Denmark Upset Casts Pakistan Out Of The World Top 16
23 Aug 2011
Outsiders Denmark pulled off the biggest upset in the WSF Men's World Team Squash Championship by beating Pakistan in today's final qualifying round in the German city of Paderborn - a result which pushes one of the world's most successful squash nations out of the world's top 16 for the first time in their history.
The 23rd staging of the World Squash Federation event - the first senior world championship since the IOC announcement that Squash is on the shortlist for Olympic inclusion in 2020 - is taking place in Germany for the first time.
Second string Yasir Butt put 12th seeds Pakistan ahead at the Ahorn-Sportpark after surviving a five-game battle with Rasmus Nielsen, beating the higher-ranked Dane 2-11, 11-4, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9 in 53 minutes.
But late call-up Morten Sorenson, a 32-year-old former pro from Copenhagen who last played for his country in the 1999 championship, played the game of his life to fight back from 2/0 down to beat 19-year-old full-timer Waqar Mehboob 3-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-8.
"That was a really big win for us," said Danish national coach Francesco Busi. "We've been training solidly for the past six weeks - we tried to prepare the best we could. I'm really happy with the form and condition of the players. We thought we had the chance to compete with Pakistan, and were disappointed when Rasmus lost in the fifth.
"Morten played an amazing game - and the whole team played with heart. I could not be happier."
Sorenson was on holiday in the south of France 12 days ago when he received the surprise call from the Danish selectors: "I immediately went to Monaco to train with Gus Hansen, then back to Denmark to join the rest of the squad.
"I've now played every day for 12 days - and it's the first time I've done that for 12 years," added the former world No91 who retired from World Tour at the beginning of last year. "The touch is coming back. We have a really good team spirit. It was amazing how Kristian finished it off."
Olesen, who was overwhelmed by his team-mates when he came off court, said: "That was my biggest victory so far - not just for me, but for my country. It was very special. The team is amazing and the way we support each other is fantastic - that makes all the difference."
Pakistan team manager Wing Commander Irfan Asghar admitted that his team was not up the challenge: "We are very disappointed, of course, this is not a good result for our country. I thought my boys were not fit enough to compete against those boys, especially in those warm and humid conditions."
Italy and USA were playing for supremacy in Pool H, with just a single seeding position separating the two nations. And it was Italy - the ninth seeds, led by players born in France, England and Egypt - who prevailed to win.
Former Englishman Marcus Berrett, a 35-year-old Yorkshireman once ranked 37 in the world, led the way with an 11-4, 11-6, 11-9 victory over Christopher Gordon, the world No80 from New York. Cairo-born Amr Ramsy Swelim clinched victory after beating Todd Harrity 8-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-6, before Stephane Galifi survived a five-game clash against Julian Illingworth, beating the record seven-time US champion 7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9.
"This win was great for the team's morale," said Italian coach Vinicio Menegozzi. "To be honest, we feel that we are one of four teams of similar standards - including USA - but this a great confidence-booster.
"Marcus's win really opened up the opportunity for us - it was important to get that momentum. We did well last time in Odense - finishing in seventh place - so it would be nice to make the top eight again. Stephane has strengthened the team since then."
Berrett was delighted with his win over a full-time pro: "I think I played well, though I was a bit edgy in the end. I don't get too many matches now that I'm not on the circuit. Once it started, I could feel it was possible to beat him.
"I like being the underdog - I was often in that position back in England. I use that to take the pressure off me.
"I've been in Italy six years - I went there for a life experience, and now and I'm there to stay. It isn't hard, coming from the grey and drizzle of Halifax! I have two kids now - the eldest is three, and I'm learning Italian from her!"
Hosts Germany gave the capacity crowd surrounding the stunning all-glass showcourt the result they wanted over rivals Spain. Second and third strings Jens Schoor and Andre Haschker played the games of their lives to beat Spaniards Alejandro Garbi Caro and David Vidal, respectively, before squad number one Simon Rosner made it a clean sweep over Borja Golan, beating the experienced former world No10 11-5, 11-6, 11-3 - his first ever win over the Spanish No1.
"I never expected something like this after the first two matches," said a jubilant German team manager Oliver Pettke. "It was my dream that we would win the deciding tie 2/0 so that it would take the pressure off Simon.
"Both Jens and Andre played the best I have ever seen them. It's good for the tournament that we have another match on the glass court.
"I'm speechless, and very proud of the team. They are very focussed, which makes it very easy."
Former champions Australia played their first match on the glass court - beating Finland 2/1 to take top honours in Pool D. Aussie stalwart Stewart Boswell, the world No21, put his team into the lead after beating Henrik Mustonen, a 20-year-old ranked almost 40 places lower.
"I probably needed a hard game to get me into the tournament - but not that hard," said the 33-year-old former world No4.
