USA shocks Canada in a dramatic match

Chennai: There was drama aplenty in the quarterfinals of the WSF-World junior team squash championship on Friday. At the ISA courts second seed Canada's top player Julien Gosset was on match ball, had to concede the match to USA's Daelum Mawji. The net result was Canada which was on the verge of a 2-0 win had to await the outcome of the third singles and as it happened USA pipped the second seeds 2-1 with Thomas Rosilin winning that crucial match beating Canada's George Crowne. It was as though USA was destined to enter the semi-final.

It was a dramatic turn around of fortunes. Julien was leading 2-1 in game score and was on 10-7 when he slipped , fell and suffered a hamstring injury. Worse, he had go concede the match after finding himself unable to move on the court. The Canadian had made a brave attempt to restart play after medical attention but it was Mawji who moved ahead and brought the score to 11-10 in his favour when Julien threw in the towel, shook hands with his opponent and walked out in tears. What seemed a routine win instantly swung into a different plane and bad enough for Canada, it lost its deciding third singles with Rosilin putting up a gutsy display to edge out Crowne in four games, the fourth going repeatedly to match point before swinging USA's way

At the Express Avenue Mall, Pakistan's tenure ended at the hands of higher seeded England but not without a fight. England won 2-1. Earlier Czech Republic sprang a surprise by beating higher seeded Malaysia 2-0 to make it to the last four. This is only the second time that the Czech Republic had entered this championship and that too after a gap of 10 years.

Modest in its approach to this championship here, the country had actually not fieled any player in the singles event prior to the team events. To that extent the standards of the players were neatly masked but that the team is a capable competitor came to light when it defeated Pakistan in the Group league on its way to topping the pool. In Viktor Byrtus the team had a peformer with high credentials who had won most of the leading junior Open events in Europe and had begun to emerge as a top junior from the country. The results had begun to unravel in this Championship.

In the 2-1-3 fomat of the day's play where the top players met in the second match, Viktor had come on to the court after Ondrej Vorlicek had given Czech a 1-0 lead. Viktor's opponent Darren Rahul Pragasam had made an impression as a fighter who does not yield easily. Viktor lost the first game narrowly but thereafter he was the master of all he surveyed, winning the next three games to shock his rival and give his country the passage to the last four.

As for other matches, top seed Egypt's inexorable run continued. It beat Hong Kong 3-0 in fact after the two teams decided on playing the third singles despite the tie getting decided. Both Mostafa Asal and Marwan Tarek breezed past their opponents in no time before Mostafa El Serty completing the rout. Egypt now takes on the dark horse Czech next.

The results: quarterfinals:

Egypt[1] bt Hong Kong, China[9] 3-0 (Mostafa Asal bt Chan Chi Ho 11-3 11-9 11-5; 
Marwan Tarek bt Chung Yat Long 11-7 11-4 11-6; 
Mostafa El Serty bt To Wai Lok 11-5 11-9); 
Czech Republic (6) bt Malaysia (4) 2-0 (Ondrej Vorlicek bt Siow Yee Xian 11-4, 12-10, 6-11, 11-2; 
Viktor Byrtus bt Darren Rahul Pragasam 10-12, 11-9, 11-1, 11-6; 
Marek Panacek v Duncan Yung Yii Lee (not played); 
England (3) bt Pakistan (11) 2-0 (James Wyatt bt Muhammad Uzair 8-11, 11-2, 11-2, 8-11,11-2; 
Nicholas Wall bt Abbas Zeb 11-9, 11-6, 7-11,11-6; 
Samuel Todd lost to Haris Qasis 10-12, 9-11, 9-11 ); 
USA(8) bt Canada (2) 2-1 (Tiber worth loses to James Flynn 11-8, 11-8, 2-11, 6-11, 6-11; 
Daelum Mawji bt Julien Gosset 8-11, 5-11, 11-10 retd; 
Thomas Rosini bt George Crowne 11-9,1-11, 11-5, 12-10)