Europe's Top Squash Stars Head
For Aix-en-Provence ...
Despite travel problems caused by the recent Iceland volcano
eruption, the 2010 European Team Squash Championships will take
place as planned next week at Set Squash in Aix-en-Provence in
France from 27th April to 1st May.
The leading European Squash Federation championship is marking
its 38th Men's event since 1973 and its 33rd Women's event since
1978. 27 nations will compete in the 2010 men's event and 21 in
In a bid to help National federations who might have players
stranded overseas, the ESF has introduced a temporary amendment
to its rule regarding the maximum number of players that can be
nominated for each squad – which will now be up to eight men and
Hosts hope to upset England
England are seeded to retain their titles in both the
men's and women's events. But France, runners-up to
England in all but one of the previous ten men's finals, will be
hoping that home advantage will lead to their first title
success in 36 appearances since 1975.
The England men's squad will be led by Nick Matthew, the world
No2 from Sheffield, supported by James Willstrop, Peter Barker,
Daryl Selby, Adrian Grant and Alister Walker – ranked 5, 8, 9,
13 and 14, respectively, in the world.
Second seeds France boast a squad featuring Gregory Gaultier,
Thierry Lincou, Renan Lavigne, Mathieu Castagnet and Gregoire
Marche – ranked 5, 7, 32, 50 and 82, respectively.
Croatia, Turkey, Cyprus and Slovakia
will be returning to the men's championships after being absent
Unbeaten England field two debutantes
England will hope to extend their remarkable 32-year
reign as women's champions since the inaugural event in 1978.
But the 2010 squad will be missing two of the country's leading
players - Alison Waters, the British National champion, and
Laura Massaro – both of whom are still recovering from injury.
However, Yorkshire's world No2 Jenny Duncalf will be making her
seventh successive appearance in the event, leading a squad
which will include Tania Bailey, the former world No4 who made
her European Team Championship debut in 1999. But the squad will
also include two event debutantes: Sarah Kippax and Dominique
Lloyd-Walter, ranked 21, 24 in the world.
The favourites are expected to face their stiffest opposition
from second seeds Netherlands, their opponents in the
final for the past seven years. Former world number one and
world champion Vanessa Atkinson will lead the Dutch attack in
her 18th successive appearance in the event since 1993, but the
expectant Natalie Grinham who made her debut last year will be
Hosts France, headed by top twenty players Camille Serme
and Isabelle Stoehr, will be hoping to end the Dutch sequence of
finals and their Pool B clash will be crucial.
Turkey will be making their debut in the women's
Men's entries (seedings):
A: England (1), Netherlands (4), Germany (5), Finland (8)
B: France (2), Wales (3), Scotland (6), Ireland (7)
C: Spain (9), Belgium (16), Israel (17), Croatia (24), Turkey
D: Denmark (10), Czech Rep. (15), Austria (18), Poland (23),
E: Sweden (11), Hungary (14), Luxembourg (19), Gibraltar (22),
F: Switzerland (12), Italy (13), Ukraine (20), Greece (21)
A: England (1), Ireland (4), Germany (5), Italy (8)
B: Netherlands (2), France (3), Denmark (6), Switzerland (7)
C: Scotland (9), Sweden (16), Poland (17)
D: Spain (10), Finland (15), Luxembourg (18)
E: Wales (11), Czech Republic (14), Greece (19)
F: Belgium (12), Austria (13), Cyprus (20), Turkey (21)
How does it work ?
The format of the Euro Teams varies depending on the number
of entries. In both competitions this year the top eight seeds
are the only ones who can win it, with the top two in Pools A
and B advancing to the semi-finals.
If there had been one more men's team the format would have been
quite different, with every team able to win the event and
Champions League style last 16 playoffs.
The remaining Pool A and B teams are joined by the winners of
the other Pools in the 5/12 playoffs, with the first-round
winners guaranteed a top eight place for next year.