RESULTS: World Team Championship, Mulhouse, France
Final (all ties played in team order 3, 1, 2):
 ENGLAND bt  EGYPT 2/1 Daryl Selby bt Tarek Momen 11-5, 11-3, 11-7 (54m) Nick Matthew lost to Ramy Ashour 11-5, 6-11, 9-11, 9-11 (65m) James Willstrop bt Karim Darwish 11-3, 11-13, 11-3, 11-4 (69m)
3rd place play-off:  FRANCE bt  AUSTRALIA 2/0 Mathieu Castagnet bt Ryan Cuskelly 8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6 (123m) Gregory Gaultier bt Cameron Pilley 11-9, 11-4, 11-4 (52m)
5th place play-off:  GERMANY bt  SOUTH AFRICA 2/0 Jens Schoor bt Clinton Leeuw 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3 (60m) Simon Rosner bt Stephen Coppinger 6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-2 (46m)
7th place play-off:  INDIA bt  MALAYSIA 2/0 Mahesh Mangaonkar bt Muhd Asyraf Azan 14-12, 11-4, 11-7 (49m) Saurav Ghosal bt Ong Beng Hee 6-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-9 (59m)
9th place play-off:  SCOTLAND bt  PAKISTAN 2/1 Douglas Kempsell lost to Farhan Mehboob 3-11, 4-11, 5-11 (26m) Alan Clyne bt Nasir Iqbal 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (23m) Greg Lobban bt Farhan Zaman 11-2, 11-6, 11-9 (31m)
11th place play-off:  CANADA bt  USA 2/0 David Letourneau bt Gilly Lane 8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9 (66m) Shawn Delierre bt Christopher Gordon 12-10, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5 (75m)
13th place play-off:  HONG KONG CHINA bt  FINLAND 2/1 Cheuk Yan Tang bt Matias Tuomi 10-12, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 (60m) Max Lee lost to Olli Tuominen 5-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-1, 7-11 (53m) Leo Au bt Henrik Mustonen 11-5, 11-2, 11-2
15th place play-off:  NEW ZEALAND bt  MEXICO 2/0 Paul Coll bt Eric Galvez 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 (44m) Martin Knight bt Arturo Salazar 11-5, 5-11, 13-11, 7-11, 11-1 (47m)
17th place play-off: [17/20] SWITZERLAND bt [17/20] NETHERLANDS 2/0 Jonas Daehler bt Bart Ravelli 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 (22m) Nicolas Mueller bt Laurens Jan Anjema 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 3-11, 11-7 (64m)
19th place play-off: [17/20] KUWAIT bt [21/24] ARGENTINA 2/0 Yousif Nizar Saleh bt Juan Pablo Roude 13-11, 11-7, 11-7 (39m) Abdullah Al Muzayen bt Hernan D’Arcangelo 9-11, 12-10, 12-10, 14-12 (59m)
21st place play-off: [17/20] COLOMBIA bt [25/28] JAPAN 2/0 Andres Vargas bt Ryosei Kobayashi 11-7, 11-3, 11-4 (42m) Miguel Angel Rodriguez bt Shinnosuke Tsukue 11-2, 11-9, 11-5 (27m)
23rd place play-off: [21/24] IRELAND bt [21/24] BOTSWANA 2/1 Steve Richardson bt Koketso Ntshebe 11-2, 11-8, 12-10 (31m) Arthur Gaskin lost to Alister Walker 6-11, 4-11, 4-11 (25m) Brian O’Brion bt Lekgotla Mosope 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 (30m)
25th place play-off: [25/28] CZECH REPUBLIC bt [29/31] KENYA 2/0 Ondrej Uherka bt Rajdeep Bains 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (29m) Ondrej Ertl bt Kenneth Mwangi 11-9, 11-7, 12-10 (39m)
27th place play-off: [25/28] POLAND bt [29/31] RUSSIA 3/0 Lukasz Stachowski bt Sergei Beljaev 11-0, 11-6, 11-4 (17m) Wojtek Nowisz bt Valery Litvinko 11-8, 11-7, 12-14, 11-4 (42m) Przemyslaw Atras bt Dmitri Grishanin 11-4, 11-2 (11m)
29th place play-off: [21/24] AUSTRIA bt [25/28] VENEZUELA 2/0 Marcus Greslehner bt Miguel Vallennilla 11-6, 11-4, 11-8 (21m) Aqeel Rehman bt Gabriel Teran 11-0, 11-1, 11-5 (16m)
31st place: [29/31] NAMIBIA
In a dramatic final of the WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship in France which went the full distance, second seeds England upset defending champions Egypt to reclaim the sport’s most prestigious trophy for the fifth time since 1995.
Daryl Selby put the underdogs ahead before world number one Ramy Ashour evened matters for Egypt, the top seeds bidding to become the first nation since 1987 to win the title three times in a row.
In the decider, world No4 James Willstrop made up for his loss to Karim Darwish at the same stage of the previous final two years ago to beat the world No5 11-3, 11-13, 11-3, 11-5 to clinch the title for England for the first time since 2007.
31 nations have been competing in the 24th edition of the championship which is being staged in France for the first time in its 46-year history. Play has been taking place at two venues in Mulhouse, the Espace Squash 3000 Centre and the Palais Des Sports where, for the first time, matches have been played simultaneously on three ASB all-glass showcourts spectacularly lined up side-by-side.
England made a great start when team number three Selby beat Tarek Momen 11-5, 11-3, 11-7 in his first win over the higher-ranked Egyptian for over three years.
“I am much fitter now than I was,” said Selby when asked to explain the end of his losing run to Momen.
“The focus of my training for the last six months has been for this match,” continued the world No14. “The England team has taken this event extremely seriously. Watching James and Nick last night was an inspiration – the amount of effort they put in was phenomenal. I just wanted to put in the same – and if that helps us win the title I’ll be happy.
“The whole England Squash team put in a lot of effort and energy into the elite programme – and that win was the repayment of that investment. It’s also repaying the support from my family and, of course, there’s new member of my family since last time. In years to come, I would like him (baby son Noah) to be able to say that Daddy was a world champion for England.
“I couldn’t have dreamed of a better performance – my good friend Peter (Barker) would have been watching – as I watched him last time do the same thing to Hisham Ashour.
“This is a fantastic event – the organisers have done a great job – and it’s a great honour to be part of the England team.”
Nick Matthew, who prevailed in the event’s longest match when he beat the hosts’ world No2 Gregory Gaultier in a 138-minute semi-final marathon less than 24 hours earlier, was unable to stop world No1 Ramy Ashour from levelling the tie. Ashour extended his unbeaten run in the event over the last six years when he beat Matthew 5-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9.
But Willstrop was the underdogs’ hero, taking out Darwish in 69 minutes of tense squash to bring the world title back into England hands.
“It doesn’t get much bigger – does it?” said the 29-year-old Yorkshireman as he tried to take in the achievement.
“We’ve worked so hard for this – we’ve had unbelievable support from England Squash back home,” Willstrop continued. “Nick made an amazing contribution last night.
“We had so many disappointments along the way after last year – so it’s nice to get the trophy back.
“We’ve got a great rivalry with the Egyptians and Ramy has had a lot of success – so it’s lovely when all the work pays off.”
England national coach Chris Robertson was delighted with his team’s success: “It’s good to win something you deserve to win – and I think we deserved to win this title tonight.
“Our goal is to win things – it was very disappointing to lose the final two years ago in Paderborn and also the women’s world final in Nimes last year.
