Top Four Nations Extend Unbeaten World Cup Runs In India
15 Jun 2023
Unbeaten after two days of action, the top four seeds Egypt, Malaysia, India and Japan will battle it out to decide who finishes top of each pool on the third and final day of the SDAT WSF Squash World Cup pool stage at the Express Avenue Mall in the Indian city of Chennai.
With only the top two sides from the two pools progressing, no one could afford a mistake in their bids to reach the semi-finals of the mixed team event which has returned after a 12-year absence.
In Pool A, top seeds and pre-tournament favourites Egypt secured their second 4/0 win in quick succession as they brushed aside No.8 seeds Colombia.
"In the first game, I was really nervous at the beginning [because] I was the first to play but I really enjoyed it!" Ayman said afterwards.
Egypt's final pool A opponents, No.4 seeds Malaysia, came through a tense and testing encounter with No.5 seeds Australia, with Ong Sai Hung's fourth-match victory guaranteeing his side at least second place.
Ong's win - a 3/0 victory over Nicholas Calvert - came with the tie in the balance, with Malaysia defending a 2/1 lead after wins for Xin Ying Yee and Aira Azman over Alex Haydon and Jessica Turnbull, either side of a defeat for Darren Pragasam to Joseph White.
In Pool B, there will be a race for top spot between India and Japan, after they beat South Africa and Hong Kong, China, respectively.
The hosts were led well in their opening match by Tanvi Khanna, who put her side in front with a 3/1 win over Hayley Ward, before Saurav Ghosal - who was praised by the crowd for his sportsmanship after telling the referee a decision in his favour was incorrect - doubled the lead with a straight games victory against Dewald van Niekerk.
"I want to be the best there is and the best there ever was, but I want to do it in the right way so that I'm remembered in the right way," Ghosal said afterwards.
India's opponents, Japan, were in action in the first tie of the day as they came back from one match down to overcome No.6 seeds Hong Kong, China 3/1 thanks to victories for Ryunosuke Tsukue, Satomi Watanabe and Tomotaka Endo.