.

To their credit Peter Nicol and Jonathon Power got on with it and it was Nicol who promptly asserted, with quality drops and finely paced lobs, to a 2/0 lead.

But then the lack of work since bronchitis at The British Open became apparent, the Canadian maestro applied subtle touches - 2/0 became 2/2 and in the fifth 5-1 to Power. But Nicol is never done with and showing fortitude that once would have served him well at Bannockburn and now at Agincourt, he levelled at 5 all, eked errors out of Power's increasing self-doubt and got to 8-5. The Canadian fell at this point, cramped violently, it seemed, and produced a performance of Oscar-winning dimensions. Referee Jack Allen found his way through the crowd onto the court like the Sheriff of Nottingham and instructed Power to play on, as the fall was self-inflicted. The Canadian rose to his feet, tottered almost comically around.

Nicol served for the match and that was that. So it was on James Willstrop's young, but square shoulder to close out England's semi-final place against Shahier Razik. The World Junior champion took immediate control and selecting shots appropriately from Razik's paceless game, he won the first 9-3 comfortably. Razik began to use delicately floated angles and feathered drops to effect and aided by errors in the middle part of the game he levelled at 1-1. Willstrop maintained composure and in the third he squeezed the errors and led 2/1. At the beginning of the fourth, Razik's knee with into Willstrop's calf and as the rules allow he was allowed time to recover.

After treatment for a dead leg Willstrop recovered in half an hour and quickly got back on course to lead 6-3. Two conduct strokes against Razik, both for racket abuse, settled the match and England were set for a semi-final with France.

Wales worry Egypt,
Hong Kong bow out ...

Welsh no.1 Alex Gough, no.17 in the world rankings, scored an upset win over Egypt's leading player Karim Darwish, no.9 in the ranking to throw the World Team Championships temporarily into turmoil and open up the possibility of a semi-final clash between Wales and Australia. Gough won 6-9, 9-2, 9-5, 9-1.

In the day's 1, 3, 2 order of play Gavin Jones went down in straight games to Egypt's Mohamed Abbas to set up the decider between Welsh no.2 David Evans and Egypt's Amr Shabana.

"We are always annoying for the other teams to play," said Gough. "There is no pressure and we have been there."

"At 6-all in the first I let him to the front and lost it quickly. After that I thought, 'you are going to the back for a bit'. As soon as I put him in the back for a while 3, 4 or 5 shots he always gave me something in the front and I was able to do something with it - a trickle boast or bang it past him. I thought the second was going to be harder.

"In the third I was 5-3 down and buried him a bit and he gave me the front of the court for the rest of the game. At 7-5 he didn't run too hard and at 8-5 he didn't even run for it," added Gough who will be 33 in December.

"He is in the top 10 but he has his weaknesses. I felt I could beat him."

Evans gave the Welsh a good start in the decider with a 9-5 first game, lost the second 9-3 after being penalised for a stroke won by Shabana with an over-extended backswing at 6-3 and a stalemate at 7-3.

The third was close, Evans coming back to 3-3 after falling behind and unnecessarily getting involved with Referee Ian Allanach who insisted on over-talking his complaints and dispensing a conduct warning. At this point Shabana snapped  in a drive early with fast hands  - overall he looked a bit sharper than Evans - and a straight nick off the back wall. Evans fought back with a neat long angle that died but Shabana duplicated it a few rallies later.  Tight dying length forced out the shots to attack and he finished it confidently with a winning crosscourt volley nick.

This match was an exciting  climax to the afternoon play with the left handed Shabana playing straight both long and short while Evans failed to impose himself in the centre of the court with his volley, reach and deception.

There was still much to play for however but Evans was just a fraction off the pace. Shabana earned a conduct warning himself at the beginning of the fourth game after his pantomine to the referee .

"I hit the ball and then went like that"  he said to the referee, falling on this knees and stumbling over - all by myself? He quickly closed the gap that Evans had opened up aided by a stroke which earned howls of derision and went 5-3 ahead  in a hand. Then he used his shots to established  a 7-3 led and make  the 6 foot 5 inch Evans bend down to scrape low in the front - straight drops and variations from front court, long angles, volley nicks and volley straight drops gave him the initiative.  Welsh hopes were still alive as Evans staged a comeback to 6-7 and perhaps it was only 6-8 when Shabana dived  full length to recover front court and then got up to volley Evans' reply that the Welshman realised this was not his or Wales' day.

A volley drop  finished  it off after 75 minutes Wales' hopes ended, Egypt's were still alive. They go through to face a fresh Australia in the semi-final.

Australia were untroubled to stop Hong Kong 3-0, who did it all yesterday to make the last eight for the first time. Hong Kong did not bother with their strongest side, bowing to the inevitable and saving their energy for the 5-8 play-off.