“And it was good to see James exorcise his demons of Paderborn.
“I hope this will inspire some of the younger players back home – we need them to realise that they can also wins things.
“And of course this win is important as we look forward to next year’s Commonwealth Games.”
Earlier, to the ecstatic delight of the packed crowd at the Palais des Sports, hosts France won the bronze medal play-off battle against Australia – the third seeds beating the fourth-seeded former champions 2/0.
Squad number three Mathieu Castagnet survived a tense and close encounter against Ryan Cuskelly, twice coming from behind to beat the Aussie left-hander 8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6. Showing few signs of the marathon encounter less than 24 hours earlier against England number one Matthew – after which he was barely able to walk – Gregory Gaultier put in a composed performance to overcome world No13 Cameron Pilley 11-9, 11-4, 11-4.
Team coach Renan Lavigne admitted that a team effort, involving the team physio, his staff and all the players helped lift Gaultier after his energy-sapping semi. “He said to me this morning ‘I want to play’,” said Lavigne.
“Right now I’m just relieved. It’s been a long week – and a long night last night, which was hard work.
“We were aiming for a podium finish so any medal is great – though gold would have been better!
“I have no regrets about last night – I can’t complain about losing such a monster semi. Nick played an incredible game.”
Sixth seeds Germany beat South Africa 2/0 to win the play-off for fifth place – recording their highest ever finish. “It was a fantastic performance by my team,” said German team manager Oliver Pettke. “It’s unbelievable to be fifth in the world – I am so proud of my team.
“We had a lot of German support here which was great – and I am sure our success will give squash a big push back home.
“I don’t want to think about what we might achieve next time, that’s two years away – now we should just enjoy the moment!”
India also celebrated their best finish since 1979, bettering their seeding by beating Malaysia 2/0 in the play-off for seventh place. Mahesh Mangaonkar beat Muhd Asyraf Azan 14-12, 11-4, 11-7 before Indian number one Saurav Ghosal recovered from two games down to defeat seasoned opponent Ong Beng Hee 6-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-9.
“It was a great effort today by Saurav and Mahesh, it’s so tough playing on the last day,” said India coach Cyrus Poncha. “I’m pleased with the results and confident that we will keep improving our rankings in the years to come. Most of all, I’m happy finishing as the highest Asian nation.”
Ghosal added: “It’s been a tough week, but I think we all played well and are pleased to finish today with a win. We were disappointed to lose yesterday to Germany – who have finished fifth today – I was so close to beating Simon (Rosner) in five.
“This is the toughest tournament in the world as, especially in my position as the number one, you play top players every day – it’s relentless! But we have a young team, so can look forward to doing even better next time.”
But arguably the most notable success was achieved by Scotland, the 16th seeds who won the play-off for 9th place after beating Pakistan 2/1.
“We achieved this after only losing out only to the event’s top two seeds Egypt and England, who went on to contest the final,” said Scottish coach Roger Flynn. “I’m a very proud man at the moment.”
Semi-finals (all ties played in team order 1, 2, 3):
 EGYPT bt  AUSTRALIA 2/1 Karim Darwish lost to Cameron Pilley 10-12, 16-14, 10-12, 9-11 (74m) Omar Mosaad bt David Palmer 11-13, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9 (80m) Tarek Momen bt Ryan Cuskelly 3-11, 11-6, 11-5, 7-11, 11-5 (67m)
 ENGLAND bt  FRANCE 2/0 Nick Matthew bt Gregory Gaultier 5-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 12-10 (138m) James Willstrop bt Thierry Lincou 11-3, 11-8, 7-11, 13-11
5th – 8th place play-offs:  GERMANY bt  INDIA 2/0 Simon Rosner bt Saurav Ghosal 3-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7 (91m) Raphael Kandra bt Harinder Pal Sandhu 11-9, 14-12, 5-11, 3-11, 12-10 (84m)
 SOUTH AFRICA bt  MALAYSIA 2/1 Stephen Coppinger bt Ong Beng Hee 6-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-5 (55m) Shaun le Roux lost to Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan 3-11, 11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 3-11 (63m) Clinton Leeuw bt Muhd Asyraf Azan 12-10, 11-3, 8-11, 10-12, 11-9 (85m)
9th – 12th place play-offs:  PAKISTAN bt  CANADA 2/0 Nasir Iqbal bt Shawn Delierre 11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-3 (93m) Farhan Zaman bt Andrew Schnell 8-11, 11-6, 3-11, 11-5, 11-3 (46m)
 SCOTLAND bt  USA 2/1 Alan Clyne bt Christopher Gordon 12-10, 9-11, 11-2, 8-11, 11-7 (78m) Greg Lobban lost to Gilly Lane 3-11, 3-11, 11-4, 8-11 (43m) Douglas Kempsell bt Dylan Murray 13-11, 11-7, 11-8 (46m)
13th – 16th place play-offs:  HONG KONG CHINA bt  NEW ZEALAND 2/0 Max Lee bt Martin Knight 7-11, 11-9, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7 (88m) Leo Au bt Evan Williams 12-10, 2-11, 11-8, 11-3 (32m)
 FINLAND bt  MEXICO 2/1 Olli Tuominen bt Arturo Salazar 7-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6 (37m) Henrik Mustonen bt Cesar Salazar 6-11, 11-2, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7 (47m) Matias Tuomi lost to Eric Galvez 7-11, 8-11 (20m)
17th – 20th place play-offs: [17/20] SWITZERLAND bt [17/20] KUWAIT 2/1 Nicolas Mueller bt Abdullah Al Muzayen 11-2, 7-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8 (56m) Reiko Peter bt Ammar Altamimi 7-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-9 (47m) Jonas Daehler lost to Yousif Nizar Saleh 9-11, 4-11 (18m)
[17/20] NETHERLANDS bt [21/24] ARGENTINA 2/1 Laurens Jan Anjema bt Hernan D’Arcangelo 11-1, 11-5, 11-6 (32m) Sebastiaan Weenink lost to Robertino Pezzota 8-11, 11-4, 9-11, 8-11 (62m) Bart Ravelli bt Leandro Romiglio 7-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-9
21st – 24th place play-offs: [25/28] JAPAN bt [21/24] IRELAND 2/1 Shinnosuke Tsukue lost to Arthur Gaskin 8-11, 10-12, 4-11 (51m) Yuta Fukui bt Brian O’Brion 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 (34m) Ryosei Kobayashi bt Steve Richardson 10-12, 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6 (61m)
[17/20] COLOMBIA bt [21/24] BOTSWANA 3/0 Miguel Angel Rodriguez bt Lekgotla Mosope 11-3, 11-8, 11-5 (21m) Erick Herrera bt Koketso Ntshebe 11-6, 11-5, 14-12 (18m) Andres Vargas bt Theo Pelonomi 11-3, 11-6 (10m)
25th – 28th place play-offs: [29/31] KENYA bt [29/31] RUSSIA 2/0 Kenneth Mwangi bt Valery Litvinko 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (22m) Hartaj Bains bt Aleksander Shilov 11-2, 12-10, 11-8 (27m)
[25/28] CZECH REPUBLIC bt [25/28] POLAND 3/0 Ondrej Ertl bt Wojtek Nowisz 11-5, 11-8, 11-2 (31m) Petr Martin bt Marcin Karwowski 9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 (28m) Daniel Mekbib bt Lukasz Stachowski 12-10, 11-3
29th – 31st place play-offs: [25/28] VENEZUELA bye
[21/24] AUSTRIA bt [29/31] NAMIBIA 2/0 Aqeel Rehman bt Marco Becker 11-1, 12-10, 13-11 (29m) Jakob Dirnberger bt Andrew Forrest 11-6, 11-2, 11-2 (26m)
Top seeds Egypt and England will contest Saturday’s WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship final in France for the second time in a row after surviving dramatic semi-finals before a packed and exuberant crowd at the Palais Des Sports in Mulhouse.
