10:37 pm
24 May 2024

Switzerland Score Maiden Men's World Team Semi

15 Dec 2023

No.4 seeds Switzerland made national sporting history overcoming USA to reach a maiden WSF Men's World Team Championship semi-final, where they will join Egypt, England and France.

Prior to this year's tournament, which is taking place in Tauranga, New Zealand, Switzerland's best finish was 12th in 2019.

Today, though, they reached new heights after a hard-fought victory over the tournament's No.5 seeded team.

Switzerland edged into the lead through world No.19 Nicolas Mueller, with the flamboyant 34-year-old clinching a thrilling five-game battle with Timothy Brownell 14-16, 11-7, 11-8, 4-11, 11-9.

USA struck back through Andrew Douglas when the 25-year-old world No.53 took down Yannick Wilhelmi in a 60-minute battle.

In the decisive match, it was Dimitri Steinmann who came out on top, with the world No.36 fighting back from a game down to beat Shahjahan Khan 3/1.

Afterwards, Steinmann said: "As soon as we saw the World Teams was on the calendar, we said it was our biggest goal of the season.

"It's something we can be very proud of, but the job's not finished!"

Mueller added: "We have a very strong team and a good team connection here and it makes me personally very proud to be a part of that team."

Switzerland will take on defending champions Egypt in tomorrow's semi-final after the top seeds brushed aside No.7 seeds Scotland, with Ali Farag and Mazen Hesham beating Greg Lobban and Alasdair Prott.

The other semi-final will be contested by No.3 seeds France and No.2 seeds England the two countries marking a sixth successive semi-final meeting in the event.

In a thrilling encounter, France battled past No.6 seeds Wales.

In the first match, Victor Crouin looked to be home and dry at 2/0 and 8-4 up, only for Joel Makin to dig deep and force a fourth and then fifth game.

In an even fifth game, Crouin thought he had won it 11-9, only for Makin to successfully overturn the match ball after lengthy video referee analysis.

At the second time of asking, though, Crouin held his nerve to put France ahead after 78 minutes.

Then, in another five-game battle, Auguste Dussourd edged past Owain Taylor to seal France's second successive semi-final.

Despite being ranked 69 places higher than world No.95 Taylor, Dussourd was severely tested, falling a game behind before eventually steadying the ship to win it 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6 in 76 minutes.

England, meanwhile, continued their excellent form at the Mercury Baypark Arena, with Mohamed ElShorbagy and Adrian Waller recording straight game wins over Germany's Raphael Kandra and Valentin Rapp.