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DAY 1 WRAP UP AND TUESDAY’S MATCHES PREVIEW

The seeds took advantage of the Women’s World Team Championship’s opening day to ease into the tournament, with a 3-0 win. But it wasn’t a walk in the park for all of them, as there were quite a few five game matches along the way. Here is a quick recap of today’s action and a preview of tomorrow’s fixtures.

Pool A:

Mexico without their number 1 Samantha Teran was no match for the New Zealand team. In the other tie, Egypt’s Omneya Abdel Kawy celebrated her tenth WWTC appearance with a win. Her teammates Nour El Sherbini and Nouran Gohar were tested by Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pillikal but won in 3 and 4 games, respectively. “We’re happy with how we played, Dr Samiha Aboul-Magd – often referred to as the mother of Egyptian squash – said to us afterwards. India is a very good team and we expected them to be seeded higher. It’s great for Nouran to win her first match in the senior team, she was strong mentally.” Tomorrow’s fixtures are Egypt v New Zealand and India v Mexic. Egypt should top that pool and the key encounter for the second spot to the quarters would be New Zealand v India on Wednesday.

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Pool B:

Good start for England whose 3 top players all won in straight games today, although Canada’s number 1 Samantha Cornett was close to get one against Laura Massaro. “I am glad to win 3-nil, especially since I was down in the second, England’s number 1 told us after the match. And I am happy with the way I played in the third. It was difficult to get used to the courts, I struggled to find my length.” Without Sabrina Sobhy who is due to arrive tomorrow, the United States had to overcome the resistance of Wales. Their number 1 Tesni Evans played a brilliant match today against Amanda Sobhy but the world number 7 still came out as the winner after 5 magnificent games and 55 minutes of play.

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One of tomorrow’s highlights will certainly be the match between two world top 10 players, Laura Massaro and Amanda Sobhy. “We will be up against one of the best teams in the world, No pressure on us …” Those were the words of Paul Assaiante – who is coaching the US team alongside Thierry Lincou. In the other fixture, Canada are favourites on paper against Wales (who are without their usual number 2 Deon Saffery for the event) but no doubt Tesni Evans and her teammates will give everything like they always do.

Pool C:

While Australia cruised against Austria, Dutch number 2 Milou van Der Heijden took her higher ranked opponent Delia Arnold to five games but the Malaysian prevailed in the end. Malaysia v Australia should be one of the most entertaining ties of the pool stage. Nicol David will of course be expected to extend her 31-match winning streak in the event against Donna Urquhart, but the two other matches are potentially very close, for example Rachael Grinham v Delia Arnold. The other fixture is Netherlands against Austria.

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Pool D

Busy day in Pool D with two series of matches. Higher seeded teams France and Hong Kong won her two fixtures relatively comfortably: Coline Aumard and Joey Chan were taken to five games by Germany’s Sharon Sinclair and Japan’s young prospect Satomi Watanabe, but their teams were already 2-0 up. Camille Serme was particularly impressive, losing less than ten points to her two opponents. There are four more fixtures tomorrow, but everyone now awaits for the Hong Kong v France clash on Wednesday in Issy-les-Moulineaux.

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Jérôme Elhaïk

Photos from Paul Orlovic

Tuesday’s schedule

In Squash Jeu de Paume:

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3pm, Pool A

Egypt v New Zealand

India v Mexico

6pm, Pool B

England v USA

Canada vs Wales

In Squash Club Saint-Cloud:

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11am, Pool D

Hong Kong v Germany

Japan v Spain

2pm, Pool C

Malaysia v Australia

Netherlands  v Austria

6pm, Pool D

France v Japan

Germany v Spain

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