After defending champions Egypt recovered from a match down to beat former champions Australia 2/1 in the first semi, second seeds England overcame hosts France in a tense contest which ended almost two hours after midnight.
31 nations are competing in the 24th edition of the championship which is being staged in France for the first time in its 46-year history – at two venues, the Espace Squash 3000 Centre and the Palais Des Sports where, for the first time, play is taking place simultaneously on three ASB all-glass showcourts spectacularly lined up side-by-side.
The session began with favourites Egypt facing Australia, the fourth seeds. Underdogs Australia took the lead after close-fought battle in which Australian number one Cameron Pilley, ranked 13 in the world, recorded his career-first victory over world No5 Karim Darwish, winning 12-10, 14-16, 12-10, 11-9 in 74 minutes.
But Omar Mosaad, a world championship debutant, struck back for the defending champions, beating Australia’s comeback hero David Palmer 11-13, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9 in 80 minutes.
Egypt maintained the momentum when Tarek Momen, a last-minute addition to the team squad and also a championship first-timer, fought back from a game down to beat Ryan Cuskelly 3-11, 11-6, 11-5, 7-11, 11-5 in 67 minutes.
After his opening win, Pilley said: “There are only three Egyptians I hadn’t beaten – Ramy, Shabana and Darwish – so now it’s two. I’ve got close a couple of times before – but I’m now much more confident with my fitness and stamina.
“I’m playing really well – probably in the best form of my career. I’ve been working on things recently – mainly on my strengths rather than my weaknesses. That was probably one of the best wins of my career.
“In general when you wear an Aussie jersey, it helps you punch above your weight. When you’re out there you’re doing it for Australia.
“Being number one above David is a bit weird. Throughout my career I have always looked up to him. Having David’s presence lifts the team – it’s such an honour having him around.”
Mosaad, who revealed that he had been ill earlier in the week and unable to eat anything for a whole day, said after his win over Palmer: “It was a big match – everybody knows that David was world number one and a two-time world champion. It was hard today. I lost to him 3/0 last time we played – in fact I have never beaten him or taken a game off him before.
“When Karim lost the first match I tried to say to myself that the match starts now, not from 1/0 down. The first was a hard game and I made too many mistakes. Winning the second game was very important for me and for Egypt, because it brought Egypt back into the match.”
A downcast Palmer said: “I gave it my best – I was disappointed not to be able to close it out after Cam’s great performance. But all credit to Omar, he hardly made any mistakes the whole match.”
Momen was overwhelmed to have led Egypt into their sixth world team final since 1999: “It must be the most important match I’ve ever played – but I’m still not able to grasp the fact that I’m in the world team championship!
“I was nervous watching Karim’s match, but when I went on court for mine I didn’t feel that nervous – and I think I suffered as a result.
“In the break after the fourth game, my coach told me to step it up a notch and reduce the errors.
“Being in the final is an amazing feeling – I just hope we can win the trophy for the third time.”
Egyptian coach Mohamed Medhat Morsi added: “I was pessimistic when Karim went down as we know what a great player Palmer is. But once we had the decider, I was sure that Tarek would win.”
Passion and squash excellence were of the highest order in the opening match of the second semi when local hero Gregory Gaultier, the world No2, faced English rival Nick Matthew, ranked two places lower (both pictured below). This was the pair’s 35th encounter since meeting in the world junior championships 15 years ago – and the Frenchman was 5/2 ahead in meetings so far this year.
It was a titanic battle between two giants of the game – both used to playing each other on the PSA World Tour, but this time proudly representing their countries. With a capacity crowd cheering each French point won, Gaultier took the opening game.
But as the match progressed, with the pair exchanging games to take the match into a decider, both players suffered with cramp – Gaultier seemingly barely able to walk at 9-6 up in the fifth. Matthew maintained his composure, however – fighting not only the opponent but the vociferous crowd – and closed out the marathon encounter 5-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 12-10 after two hours and 18 minutes!
“I’ve certainly never played a match before when both players have suffered severe cramp,” said the England number one. “At one point, I felt as if I’d been hit by the bullet of a sniper but, though the crowd were totally against me, I assume that it didn’t actually happen! Afterwards I maybe got lucky when he was affected by it more.
“But just look at the passion when playing for your country!
“I expected the crowd to be against me of course – it was the loudest crowd I’ve ever played before.
“I’m so delighted for my team as the last couple of times I haven’t done it for the team. The last few points were tough as I had to get the balance between adrenaline and being calm.”
After the passion of the French crowd subsided temporarily, it was time for veteran Frenchman Thierry Lincou, the 37-year-old former world champion, and world No3 James Willstrop to take to the court. The had met 20 times before, with the head-to-head record finely poised at 10 wins apiece – the most recent being in Lincou’s favour in the European Team Championships.
Willstrop opened up a two-game lead but Lincou refused to give up – winning the third and forging a 7-4 lead in the fourth. Both visibly tired as the end of the match approached – but the Yorkshireman clawed back the deficit and, on his third match-ball, finally put England into the final with an 11-3, 11-8, 7-11, 13-11 victory.
“The French pushed us all the way,” said an emotional Willstrop to the event MC afterwards. Referring to the opening match, the 29-year-old told the crowd: “It was one of the finest matches you’ll ever see, for athleticism and skilfulness – it was a match which this fantastic venue deserved, and the crowd deserved. It was a fantastic encounter.”
As the clock approached 2am, Willstrop was asked how the late hour affected him: “Squash players are used to schedules over-running so we know what to expect.
“It’s such a big win, to beat the French – but tomorrow’s another day and we need to prepare ourselves for the final.”
Germany survived two of the longest matches of the tournament to beat India 2/0 and earn a place in play-off for sixth place – guaranteeing the highest finish the team has ever recorded. World No12 Simon Rosner followed up his straight games defeat to Australian Cameron Pilley 24 hours earlier by twice coming from behind to beat India’s number one Saurav Ghosal 3-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7 in 91 minutes before left-hander Raphael Kandra stemmed a fight back by Harinder Pal Sandhu to beat the Indian number two 11-9, 14-12, 5-11, 3-11, 12-10 in 84 minutes.
“It’s unbelievable – we were bronze medallists for the second time in the recent European Championships and now, six weeks later, we are in the top six of the world,” said German team manager Oliver Pettke. “Simon was really down after his match against Australia yesterday and we all tried to lift him – so we were really pleased with his performance today. That was a very important win for him.
“This is good for German squash. This generation of players is one of the best we have ever had – Simon has pushed everyone and we now have other players doing well on the world tour.”
History was made at the Espace club where Colombia beat event newcomers Botswana in a play-off for the 21st – 24th places. 14-year-old Theo Pelonomi became the youngest player ever to compete in the championships when he represented Botswana in the tie, losing 11-3, 11-6 to Colombian Andres Vargas in the dead rubber.
“I am happy being here – I can learn lots of things,” said schoolboy Pelonomi. “I wasn’t nervous about my match because I knew that the guy was better than me so I just tried to enjoy it.”
Botswana number one Alister Walker, the recently-crowned All-Africa champion who is ranked 15 in the world, added: “It’s all been such an experience for him, I don’t think he probably realises what an honour it is to put himself and his country into the records books.
