5:13 pm
10 Dec 2023

Mendez Stuns Second Seed To Make World Games Semis

16 Jul 2022

USA's 5/8 seed Haley Mendez kept home hopes alive as she came from behind for the second match in succession to beat French No.2 seed Mélissa Alves 2/1 and reach The World Games semi-finals in Birmingham, USA.

World No.25 Alves made a strong start to the match, comfortably taking the first game 11-6. However, just as she did in her quarter-final match with Poland's Karina Tyma, Mendez found the perfect response.

The world No.56 came out of the blocks quickly as she levelled the scores with an 11-4 win and was able to maintain her momentum into the decisive third, which she took 11-9 after seeing three of her match balls saved.

The 28-year-old will play England's Lucy Beecroft in the semi-final, following the 5/8 seed's 14-minute 2/0 win over tournament surprise package Katerina Tycova of Germany.

The second women's semi-final will be contested by Belgian top seed Tinne Gilis and French 3/4 seed Coline Aumard after victories over the USA's Marina Stefanoni and Germany's Saskia Beinhard, respectively.

In the men's draw, 5/8 seed Dimitri Steinmann ended a run of four successive defeats to Germany's Raphael Kandra to knock the 3/4 seed out in straight games.

The 25-year-old won the first game 12-10 after saving two game balls, before a run of seven unanswered points guided him through to the semi-finals as he took the second game 11-2.

Steinmann's opponent in the semi-finals will be top seed Grégoire Marche after the Frenchman beat Canada's David Baillargeon 11-7, 11-1 in 17 minutes.

Afterwards, Marche paid tribute to the hosts for what had been a fantastic competition.

"I'm happy to be in the semis here in Birmingham," he said. "It's a nice atmosphere here with the French crew. We have all the French athletes from the other sports coming to watch us as well. It's just a completely different feeling to a tournament on the PSA World Tour. I feel really proud to try to put the French flag on top and get the medals. I'm really happy and lucky to be here.

"I played ok today and tomorrow is another day. Dimitri [Steinmann] is a good friend and I know it's not going to be easy. I'll have a different approach to the match because it's best of five. I just feel really happy and grateful to be in this kind of atmosphere!"

The second men's semi-final will see No.2 seed Miguel Rodriguez face French 3/4 seed Victor Crouin after the Colombian recorded a comfortable 2/0 victory over France's Baptiste Masotti and Crouin came from one game down to beat the USA's Shahjahan Khan.

Report courtesy of WSF www.worldsquash.org/world-games-quarter-finals-mendez-downs-no-2-seed-alves/