• Men's World Team Championships 2009  • Odense •  

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Day ONE:
Quick update #2 from Dan Zilic ..
the Serbian view

In the second session of the day almost all matches went to plan:

On court 1 Hong Kong dispatched us (Serbia) 3:0. Dennis Drenjovski was close to win the first game but lost 11:9 and never managed to come quite as close again in the following game, so he lost to Dick Lau 3:0 eventually. Marko Matanovic, who has been playing squash for less than two years, lost to Anson Kwong but put up a good fight and Ivan played really well to take the first game of Max Lee in a tie-breaker, but paid the price for his big efforts and lost 3:1 in the end. Nonetheless, we are happy with our debut and we can't really ask for much more when playing teams full of professionals.

Next door Pakistan looked impressive taking on Kenya. I don't know any of the Kenyan players but they can all hit the ball pretty well - the Pakistanis were having none (or little) of it and won all their matches 3:0.

Court 3 saw crowd favourites Egypt take on Kuwait. I saw glimpses of El Hindi beating Al-Husaini and the crowd really enjoying themselves - this was followed by Darwish winning 3:0 quickly and Ramy finishing things off at two. There was a large female gathering outside while the match was taking place - which I think some other teams were quite jealous of.

The one surprise of the second round of matches was Steve Coppinger losing to double-handed backhand man Rasmus Hult 3:1 - but Jesse Engelbrecht and Clinton Leeouw rectified the shock-loss with two 3:0 wins to give South Africa the win over Sweden.

Right now the evening matches are being played - Germany is facing arch-rivals Austria on center court and Simon Rösner just went up 1:0 up for the Germans. England should make mince-meat of Japan, the same as Italy against Venezuela (the Italians are resting Davide Bianchetti (at one) so Marcus Berrett had the honour of leading his team out.

Match of the round is Scotland against India - I heard that Saurav Ghosal had an unfortunate trip/slip in the hotel or club yesterday so he is not playing. This means Ritwik is playing at one and Alan Clyne is getting the better of him right now. So Scotland are within a good chance of causing some upset.

Day ONE:

Quick update #1 from Dan Zilic

On the centre court Denmark played against Ireland. Ireland are missing John Rooney due to flu so Keith Moran slipped into the team.

Anyway, Rasmus Moeller Nielsen started really well against Liam Kenny and was 1:0 and 10:6 up, but he let the game and match slip out of his hands after that and Liam ran out a winner.

Rasmus looked pretty impressive with some good aggressive play, but Liam picked up his game and put Ireland 1:0 in front. Veteran Derek Ryan selaed the win with a convincing 3:0 win over Danny Knudsen and Arthur Gaskin is currently 2:1 up against the Kristian Frost.

On the back-courts some battles are still taking place. Wales lost to the Netherlands 1:2. Anjema beat Rob Sutherland and Peter Creed then won 3:1 against Sebastian Weenink, but Jethro wasn't able to overcome Piedro Schweertman.

New Zealand are set to beat Spain but not as clear as one would have thought. Kashif Shuja, I was told, was 11:0 and 7:1 up vs. David Vidal, but despite winning game 2 lost the next three games. I just saw a few rallies but the Spaniard hit some beautiful winners. Martin Knight levelled the tie and Campbell Grayson is the favourite at 2.

The last match taking place is USA against Finland. Olli Tuominen beat Julian Illingworth 3:1. Tuomi at 3 was 3:0 up and had two match-balls in game 3 against Christopher Gordon, but the tall American fought back and won the match 3:2. The decider is played between Mustonen and Lane and could be quite tight.

Campbell Grayson just about overcame Alejandro Garbi so NZ escaped with a tight win. And Gilly Lane managed to beat Henrik Mustonen in 3 to secure the USA's first win.

Next round matches are starting at 4 - the big won being Serbia against Hong Kong of course (I am resting today so our super-sub Marko gets to make his debut);)


Day One Results:

A:   EGY 3-0 KUW, HKG 3-0 SRB
B:  GER 3-0 AUS, ENG 3-0 JPN
C:  IRL 3-0 DEN
D:   NED 2-1 WAL
E:   USA 2-1 FIN
F:   RSA 2-1 SWE, PAK 3-0 KEN
G:   NZL 2-1 ESP
H:   SCO 3-0 IND, ITA 3-0 VEN

Detailed results

Double blow
 for India

 Cyrus Poncha reports
Indian squash ran out of luck this week - minutes before we were boarding our flight from India to Denmark Siddharth Suchde called me and said he got an MRI of his knee, stating as his knee cap is moving and he is in tremendous pain and cannot play the WMT.
 We then activate our reserve Gaurav Nandrajog, who managed to get his visa within a day (incredible). So Gaurav arrives and we go for the opening ceremony.
 After that Saurav Ghosal, walking down the steps, misses one and we instantly see his ankle the size of a tennis ball - ice & strapping thanks to 'J' the Hong Kong physio.
 Saurav is certainly out for a few days ...

India lost their first match,
0-3 against Scotland

Egypt seeded to reclaim
World Team title in Denmark

Defending champions England are seeded to reach the final of the 2009 Men's World Team Squash Championship in Denmark next month - but Egypt are expected to win the title for the first time for ten years.

The championship, in its 22nd edition since the inaugural event in 1967, will be held in Denmark for the first time, from 27 September to 3 October. The venue will be the Squash Center Denmark in the city of Odense, the birth city of Hans Christian Andersen.

Led by world number one Karim Darwish, Egypt will be keen to make amends for a shock fourth place finish in the previous championship (in 2007) as they bid to repeat their 1999 success at this year's event.

England, bidding to become the first country since Pakistan in 1987 to win the biennial title three times in a row, will be led by the new British Open champion Nick Matthew. The world No5 clinched the title for the second time this week in the event's first all-English final for 70 years.

France and Australia are seeded three and four, respectively. France, runners-up in 2003, have yet to win the title – whilst Australia, beaten finalists in 2007, boast eight title triumphs between 1967 and 2003.

Six-time champions Pakistan are seeded six - behind Malaysia - and thus expected to record their best finish since 1997.

Italy, who will be making their first appearance in the event since 2003, are named as eighth seeds. Led by Davide Bianchetti, the Italian squad will include former Englishman Marcus Berrett and ex-Egyptian Amr Swelim – both of whom will be making their debuts for their new country.

Serbia will be making their debut in the championship which was launched 42 years ago.

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