“Coming here gave us the chance to make an amazing statement. He was a tennis player and switched to squash – so when he goes home and meets up with his friends they are bound to be envious of what he has done.
“And now the team is playing for 23rd place in the world championship in its first year – it’s an achievement of which we are very proud,” concluded Walker.
Final:  EGYPT v  ENGLAND
3rd place play-off:  AUSTRALIA v  FRANCE
5th place play-off:  GERMANY v  SOUTH AFRICA
7th place play-off:  MALAYSIA v  INDIA
9th place play-off:  PAKISTAN v  SCOTLAND
11th place play-off:  CANADA v  USA
13th place play-off:  FINLAND v  HONG KONG CHINA
15th place play-off:  NEW ZEALAND v  MEXICO
17th place play-off: [17/20] NETHERLANDS v [17/20] SWITZERLAND
19th place play-off: [21/24] ARGENTINA v [17/20] KUWAIT
21st place play-off: [17/20] COLOMBIA v [25/28] JAPAN
23rd place play-off: [21/24] IRELAND v [21/24] BOTSWANA
25th place play-off: [29/31] KENYA v [25/28] CZECH REPUBLIC
27th place play-off: [29/31] RUSSIA v [25/28] POLAND
29th place play-off: [21/24] AUSTRIA v [25/28] VENEZUELA
RESULTS: World Team Championship, Mulhouse, France
Quarter-finals (all ties played in team order 2, 1, 3):
 EGYPT bt  INDIA 2/0
Karim Darwish bt Harinder Pal Sandhu 11-7, 11-4, 11-2 (28m)
Ramy Ashour bt Saurav Ghosal 11-7, 11-9, 4-11, 13-11 (61m)
 AUSTRALIA bt  GERMANY 2/0
David Palmer bt Raphael Kandra 11-9, 11-4, 13-11 (45m)
Cameron Pilley bt Simon Rosner 11-3, 14-12, 11-5 (51m)
 FRANCE bt  MALAYSIA 3/0
Thierry Lincou bt Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan 11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7 (52m)
Gregory Gaultier bt Ong Beng Hee 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (42m)
Gregoire Marche bt Sanjay Singh 11-3, 11-3 (16m)
 ENGLAND bt  SOUTH AFRICA 3/0
James Willstrop bt Shaun le Roux 11-7, 11-6, 11-8 (38m)
Nick Matthew bt Stephen Coppinger 11-4, 11-4, 11-7 (33m)
Daryl Selby bt Rodney Durbach 11-7, 11-6
9th – 16th place play-offs:
 CANADA bt  HONG KONG CHINA 2/1
Dane Sharp lost to Leo Au 11-4, 4-11, 6-11, 10-12 (60m)
Shawn Delierre bt Max Lee 11-5, 12-10, 11-5 (52m)
David Letourneau bt Cheuk Yan Tang 11-1, 11-5, 11-5 (32m)
 PAKISTAN bt  NEW ZEALAND 2/1
Farhan Zaman bt Evan Williams 13-11, 11-6, 11-4 (29m)
Nasir Iqbal lost to Martin Knight 4-11, 13-15, 10-12 (53m)
Farhan Mehboob bt Paul Coll 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 (31m)
 USA bt  MEXICO 2/0
Gilly Lane bt Cesar Salazar 11-7, 12-10, 4-11, 11-3 (46m)
Christopher Gordon bt Arturo Salazar 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 (33m)
 SCOTLAND bt  FINLAND 2/1
Greg Lobban lost to Henrik Mustonen 13-11, 7-11, 11-3, 9-11, 9-11 (61m)
Alan Clyne bt Olli Tuominen 11-7, 11-5, 12-14, 10-12, 11-9 (60m)
Douglas Kempsell bt Matias Tuomi 8-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 (45m)
17th – 24th place play-offs:
[17/20] KUWAIT bt [25/28] JAPAN 3/0
Ammar Altamimi bt Yuta Fukui 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 (30m)
Abdullah Al Muzayen bt Shinnosuke Tsukue 11-8, 11-9, 11-8 (30m)
Yousif Nizar Saleh bt Ryosei Kobayashi 11-6, 11-9 (18m)
[17/20] SWITZERLAND bt [21/24] IRELAND 2/1
Reiko Peter bt Brian O’Brion 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 (47m)
Nicolas Mueller bt Arthur Gaskin 12-10, 11-3, 15-13 (39m)
Patrick Miescher lost to Steve Richardson 11-8, 6-11, 8-11 (33m)
[17/20] NETHERLANDS bt [21/24] BOTSWANA 2/0
Sebastiaan Weenink bt Lekgotla Mosope 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 (31m)
Laurens Jan Anjema bt Alister Walker 9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 (50m)
[21/24] ARGENTINA bt [17/20] COLOMBIA 2/1
Robertino Pezzota bt Erick Herrera 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 (42m)
Hernan D’Arcangelo lost to Miguel Angel Rodriguez 10-12, 9-11, 11-7, 12-14 (54m)
Leandro Romiglio bt Bernardo Samper 11-0, 11-6, 11-2 (29m)
25th – 31st place play-offs:
[29/31] RUSSIA bye
[29/31] KENYA bt [25/28] VENEZUELA 2/0
Hartaj Bains bt Miguel Mendez 11-6, 11-6, 11-1 (20m)
Kenneth Mwangi bt Gabriel Teran 11-6, 11-1, 11-7 (22m)
[25/28] POLAND bt [29/31] NAMIBIA 2/1
Marcin Karwowski bt Norbert Dorgeloh 11-4, 11-8, 11-13, 11-9 (36m)
Wojtek Nowisz lost to Marco Becker 11-13, 13-15, 8-11 (46m)
Przemyslaw Atras bt Andrew Forrest 11-8, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8 (58m)
[25/28] CZECH REPUBLIC bt [21/24] AUSTRIA 2/1
Petr Martin bt Jakob Dirnberger 11-6, 11-7, 11-8
Ondrej Ertl lost to Aqeel Rehman 11-9, 9-11, 3-11, 6-11 (53m)
Daniel Mekbib bt Andreas Freudensprung 11-6, 11-0, 11-3 (22m)
Top Four Nations Reach World Semis For Fourth Time In a Row
Egypt, England, Australia and hosts France will contest the semi-finals of the WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship for the fourth time in a row after surging through today’s quarter-finals of the biennial event being staged in France for the first time in its 46-year history.
31 nations are competing in the 24th edition of the championship at two venues in Mulhouse – the Espace Squash 3000 Centre and the Palais Des Sports where, for the first time, play is taking place simultaneously on three ASB all-glass showcourts spectacularly lined up side-by-side.
Favourites Egypt, looking to become the first nation since 1987 to win the title three times in a row, brushed aside eighth seeds India 2/0.
Karim Darwish, the world No5 making his seventh successive appearance in the championship, defeated Harinder Pal Sandhu 11-7, 11-4, 11-2 – then world number one Ramy Ashour recovered from game-ball down in the fourth to beat top-ranked Indian Saurav Ghosal (both pictured below) 11-7, 11-9, 4-11, 13-11 in just over an hour.
“It’s my seventh time in a row in these championships and I am pleased to win today to put Egypt into a strong position in this tie,” said 31-year-old Darwish. “There are a lot of problems back in Egypt – if we win it’s the least we can do for our country to make the people happy. It would be great for our people.