Day Four, Wednesday 22nd:
Giant-Killers Hong Kong
Progress To World Quarters
From Howard Harding

Hong Kong produced their best ever victory in the history of the Men's World Team Squash Championship when they upset Asian rivals Malaysia, the eighth seeds, in the last sixteen knockout stage in Vienna, Austria, to guarantee a last eight finish for the first time.

This is Hong Kong's tenth appearance in the event since making their debut in 1979 - when they achieved their highest ever 13th place finish. 

The only team seeded outside the top sixteen to make the last sixteen, Hong Kong lost the opening match when Malaysia's world No7 Ong Beng Hee beat the team's unranked Faheem Khan 9-5 9-1 9-7.  Hong Kong levelled the tie when squad No3 Roger Ngan raced to a 9-6 9-2 9-0 win over Kelvin Ho.

The decider between the two second string players should have been a formality:  Malaysia fielding fast -improving Mohamed Azlan Iskandar, a young player with a PSA Tour title already under his belt, and Hong Kong a recently-crowned National champion Wong Wai Hang, who is little known elsewhere in the world. 

Wong, however, showed determination from the outset and after 77 minutes claimed the biggest scalp of his life in a 9-4 7-9 9-7 9-0 scoreline - and lifted his country into the sport's big league with a 2/1 victory.

Malaysian national team coach Raymond Arnold who was very disappointed with the outcome told Malaysia's Star Online: "Beng Hee played to form but Kelvin and Azlan could not deliver. I was very disappointed with Kelvin. He lost to a junior player. The manner in which Kelvin lost was totally unacceptable. He was never in the game.

"Azlan was very sluggish. He was also under pressure to deliver the winning point," said Raymond in a telephone interview from Vienna.

Hong Kong now face top seeds and defending champions Australia, who despatched Netherlands 3/0 without conceding a game.

All the other last sixteen ties produced 3/0 wins for the higher seeded teams - with second seeds England beating former champions Pakistan, third seeds France overcoming Ireland, and fourth seeds Egypt triumphing over South Africa.

The pick of the quarter-final ties is surely England versus fifth seeds Canada, in which one of the sport's greatest rivalries is likely to be enacted in the top string line-up when England's reigning world No1 Peter Nicol faces Canada's former world No1 Jonathon Power.

The play-offs for the lower places produced two notable upsets when unseeded Kuwait consigned 13th seeds Finland to their lowest ever finish in twelve appearances in a 2/1 defeat - and event newcomers Hungary crushed 17/24 seeds Mexico 3/0.

Play off stage
Draws & Results (Excel)

Last sixteen round:
[1] AUSTRALIA 3 [12] NETHERLANDS 0 (David Palmer bt Tommy Berden 10-8, 9-4, 9-6; Anthony Ricketts bt Lucas Buit 9-6, 9-0; Paul Price bt Dylan Bennett 9-0, 9-2, 9-0)

[17/24] HONG KONG 2 [8] MALAYSIA 1 (Faheem Khan lost to Ong Beng Hee 5-9, 1-9, 7-9; Wong Wai Hang bt Moh''d Azlan Iskandar 9-4, 7-9, 9-7, 9-0; Roger Ngan bt Kelvin Ho 9-6, 9-2, 9-0)

[4] EGYPT 3 [11] SOUTH AFRICA 0 (Karim Darwish bt Rodney Durbach 9-3, 9-2, 9-1; Amr Shabana bt Craig van der Wath 9-3, 8-10, 9-2; Mohamed Abbas bt Gregory La Mude 9-1, 9-2, 9-0)

[7] WALES 3 [16] GERMANY 0 (Alex Gough bt Simon Frenz 9-7, 9-1, 9-10, 9-1; David Evans bt Stefan Leifels 9-3, 9-1; Gavin Jones bt Oliver Post 9-2, 9-4, 9-6)

[6] SCOTLAND 3 [15] SWITZERLAND 0 (John White bt Lars Harms 9-2, 9-6, 9-3; Martin Heath bt Andre Holderegger 9-3, 9-3; Neil Frankland bt Kevin Villiger 9-6, 9-0, 9-0)

[3] FRANCE 3 [10] IRELAND 0 (Thierry Lincou bt John Rooney 9-1, 9-1, 9-2; Gregory Gaultier bt Graeme Stewart 9-3, 9-3; Jean-Michel Arcucci bt Niall Rooney 9-2, 9-6, 9-4)

[5] CANADA 3 [14] SWEDEN 0 (Jonathon Power bt Christian Drakenberg 9-0, 9-1, 9-2; Graham Ryding bt Henrik Löfvenborg 9-4, 9-4; Shahier Razik bt Badr Abdel Aziz 9-6, 9-2, 9-2)

