Hosts New Zealand Top Pool A On Day Two At Nations Cup
4 Nov 2022
Hosts New Zealand have risen to the top of Pool A after overcoming Canada on day two of the Carrus Nations Cup taking place at the Trustpower Baypark Arena in Tauranga.
Men's world No.2 Paul Coll and women's world No.5 Joelle King are starring on home soil this week and achieved wins over world No.69 David Baillargeon and world No.17 Hollie Naughton, respectively, to put themselves on the verge of a place in Sunday's final. They sit at the summit of Pool A courtesy of winning four matches to second-placed Canada's two.
"I've gone into this week with a mindset to enjoy it and embrace the crowd," said Coll after his match.
"I wanted to enjoy it and try and put on a show for the crowd. It's been a while since they've seen top level squash, and we've got some greats here, so I hope they have a good week.
"Catching up with friends and family is part of that, going out for lunch, enjoying the beach and the sea. I'm just enjoying my time here, enjoying my squash and hopefully that that transforms into some good performances."
Scotland overcame Australia in the day's other Pool A tie, with world No.25 Greg Lobban beating Hedrick 4/1. Lobban's compatriot, Lisa Aitken, went down to Turnbull in a seven-gamer, but only required two games to win the tie for Scotland, who sit in third in Pool A.
"I'm really happy with today's performance, it was really enjoyable," said Lobban.
"The quicker and the easier I win, it takes a little bit of the pressure off. To lose [the fourth], it could easily get away from you given that it's only up to seven points with the Powerplay rule too. Before you know it, it could be 3-2, 3-3 and into a decider."
Team Europe stay top of Pool B for the second day running after Belgium's Nele Gilis and France's Sebastien Bonmalais recorded respective wins against New Zealand B's Kaitlyn Watts and Lwamba Chileshe.
Europe will go up against England in a blockbuster tie tomorrow to decide who will progress to the final.
"Seb inspired me to go out there and play well," said Gilis.
"I felt good out there, it was obviously Kaitlyn's home crowd, so I knew she would be up for it and would be fighting, which she did. I'm really glad to get away in four. I'm looking forward to it [playing England's Sarah-Jane Perry next], it's going to be a great battle. We train together, so we know each other's games, I'm really excited."
England sit in second in Pool B. They have won the same amount of matches and games as Europe, but have scored fewer points so far despite their win over USA today. Men's world No.4 Mohamed ElShorbagy overcame USA's Timothy Brownell in straight games, while his compatriot Sarah-Jane Perry required seven games to defeat world No.20 Olivia Clyne.
"I think the new format we're trialling here, I think the concentration is very different, I think we're all getting used to that and it's led to some topsy-turvy matches so far, including my match just now," Perry said.
"I think it's the men first [tomorrow], so I'll be confident in Mo getting on there and doing the job as well. Hopefully he can get me onto the court in a good position and I'll do my best to bring it home for England."
Results - Pool Stage Day Two: 2022 Nations Cup
 Scotland 1-1  Australia: Pool A (Scotland win due to winning 7-5 on games)
Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Rex Hedrick (AUS) 4-1: 7-2, 7-6, 7-2, 3-7, 7-1 (42m)
Jessica Turnbull (AUS) bt Lisa Aitken (SCO) 4-3: 5-7, 7-3, 4-7, 7-6, 7-5, 5-7, 7-2 (45m)