“To be the captain of Egypt in the most successful era for squash in our country makes me very proud. It is one of my dreams to hold the trophy for the third time.”
After clinching victory for Egypt on the centre court in the hot Palais Des Sports, Ashour said: “The conditions out there were incredibly tough – it was exhausting physically and mentally. It felt like my 758th match of the year! It took me a long time to warm up.
“I really wanted to play Saurav today – I knew it would be a good game. I definitely lost a lot of calories.
“Everybody in the team is playing really well – we came here to win. The people back home are rooting for us big time – and we want to win it for them.”
When asked about the sport’s Olympic ambitions, Ashour added: “We are doing so much work to show the IOC how good our sport is – glass courts, great venues, etc. 90% of the tournaments on the calendar are wonderful. Every squash player should be proud of what they are producing. I just hope the IOC will give us a chance.”
After coming so close to taking the world’s top player the full distance, Ghosal said: “Ramy is so unbelievably good – and at the same time so random. That’s what makes him so special.
“I was about 8-4 up in the second and should have won it. But the trouble with Ramy is that he can reel off points so quickly – and that’s what he did.
“I played really well in the third and he dropped off a bit towards the end. In the fourth Ramy had match balls at 10-8 – then I had a game ball at 11-10. But he played a great shot to win the match.
“But I’m very happy with my performance – even though disappointed not to take the second,” added the UK-based world No20. “I’m not saying I could have won it – but I would like to have taken it to a fifth.
“It’s like playing a world championship home from home as Mulhouse is the team I play for in the French league – so it’s always good to be back here. But it’s the first big tournament I’ve played in France – it would be good to have a PSA tournament here. I love France.”
Egypt, winners of the title three times since 1999, will now face eight-time champions Australia. The fourth seeds beat Germany, the No6 seeds, 2/0. In fourth successive victory this week after coming out of retirement, former world champion David Palmer beat rising German star Raphael Kandra 11-9, 11-4, 13-11 – before squad number one Cameron Pilley held off a spirited challenge by Simon Rosner to upset the higher-ranked German 11-3, 14-12, 11-5.
A rejuvenated Palmer said after his win: “I felt good in the first two games but, all credit to him, he came back – he just didn’t give up. He’s a flashy kind of player – some incredible shots but also some errors.
“I haven’t been in second gear yet,” added the 36-year-old. “And I didn’t want to use it today. But it’s going to be tough tomorrow.”
A delighted Australia team manager Byron Davis added: “We’ve played extremely well this week – I’m really happy with the way the team has come together. We’ve been improving every day and look forward to playing Egypt tomorrow.”
Hosts France, the third seeds, will meet their stiffest challenge of the tournament so far when they take on former champions England in the other semi-final. Second seeds England faced tournament dark horses South Africa, and beat the No7 seeds 3/0.
World No3 James Willstrop put the team in the driving seat after defeating South African number two Shaun le Roux 11-7, 11-6, 11-8. Fellow Yorkshireman Nick Matthew then stepped up to take out Stephen Coppinger, South Africa’s highest-ranked player for more than two decades, 11-4, 11-4, 11-7. In the best-of-three dead rubber, Daryl Selby beat veteran Rodney Durbach 11-7, 11-6.
“South Africa weren’t just here to make up the numbers – they are capable of playing above their ranking and we treated them with respect they deserved,” said Matthew, the world No4. “Especially Steve – he’s improved a lot recently.
“It was really important for me to win today as I’ve had a couple of rest days – in preparation probably to play the best two players in the world – and I didn’t want to let the team down after what they’ve done to get us here.
“It’s set us up nicely for the semis – where we expect to play France in front of a partisan crowd, which will be brutal! We’re all experienced players – James and I both have around a hundred caps each for England – so we play the opponent, not the atmosphere. We’ve both won a couple of world teams – even though a long time ago now!
“I’ve only really lost two matches in six championships since 2003 – and I’m proud of that record.
“It’s a brilliantly-run tournament – and we want to win it.”
France rounded off the evening by conquering Malaysia 3/0. Thierry Lincou led the way by beating Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan 11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7 before local hero Gregory Gaultier defeated Malaysian number one Ong Beng Hee 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 to take France into the semis.
The packed crowd wanted more – and watched third string Gregoire Marche beat Sanjay Singh 11-3, 11-3 in the best-of-three dead rubber.
Gaultier, the world’s second highest-ranked player, was delighted to be involved with this historic championship: “It’s great to play in front of a home crowd. We don’t have many events in France – and when you see the quality of this event you are very happy. I am very proud that my country has staged an event like this – I know the Federation has been working on it for more than a year, and they are really looking after the players.
“I don’t feel any pressure – it’s a pleasure to be playing for my country. I have been playing for so many years that I feel I am experienced and mature enough to deal with the pressure.
“Being in the semis is good for the team – we are seeded three so we have done what we were expected to do. Everything is now a bonus – and we are going to try and grab a win.”
In the play-offs for 9th-16th places, former champions Pakistan upset New Zealand 2/1 to ensure a significantly improved finish after last year’s shock 21st place.
“We are here to restore pride in squash in Pakistan squash after our lowest ever finish last time,” said Pakistan coach Jamshed Gul. “I am proud of my young team for this win today and now we can look forward to playing for a place in the top 12.
 EGYPT v  AUSTRALIA
 ENGLAND v  FRANCE
5th – 8th place play-offs:
 GERMANY v  INDIA
 MALAYSIA v  SOUTH AFRICA
9th – 12th place play-offs:
 CANADA v  PAKISTAN
 USA v  SCOTLAND
13th – 16th place play-offs:
 HONG KONG CHINA v  NEW ZEALAND
 FINLAND v  MEXICO
17th – 20th place play-offs:
[17/20] KUWAIT v [17/20] SWITZERLAND
[17/20] NETHERLANDS v [21/24] ARGENTINA
21st – 24th place play-offs:
[21/24] IRELAND v [25/28] JAPAN
[17/20] COLOMBIA v [21/24] BOTSWANA
25th – 28th place play-offs:
[29/31] RUSSIA v [29/31] KENYA
[25/28] CZECH REPUBLIC v [25/28] POLAND
29th – 32nd place play-offs:
[25/28] VENEZUELA bye
[21/24] AUSTRIA v [29/31] NAMIBIA
Last 16 round (all ties played in team order 1, 3, 2):
 EGYPT bt  CANADA 2/0
Ramy Ashour bt Dane Sharp 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 (32m)
Tarek Momen bt David Letourneau 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 (31m)
 INDIA bt  HONG KONG CHINA 2/1
Saurav Ghosal bt Max Lee 11-3, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6 (61m)
Ramit Tandon bt Yip Tsz Fung 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 (38m)
Harinder Pal Sandhu lost to Leo Au 9-11, 11-7, 4-11
 AUSTRALIA bt  PAKISTAN 3/0
Cameron Pilley bt Nasir Iqbal 11-5, 11-3, 5-11, 11-6 (60m)
Ryan Cuskelly bt Farhan Mehboob 11-9, 11-3, 11-6 (38m)
David Palmer bt Farhan Zaman 11-9, 11-7 (23m)
 GERMANY bt  NEW ZEALAND 2/1
Simon Rosner bt Campbell Grayson 13-11, 2-0 ret. (30m)
Jens Schoor bt Evan Williams 11-5, 11-5, 11-5 (40m)
Raphael Kandra lost to Martin Knight 11-2, 9-11, 9-11 (39m)
 MALAYSIA bt  USA 2/0
Ong Beng Hee bt Christopher Gordon 7-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (67m)
Muhd Asyraf Azan bt Dylan Murray 8-11, 12-10, 11-2, 11-8 (38m)
 FRANCE bt  MEXICO 3/0
Gregory Gaultier bt Arturo Salazar 11-4 ret. (10m)
Gregoire Marche bt Eric Galvez 11-3, 11-3, 11-5 (30m)
Mathieu Castagnet bt Cesar Salazar 11-8, 11-6 (25m)
 SOUTH AFRICA bt  FINLAND 2/0
Stephen Coppinger bt Olli Tuominen 11-5, 11-7, 11-9 (43m)
Clinton Leeuw bt Matias Tuomi 11-4, 15-13, 11-9 (38m)
 ENGLAND bt  SCOTLAND 3/0
James Willstrop bt Alan Clyne 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (27m)
Adrian Grant bt Chris Small 11-3, 11-7, 11-3 (33m)
Daryl Selby bt Greg Lobban 11-3, 11-5 (23m)
17th – 31st place play-offs:
[17/20] KUWAIT bye
[25/28] JAPAN bt [29/31] RUSSIA 3/0
Yuta Fukui bt Valery Litvinko 11-4, 11-2, 11-6 (22m)
Tomotaka Endo bt Sergei Beljaev 11-4, 11-1, 11-5 (21m)
Ryosei Kobayashi bt Dmitri Grishanin 11-7, 11-2 (16m)
[17/20] SWITZERLAND bt [25/28] VENEZUELA 3/0
Nicolas Mueller bt Miguel Mendez 11-3, 11-7, 11-9 (22m)
Patrick Miescher bt Ricardo Teran 11-0, 11-3, 11-2 (17m)
Reiko Peter bt Miguel Vallennilla 11-1, 11-2 (10m)
[21/24] IRELAND bt [29/31] KENYA 3/0
Arthur Gaskin bt Kenneth Mwangi 11-9, 11-7, 11-4 (31m)
Steve Richardson bt Rajdeep Bains 11-3, 11-5, 11-8 (24m)
Brian O’Brion bt Hartaj Bains 11-7 ret.