[2] ENGLAND 3 [9] PAKISTAN 0 (Peter Nicol bt Mansoor Zaman 9-3, 9-5, 9-0; Lee Beachill bt Farrukh Zaman 9-1, 5-9, 9-6; James Willstrop bt Majid Khan 7-9, 9-1, 9-2, 9-5)

17th-30th place play-offs:
KUWAIT 2 [13] FINLAND 1 (Bader Alhosaini lost to Olli Tuominen 5-9, 4-9, 0-9; Ali Alramezi bt Hameed Ahmed 9-6, 9-2, 9-0; Abdullah Almezayem bt Matias Tuomi 9-0, 10-8, 9-7)

HUNGARY 3 [17/24] MEXICO 0 (Andras Torok bt Eric Galvez 6-9, 9-7, 9-3, 0-9, 9-6; Mark Krajcsak bt Armando Zarazua 9-5, 9-5; Sandor Fulop bt Mauricio Sanchez 7-9, 9-0, 7-9, 9-3, 9-4)

[17/24] ITALY 3 BERMUDA 0 (Andrea Capella bt Nicholas Kyme 9-6, 9-5, 6-9, 1-9, 10-8; Francesco Busi bt James Stout 9-2, 9-0; Andrea Torricini bt Sam Stevens 9-6, 9-0, 9-2)

[17/24] CZECH REPUBLIC 3 SLOVENIA 0 (Jan Koukal bt Gasper Fecur 9-4, 9-5, 9-0; Milos Pokorny bt Damir Bezan 9-5, 4-9, 9-0; Martin Stepan bt Klemen Gutman 7-9, 9-3, 9-6, 9-7)

[17/24] USA 3 RUSSIA 0 (Preston Quick bt Alexei Severinov 9-0, 9-1, 9-3; Damian Walker bt Maxim Shokin 9-3, 9-4; Tim Wyant bt Andrei Bratter 9-1, 9-1, 9-1)

[17/24] AUSTRIA 3 KOREA 0 (Leopold Czaska bt Yong-Chun Chong 9-3, 9-0, 9-1; Clemens Wallishauser bt Dong-Woo Kim 9-4, 9-0; Andreas Fuchs bt Jaung-Gue Park 9-1, 9-3, 9-3)

Day Three, Tuesday 21st:
Down to the knockout
Hong Kong became the only unexpected nation to make the last sixteen of the Men's World Team Squash Championship after beating Bermuda in today's final qualifying round in Vienna, Austria.

Hong Kong's 2/1 win over the unseeded newcomers gave the team a second place finish in Pool D, behind winners Egypt, the fourth seeds, but ahead of 13th seeds Finland whom they beat on the opening day.

Hong Kong will face 8th seeds Malaysia in an all-Asian second stage knockout clash. Malaysia ensured top place in Pool H after a 3/0 win over Italy.

Despite resting world champion David Palmer, top seeds and defending champions Australia swept to a 3/0 victory over event debutants Russia to clinch top position in Pool A, ahead of second-placed Germany, the 16th seeds. Australia next meet 12th seeds Netherlands, runners-up to Canada in Pool E but 3/0 winners today against Czech Republic.

Second seeds England also finished their qualifying campaign with maximum points after beating 15th seeds Switzerland 3/0 in Pool B. World No1 Peter Nicol finally made his long-awaited debut for England in the championships, leading his country to victory with a 9-0 9-4 9-3 win over Swiss No1 Lars Harms. England renew their long-time rivalry with Pakistan in the last sixteen after the 9th seeds finished as runners-up in Pool H.

Third seeds France established their superiority in Pool C with a 3/0 win over Slovenia and take up a place in the lower half of the last sixteen draw, where they will face 10th seeds Ireland for a place in the quarter-finals.
Full Pool Results:
Pool A | Pool B | Pool C
Pool D | Pool E | Pool F 
Pool G | Pool H

The full last sixteen draw is:
[8] MALAYSIA v [17/24] HONG KONG
[7] WALES v [16] GERMANY
[5] CANADA v [14] SWEDEN

Draw for places 17-30:
Japan v bye
Italy v Bermuda
Finland v Kuwait
Mexico v Hungary
Usa v Russia
Austria v Korea
Slovenia v Czech Republic
New Zealand v bye


Day Two, Monday 20th:
Hosts Austria Slay Slovenia
From Howard Harding

Hosts Austria delighted local fans at the Wellness Park Centre in the Vienna suburb of Oberlaa when they recorded their first victory in the Men's World Team Squash Championship.

After losing to third seeds France in the opening tie in Pool C, Austria beat unseeded event newcomers Slovenia 3-0 in the second qualifying round to keep alive their hope of reaching the last sixteen play-offs on Wednesday.  To do so, they will need to beat 14th seeds Sweden, who lost 3-0 to France in the other second round tie in Pool C.