Last sixteen round:
 ENGLAND v [17/24] HONG KONG CHINA
 ITALY v  MEXICO
 AUSTRALIA v  NETHERLANDS
 INDIA v [17/24] DENMARK
 MALAYSIA v  SOUTH AFRICA
 FRANCE v  FINLAND
 CANADA v  USA
 EGYPT v  GERMANY
Official website: www.wmtc2011.com
Final qualifying round - Pool A:
 GERMANY bt [17/24] SPAIN 3/0
Jens Schoor bt Alejandro Garbi Caro 11-4, 11-7, 11-5 (22m)
Andre Haschker bt David Vidal 11-5, 11-7, 11-0 (35m)
Simon Rosner bt Borja Golan 11-5, 11-6, 11-3 (35m)
 ENGLAND bt [25/32] IRELAND 3/0
Peter Barker bt Steve Richardson 11-3, 11-3, 11-2 (49m)
Daryl Selby bt Conor O'Hare 11-3, 11-4, 11-2 (23m)
Nick Matthew bt Arthur Gaskin 11-9, 11-6, 11-4 (36m)
Final positions: 1 England, 2 Germany, 3 Spain, 4 Ireland
 EGYPT bt  NEW ZEALAND 3/0
Mohamed El Shorbagy bt Evan Williams 11-3, 11-8, 11-5 (26m)
Hisham Mohamed Ashour bt Paul Coll 11-9, 11-5, 11-4 (25m)
Karim Darwish bt Martin Knight 11-4, 12-10, 11-5 (37m)
[17/24] HONG KONG CHINA bt [25/32] SWEDEN 3/0
Dick Lau bt Sebastian Victor 11-5, 8-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7 (56m)
Yip Tsz Fung bt Alex Christensson 11-6, 16-14, 11-3
Max Lee bt Christian Drakenberg 11-2, 11-6, 11-2 (26m)
Final positions: 1 Egypt, 2 Hong Kong China, 3 New Zealand, 4 Sweden
 FRANCE bt [25/32] KOREA 3/0
Mathieu Castagnet bt Seung Taek Lee 11-2, 11-1, 11-3 (23m)
Gregoire Marche bt Seung-Jun Lee 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 (31m)
Thierry Lincou bt Nyeon-Ho Lee 9-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-5 (34m)
 NETHERLANDS bt [17/24] ARGENTINA 2/1
Dylan Bennett lost to Hernan D'Arcangelo 11-13, 11-8, 6-11, 10-12 (42m)
Piedro Schweertman bt Roberto Pezzota 12-10, 6-11, 11-3, 11-8 (44m)
Laurens Jan Anjema bt Gonzalo Miranda 11-5, 11-0, 11-3 (28m)
Final positions: 1 France, 2 Netherlands, 3 Argentina, 4 Korea
 AUSTRALIA bt  FINLAND 2/1
Stewart Boswell bt Henrik Mustonen 11-5, 11-4, 3-11, 11-8 (44m)
Aaron Frankcomb bt Matias Tuomi 11-8, 11-2, 11-8 (36m)
Cameron Pilley lost to Olli Tuominen 8-11, 9-11, 4-11 (39m)
[17/24] COLOMBIA bt [25/32] BERMUDA 3/0
Javier Castilla Conde bt Robert Maycock 5-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-6 (38m)
Juan Camilo Vargas bt Chris Stout 13-11, 11-8, 11-6 (25m)
Andres Vargas bt Micah Franklin 11-9, 11-7, 11-3 (25m)
Final positions: 1 Australia, 2 Finland, 3 Colombia, 4 Bermuda
 MALAYSIA bt [25/32] AUSTRIA 3/0
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan bt Jakob Dirnberger 11-6, 11-1, 12-10 (30m)
Kamran Khan bt Andreas Freudensprung 11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 11-4 (39m)
Ong Beng Hee bt Aqeel Rehman 14-12, 11-9, 11-9 (32m)
[17/24] DENMARK bt  PAKISTAN 2/1
Rasmus Nielsen lost to Yasir Butt 11-2, 4-11, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11 (53m)
Morten W Sorensen bt Waqar Mehboob 3-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-8 (47m)
Kristian Frost Olesen bt Aamir Atlas Khan 11-2, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9 (39m)
Final positions: 1 Malaysia, 2 Denmark, 3 Pakistan, 4 Austria
[17/24] KUWAIT bt [25/32] HUNGARY 3/0
Ammar Al-Tamimi bt Marton Szaboky 11-0, 11-3, 11-2 (28m)
Ali Bader Al-Ramzi bt Peter Hoffman 11-6, 11-9, 11-13, 11-3 (55m)
Abdullah Al Muzayen bt Mark Krajcsak 11-5, 11-8, 11-7 (27m)
 INDIA bt  SOUTH AFRICA 3/0
Siddharth Suchde bt Shaun le Roux 7-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-1, 11-6 (80m)
Harinder Pal Sandhu bt Clinton Leeuw 12-10, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8 (83m)
Saurav Ghosal bt Stephen Coppinger 11-5, 11-3, 11-4 (28m)
Final positions: 1 India, 2 South Africa, 3 Kuwait, 4 Hungary
 CANADA bt [25/32] NAMIBIA 3/0
Andrew McDougall bt Andrew Forrest 11-3, 11-3, 11-6 (28m)
Andrew Schnell bt Angelo Titus 11-5, 11-4, 11-2 (22m)
Shawn Delierre bt Marco Becker 6-11, 11-2, 9-11, 11-8, 11-2 (47m)
 MEXICO bt [17/24] SCOTLAND 2/1
Eric Galvez bt Stuart Crawford 10-12, 11-1, 11-7, 11-1 (53m)
Erik Tepos Valtierra lost to Chris Small 11-9, 11-9, 4-11, 10-12, 7-11 (71m)
Cesar Salazar bt Alan Clyne 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5 (58m)
Final positions: 1 Canada, 2 Mexico, 3 Scotland, 4 Namibia
[17/24] SWITZERLAND bt [25/32] UKRAINE 3/0
Reiko Peter bt Kostiantyn Rybalchenko 11-6, 11-3, 11-9 (27m)
Lukas Burkhart bt Denys Podvornyi 11-2, 13-11, 13-11 (40m)
Nicolas Mueller bt Ruslan Sorochinskiy 11-3, 11-8, 11-4 (18m)
 ITALY bt  USA 3/0
Marcus Berrett bt Christopher Gordon 11-4, 11-6, 11-9 (37m)
Amr Ramsy Swelim bt Todd Harrity 8-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-6 (42m)
Stephane Galifi bt Julian Illingworth 7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9 (44m)
Final positions: 1 Italy, 2 USA, 3 Switzerland, 4 Ukraine