[21/24] BOTSWANA bt [29/31] NAMIBIA 2/1
Alister Walker bt Marco Becker 11-6, 11-7, 11-1 (23m)
Koketso Ntshebe bt Andrew Forrest 13-15, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (53m)
Lekgotla Mosope lost to Norbert Dorgeloh 9-11, 13-15 (19m)
[17/20] NETHERLANDS bt [25/28] POLAND 3/0
Laurens Jan Anjema bt Marcin Karwowski 11-3, 11-7, 11-5 (25m)
Marc ter Sluis bt Lukasz Stachowski 12-10, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9 (50m)
Bart Ravelli bt Przemyslaw Atras 11-4, 11-3 (20m)
[21/24] ARGENTINA bt [21/24] AUSTRIA 2/1
Hernan D’Arcangelo lost to Aqeel Rehman 9-11, 6-11, 6-11 (38m)
Leandro Romiglio bt Marcus Greslehner 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (24m)
Robertino Pezzota bt Jakob Dirnberger 8-11, 11-1, 11-8, 11-2 (47m)
[17/20] COLOMBIA bt [25/28] CZECH REPUBLIC 2/0
Miguel Angel Rodriguez bt Ondrej Ertl 11-6, 11-3, 11-4 (28m)
Andres Vargas bt Ondrej Uherka 11-9, 11-7, 11-8
South Africa & Germany Storm Back Into World Top Eight
South Africa and Germany reclaimed their status as world top eight nations after storming through today’s last 16 round of the WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship in France.
31 nations are competing in the 24th edition of the biennial event which is being held in France for the first time. Action is taking place at two venues in Mulhouse – the Espace Squash 3000 Centre and the Palais Des Sports where, for the first time, play is taking place simultaneously on three ASB all-glass showcourts spectacularly lined up side-by-side.
Seventh seeds South Africa, who finished in an all-time low 13th position in the previous championship in 2011, despatched Finland, the ninth seeds and one-time bronze medallists, 2/0. Stephen Coppinger, the Cape Town-based 28-year-old who boasts a career-high world No16 ranking, beat seasoned Olli Tuominen (both pictured in action below), a veteran of eight world championship campaigns, 11-5, 11-7, 11-9 before third string Clinton Leeuw defeated Matias Tuomi 11-4, 15-13, 11-9.
“It means so much for us to get into the top eight,” said South Africa coach Richard Castle. “It’s really difficult when you’re out of the main group and just fighting for those lower play-off places.
“But we had to beat those Finnish guys – they don’t just give you the games.
“Steve is our captain and gave us a great start – he won 3/0, but it was a very tough match. Steve reaching an all-time ranking high is great for us – in fact, what he has done is quite phenomenal and I don’t think South Africa have quite realised what he’s achieved. Shaun (le Roux) is playing superb squash and is also at a career-high.”
South Africa will now face former champions England for a place in the last four. The second seeds, led by world No3 James Willstrop, knocked out British rivals Scotland 3/0.
“Steve can handle anyone in the top 20,” added Castle. “We’re looking forward to playing England as the pressure will be on them.”
Buoyed by local support in the 2011 event in Paderborn, Germany emphatically exceeded their 16th seeding by finishing in ninth place – then moved up to eighth when a top six nation was disqualified.
Two years on, the focussed sixth seeds today defeated New Zealand 2/1. World No12 Simon Rosner led the assault, beating Campbell Grayson 13-11, 2-0 (ret.) – and team-mate Jens Schoor clinched victory by outplaying 23-year-old Kiwi Evan Williams 11-5, 11-5, 11-5. New Zealand gained some consolation when Martin Knight beat Raphael Kandra in the best-of-three dead rubber.
New Zealand played the tie in uncharacteristic white kit, forced to forgo the traditional ‘All Black’ Kiwi attire in favour of the higher-seeded Germans – who also play in black!
“It’s unbelievable,” said German manager Oliver Pettke of his team’s success. “I cannot find words to express my feelings.
“Last year we finished in ninth position, but were later raised to eighth when one team was disqualified – but this time we have reached the quarter-finals by right. It was very impressive for me to see the team get to the quarters like this – I am really happy. In fact, I think it is one of the best results we have ever had.
“Having the last championship in Paderborn was very special for us – none of us will ever forget it – but now we have to just focus on our playing.
“Tomorrow we expect to meet Australia and we are really looking forward to it.”
Their opponents will indeed be fourth seeds Australia, 3/0 victors over Pakistan. It was the most glamorous tie of the day – between the two greatest world team championship nations of all, who hold 14 titles between them and have contested three finals.
Cameron Pilley led the way in an hour-long tussle, beating the Pakistani number one Nasir Iqbal 11-5, 11-3, 5-11, 11-6. Ryan Cuskelly put matters beyond Pakistan’s reach by crushing left-hander Farhan Mehboob 11-9, 11-3, 11-6, before David Palmer added another significant victory to his post-retirement tally when he overcame Farhan Zaman 11-9, 11-7.
“We have a lot of respect for Pakistan and there is a lot of history between our two countries,” said Australian coach Rodney Eyles. “But when it comes down to it we’re just here to win the tournament and today’s win takes us nearer that goal.
“But we had to be very alert for Pakistan today,” added the former world No2. “Ryan played a hell of game – the lad he played is very skilful, but he neutralised him well.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way the guys have prepared for these championships.”