Second seeds England secured their second successive maximum points win without the services of top string Peter Nicol - the world No1 who has yet to make his England debut in the Championships after last appearing for Scotland some years ago.  Nicol, who is still recovering from the flu symptoms which hampered his British Open progress earlier in the month, watched team-mates Lee Beachill, James Willstrop and Nick Matthew lead the 1995 and 1997 champions to a 3/0 win over New Zealand, one of only two teams to have competed in each Men's World Team Championship since the inaugural event in Australia in 1967.

Favourites Australia, the defending champions who are also recording their 19th appearance in the event, brushed aside 16th seeds Germany 3/0 in Pool A and will now face Japan, who beat unseeded newcomers Russia 3/0.


Peter Nicol is being nursed through the opening phase of the World Team Championships in Vienna amid fears that he might not be fit enough to play.

Nicol has been rested by the England management from the opening two matches against Hungary and New Zealand after suffering from a viral complaint picked up during the British Open.

Nicol ran himself to a standstill to beat Canada's Jonathon Power in an epic semi-final clash in Nottingham but the efforts required to win that 112-minute marathon have had lasting effects on the world's No.1 player.

He lost in straight games to Australia's David Palmer in the final and was totally exhausted by his efforts.

He revealed: "I had a cold before playing Jonathon and I have been on antibiotics ever since."

Responding to criticism of the British Open tournament schedule, which required him to contest the final less than 17 hours after completing such a gruelling semi-final, Nicol said: "It wouldn't have mattered how long I had to recover."

Canada Confident
"We're playing very well and we certainly didn't take our opponents lightly in the round robin," Viktor Berg told CBC Sports, after Canada secured top spot in group E with a 3/0 win over the Netherlands.

"We feel this is one of the best teams we've ever assembled for these world championships," added Berg.

Jonathon Power of Montreal, the world's fifth-ranked player, opened against the Netherlands with a 4-9, 9-4, 9-2, 9-1 victory over Tommy Berden. Toronto's Graham Ryding, No. 17, then defeated Lucas Buit, 9-2, 9-7, 9-4 before Berg, from Richmond, B.C., completed the sweep, 9-4, 9-5, 9-4 over Michael Fiteni.

Canada enjoys a day off on Tuesday while the remaining 15 survivors are determined.

"Having that extra off day should be an advantage for us," Berg figured. "It'll allow us to have a really good practice before heading into the next round."

Day One, Sunday 19th:
Hong Kong Stage Upset
On Day One
from Howard Harding

While the top countries cruised through the opening day's qualifying action in the Men's World Team Squash Championship in the Austrian capital of Vienna without incident, Hong Kong pulled off a notable upset over 13th seeds Finland.

Seeded in the 17-24 group, Hong Kong's Wong Wai Hang gave his country a lift with a 9-0 9-5 9-3 victory over Finland's former touring pro Juha Raumolin.  Olli Tuominen, a surprise British Open quarter-finalist earlier in the month, levelled the tie for Finland with a 9-1 9-0 9-3 win over long-time Hong Kong stalwart Faheem Khan - but Dick Lau clinched the 2-1 victory for the outsiders after twice coming from behind to beat Finland's Matias Tuomi 0-9 9-1 6-9 9-7 9-2.

Hong Kong now face fourth seeds Egypt, winners of the title in 1999, who cruised to a 3-0 win over event newcomers Bermuda in the other match in Pool D.

Favourites and defending champions Australia, who have arrived in Austria without world No9 Stewart Boswell who is still suffering with a back injury, secured a straightforward 3-0 win over Japan, dropping just four points in the process.  No2 seeds England, champions in 1995 and 1997, rested world No1 Peter Nicol in their opening clash with unseeded Hungary. 

World junior champion James Willstrop, making his senior world championship debut, put England ahead with a 9-5 9-7 9-0 win over Hungary's Mark Krajcsak, then twice British national champion Lee Beachill ensured victory for the former champions by beating Andras Torok 9-1 9-0 9-1.  Fourth string Nick Matthew, also making his debut in the event, wrapped up the maximum points success with a 9-1 9-1 9-5 win over Sandor Fulop.

The closest tie of the day saw Malaysia endorse their eighth seeding over ninth seeds Pakistan with a 2-1 win over their Asian rivals.  Mohammed Azlan Iskandar put Malaysia into the lead with a 9-5 9-3 9-10 9-0 win over Farrukh Zaman before world No7 Ong Beng Hee clinched victory for the eighth seeds after climbing back from 2-0 down and match-ball in the fourth to beat Pakistan's world No15 Mansoor Zaman 4-9 2-9 9-3 10-9 9-5. 

Teenager Majid Khan, in his first world championship, restored the six-times champions' reputation in the event with a 9-1 9-2 9-1 victory over Malaysia's third string Kelvin Ho to give Pakistan a valuable final point.


Full Pool Results:
Pool A | Pool B | Pool C
Pool D | Pool E | Pool F 
Pool G | Pool H


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