8:26 pm
29 May 2024

Hosts Halted As USA Reach World Teams Quarters

14 Dec 2023

USA broke home hearts at the Mercury Baypark Arena in Tauranga with a hard-fought victory over hosts New Zealand which took the fifth seeds into the last eight of the championship for the first time since 2011.

The American team started well through third string Spencer Lovejoy, with the world No.69 giving his side a platform with an 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 win over Temwa Chileshe.

World No.3 Paul Coll, so often the rock of New Zealand teams and in form after winning the New Zealand Open in four days ago, restored parity for the underdogs, seeded in the 9/12 group - who were targeting a third-consecutive quarter-final appearance - through a 3/0 win against Timothy Brownell.

In the crucial third match, it was USA's Shahjahan Khan who was able to provide the telling contribution.

The 28-year-old - who two days ago came in during the third match to clinch victory on a fifth-game tie-break against Czech Republic's Daniel Mekbib - held his nerve in an entertaining four-game contest with Lwamba Chileshe to take his side through.

"I feel I play best under pressure. Playing for the team is different and gets me more motivated," Khan said afterwards.

USA will face Switzerland in the quarter-final after the No.4 seeds reached the last eight for the first time with a comfortable win against eight-time champions Australia.

Earlier in the day, top seeds and defending champions Egypt continued their serene progress through the competition with a straightforward win over South Africa to set up a quarter-final clash with Scotland, who qualified for the last eight for the third time in succession thanks to a rescue effort from Greg Lobban and Rory Stewart against Hong Kong China.

Elsewhere, England, France and Germany cruised past Malaysia, Nigeria and Canada, while Wales came through a fiery clash with Czech Republic.