Favourites Egypt, bidding to become the first nation since 1987 to win the title three times in a row, eased to a 2/0 win over 15th seeds Canada. Ramy Ashour, the world No1 undefeated on the PSA World Tour for 41 matches over more than a year, beat Dane Sharp 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 before Tarek Momen sealed victory with an 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 defeat of David Letourneau.
Egyptian coach Mohamed Medhat Morsi said later: “All these wins are important to us – even when the challenges are not high – because it gives us confidence.
“Every day is important to us – we have had four days and we have three to go. Every day we all get together and set a plan which we are all involved with – it makes no difference that we have a world number one and number five in our squad.”
Egypt will take on India, the No8 seeds.
“The boys are ready for the battle,” continued world No38 Morsi. “We have tough opponents in the next round. India are one of the countries coming up in squash.
“It’s my first time coaching the men’s team – I first coached the women in 2010 when we won the world title for the first time, and have been involved with the juniors since then. But, when I was a player, I played with all the players in this team on the Tour.”
India beat Asian rivals Hong Kong 2/1. “We were very confident going into this match,” said Indian national coach Cyrus Poncha. “Being our Asian counterparts, we know their standards well.
“Our first goal was to get into the top eight. We’ve got a tough one in Egypt tomorrow.”
Malaysia will provide further Asian interest in the quarter-finals after beating USA 2/0. Ong Beng Hee, the 33-year-old Malaysian number one celebrating his tenth successive appearance in the championships, put his team ahead with a 7-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 defeat of US champion Christopher Gordon.
Muhd Asyraf Azan was too strong for US debutant Dylan Murray in the following match, but had to fight back from a game down to overcome the 18-year-old from New York 8-11, 12-10, 11-2, 11-8.
“Chris and I played in the pools last time and I beat him then so I felt confident,” said Beng Hee later. “We finished fifth last year, but this year we don’t have Azlan (Iskandar) so it will be difficult to achieve the same this time. We expect to meet France next, but it will be hard to beat them.”
On playing his 10th successive worlds, Beng Hee added: “It’s a little bit depressing truthfully as people keep mentioning it! It gets harder all the time, especially with all these young players coming through!
“But the more I play in this event, the more special it becomes – and I am very proud to still be able to play number one for my country.
“If my body holds out, I hope to continue playing for some time – and especially in next year’s Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, both of which are very important for Malaysia.
“My main remaining goal is to win an individual medal at the Commonwealth Games – a bronze would be fine! Next year is going to be huge.”
The day’s play finished with a packed and partisan crowd cheering hosts France through to a 3/0 win over Mexico, the 13th seeds.
It took just ten minutes to open up the lead when Mexican number one Arturo Salazar was forced to concede the match after just one game to national hero Gregory Gaultier, the world number two from Aix-en-Provence, due to illness. Third string Gregoire Marche sealed France’s win with an 11-3, 11-3, 11-5 victory over Eric Galvez – and, in the best-of-three dead rubber, the crowd were treated to another home win as Mathieu Castagnet beat Arturo’s twin brother Cesar Salazar 11-8, 11-6.
 EGYPT v  INDIA
 AUSTRALIA v  GERMANY
 FRANCE v  MALAYSIA
 ENGLAND v  SOUTH AFRICA
9th – 16th place play-offs:
 CANADA v  HONG KONG CHINA
 NEW ZEALAND v  PAKISTAN
 USA v  MEXICO
 FINLAND v  SCOTLAND
17th – 24th place play-offs:
[17/20] KUWAIT v [25/28] JAPAN
[17/20] SWITZERLAND v [21/24] IRELAND
[17/20] NETHERLANDS v [21/24] BOTSWANA
[17/20] COLOMBIA v [21/24] ARGENTINA
25th – 31st place play-offs:
[29/31] RUSSIA bye
[29/31] KENYA v [25/28] VENEZUELA
[25/28] POLAND v [29/31] NAMIBIA
[25/28] CZECH REPUBLIC v [21/24] AUSTRIA
RESULTS: WSF Men’s World Team Championship, Mulhouse, France
3rd & final qualifying round – Pool A (all ties played in team order 3, 1, 2):  EGYPT bt [29/31] KENYA 3/0 Tarek Momen bt Joseph Ndungu 11-2, 11-5, 11-2 (19m) Karim Darwish bt Kenneth Mwangi 11-5, 11-5, 13-11 (29m) Omar Mosaad bt Hartaj Bains 11-5, 11-2, 11-1 (22m)
 SCOTLAND bt [17/20] KUWAIT 3/0 Douglas Kempsell bt Yousif Nizar Saleh 8-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-4 (54m) Alan Clyne bt Abdullah Al Muzayen 11-4, 11-5, 11-9 (31m) Greg Lobban bt Ammar Altamimi 9-11, 11-9, 11-5, 14-12 (50m)
Final positions: 1 Egypt, 2 Scotland, 3 Kuwait, 4 Kenya
Pool B:  ENGLAND bt [29/31] NAMIBIA 3/0 Adrian Grant bt Andrew Forrest 11-1, 11-0, 11-4 Nick Matthew bt Marco Becker 11-3, 11-3, 11-1 Daryl Selby bt Norbert Dorgeloh 11-1, 11-5, 11-1
 CANADA bt [17/20] COLOMBIA 2/1 Andrew Schnell bt Andres Vargas 11-4, 5-11, 11-9, 11-4 (40m) Shawn Delierre lost to Miguel Angel Rodriguez 6-11, 8-11, 6-11 (44m) Dane Sharp bt Bernardo Samper 13-11, 11-3, 11-6 (44m)
Final positions: 1 England, 2 Canada, 3 Colombia, 4 Namibia
Pool C:  FRANCE bt [29/31] RUSSIA 3/0 Gregoire Marche bt Sergei Beljaev 11-2, 11-0, 11-3 (19m) Thierry Lincou bt Valery Litvinko 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (32m) Mathieu Castagnet bt Aleksander Shilov 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 (23m)
 PAKISTAN bt [17/20] NETHERLANDS 2/1 Farhan Mehboob bt Bart Ravelli 11-5, 11-7, 11-8 (40m) Nasir Iqbal lost to Laurens Jan Anjema 4-11, 5-11, 5-11 (38m) Farhan Zaman bt Sebastiaan Weenink 11-7, 12-10, 10-12, 11-8 (45m)
Final positions: 1 France, 2 Pakistan, 3 Netherlands, 4 Russia
Pool D:  MEXICO bt [17/20] SWITZERLAND 2/1 Eric Galvez bt Jonas Daehler 11-3, 11-8, 11-5 (44m) Arturo Salazar lost to Nicolas Mueller 4-11, 8-11, 7-11 (23m) Cesar Salazar bt Reiko Peter 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4 (45m)
Final positions: 1 Australia, 2 Mexico, 3 Switzerland
Pool E:  MALAYSIA bt [25/28] POLAND 3/0 Sanjay Singh bt Lukasz Stachowski 11-5, 11-3, 11-5 (20m) Ong Beng Hee bt Wojtek Nowisz 11-7, 11-6, 11-9 (25m) Muhd Asyraf Azan bt Przemyslaw Atras 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (18m)
 NEW ZEALAND bt [21/24] BOTSWANA 2/1 Paul Coll bt Koketso Ntshebe 11-6, 11-2, 11-2 (18m) Campbell Grayson lost to Alister Walker 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 10-12, 7-11 Martin Knight bt Lekgotla Mosope 11-2, 11-1, 11-4
Final positions: 1 Malaysia, 2 New Zealand, 3 Botswana, 4 Poland
Pool F:  USA bt [21/24] IRELAND 2/1 Dylan Murray lost to Steve Richardson 13-11, 7-11, 6-11, 11-9, 7-11 (66m) Christopher Gordon bt Arthur Gaskin 11-3, 11-7, 11-8 (46m) Gilly Lane bt Derek Ryan 11-9, 11-5, 12-10 (36m)
 GERMANY bt [25/28] CZECH REPUBLIC 3/0 Andre Haschker bt Daniel Mekbib 11-2, 13-11, 11-5 (31m) Simon Rosner bt Ondrej Ertl 11-2, 11-7, 11-4 (19m) Raphael Kandra bt Ondrej Uherka 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 (38m)
Final positions: 1 Germany, 2 USA, 3 Ireland, 4 Czech Republic
Pool G:  SOUTH AFRICA bt [25/28] JAPAN 3/0 Rodney Durbach bt Tomotaka Endo 11-7, 11-7, 11-2 (25m) Shaun le Roux bt Yuta Fukui 11-4, 11-9, 11-9 (37m) Clinton Leeuw bt Ryosei Kobayashi 11-6, 11-9, 11-4 (28m)
 HONG KONG CHINA bt [21/24] AUSTRIA 3/0 Yip Tsz Fung bt Marcus Greslehner 11-5, 9-11, 11-2, 12-10 (37m) Max Lee bt Aqeel Rehman 13-11, 11-4, 11-3 (32m) Leo Au bt Andreas Freudensprung 11-9, 11-5, 11-3 (21m)
Final positions: 1 South Africa, 2 Hong Kong China, 3 Japan, 4 Austria
Pool H:  FINLAND bt [21/24] ARGENTINA 2/1 Matias Tuomi lost to Leandro Romiglio 7-11, 8-11, 7-11 (37m) Olli Tuominen bt Hernan D’Arcangelo 11-7, 11-2, 11-5 (28m) Henrik Mustonen bt Robertino Pezzota 11-7, 3-11, 11-9, 14-12
 INDIA bt [25/28] VENEZUELA 3/0 Mahesh Mangaonkar bt Miguel Vallennilla 11-1, 11-2, 11-7 (16m) Harinder Pal Sandhu bt Gabriel Teran 11-3, 6-11, 11-8, 11-5 (23m) Ramit Tandon bt Miguel Mendez 11-2, 11-2, 11-3 (17m)
Final positions: 1 India, 2 Finland, 3 Argentina, 4 Venezuela
A crucial match in today’s final qualifying rounds of the WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship in France – the outcome of which would either have put one nation into the world top 16 for the first time ever or another out of the elite group for the first time in 21 appearances – saw Canada edge past Colombia 2/1 to maintain top 16 status since 1971.
31 nations are competing in the 24th edition of the biennial event which is being held in France for the first time. Action is taking place at two venues in Mulhouse – the Espace Squash 3000 Centre and the Palais Des Sports where, for the first time, play is taking place simultaneously on three ASB all-glass showcourts spectacularly lined up side-by-side.
The glass-court clash for second place in Pool B, behind former champions England, got underway when squad number three Andrew Schnell put 15th seed Canada ahead with an 11-4, 5-11, 11-9, 11-4 victory over Andres Vargas.
Colombia’s new world No19 Miguel Angel Rodriguez – now the second highest-ranked South American of all-time – took on Shawn Delierre (both pictured in action below) and beat the experienced Canadian in straight games to level the tie.
The decider saw 28-year-old Dane Sharp, the world No82 from Toronto, take on Bernardo Samper, a 31-year-old New York-based Colombian who played his last international match over three years ago and is making his first world championship appearance.
The former world No57 had game balls in the first game, but it was Sharp who ultimately prevailed 13-11, 11-3, 11-6 after 44 minutes to give Canada the tie win.
“Big match? ‘Big’ is not the word!” said Canadian team coach Yvon Provencal. “That was a huge one for us and Dane did a great job to beat Bernardo. Andrew played really well to put us ahead – but we always knew that Miguel would be a tough opponent for Shawn, and the Colombian played amazingly.
“Perhaps Miguel wanted to impress his coach David (Palmer) who was watching from the side,” joked Provencal.
“But Dane played really well – he really wanted it!”
Now settled in New York where he works in the textile industry and is the proud father of recently-born child, Samper was disappointed with the outcome: “I was just one step behind him for most of the game – he was just more accurate today.
“There was so much riding on the match – and I’m really disappointed that I didn’t take the first game from 10-8 up. I made a few silly mistakes. It was a crucial game and one up would have given me a big advantage.
“I wasn’t far off in the next game but in the third I think I pulled something in my leg and that probably got into my head.”
Another significant tie took place at the end of the day when Pakistan, the six-time champions who crashed out of the top 16 for the first time last time, restored their position in the elite group after seeing off Netherlands 2/1.
After the first two matches were shared, squad number two Farhan Zaman clinched victory for Pakistan when he beat Sebastiaan Weenink 11-7, 12-10, 10-12, 11-8.
“We were expecting to finish second in the pool – all my players are playing well,” said Pakistan coach Jamshed Gul. “But my players are not being able to play as many matches as others on the Tour – so this event gives them a good chance to compete at a high level, which is why we are here.
“They have the ability, but they’re not getting the matches.
“Dropping out of the top 16 last year was bad for us – which is why we wanted to come back and improve our position this year to show the people back home that squash is still a major sport for us.”
A crunch tie took place at the Espace Centre where USA recovered from dropping the first match to beat Ireland 2/1.
London-based veteran Steve Richardson, 40, put underdogs Ireland ahead after a 66-minute, five-game, win over US-newcomer Dylan Murray, aged 18.
But wins by US champion Christopher Gordon over Irish champion Arthur Gaskin, and by former pro Gilly Lane over 43-year-old Derek Ryan gave 11th seeds USA the win.
“In only his second match in these championships, Dylan was very impressive,” said Paul Assaiante, the US team coach. “But Richardson just showed his experience.
“It was a wonderful lesson for Dylan – who said to me later ‘How was it I couldn’t wear out a 40-year-old?’!”
“The pace in the Gordon/Gaskin match was frenetic and Chris maintained that pace throughout. He really has gone up another level in recent months,” explained Assaiante.
“And Gilly was just brilliant – it was a beautiful match between two players who have come out of retirement.
“I’m very happy overall and very pleased for the team – they showed a lot of strength and courage. But what makes this trip so special is having Dylan with us for the first time – he makes the group feel much younger.”
A 3/0 win over Kuwait puts Scotland back into the top 16 – with impressive victories by Douglas Kempsell and Greg Lobban, plus a straight games win by Alan Clyne over Abdullah Al Muzayen in the battle between the number ones.
“Clyne and Abdullah are probably each other’s worst enemies as their styles are so contrasting – Clynie’s got such speed and the Kuwaiti has such great racket skills,” said Scottish coach Roger Flynn. “But, as they say, speed kills!
“England had better watch out tomorrow. We had a terrific match with England in the recent Europeans. Clynie made Nick (Matthew) work very hard – and he’ll be keen to do the same again.”
Last sixteen round draw:  EGYPT v  CANADA  INDIA v  HONG KONG CHINA  AUSTRALIA v  PAKISTAN  GERMANY v  NEW ZEALAND  MALAYSIA v  USA  FRANCE v  MEXICO  SOUTH AFRICA v  FINLAND  ENGLAND v  SCOTLAND
Official event website: http://worldmensquash-
For live streaming from all three glass courts: http://worldmensquash-