This article first appeared on wsfworldmasters.com
The wait was finally over as the BETARD WSF World Masters Championships 2022 began on Sunday in Wrocław, Poland.
After being originally scheduled for the year 2020, the event had to be postponed twice due to the global pandemic. Hosts Hasta La Vista, the largest squash club in the world, stood firm in their commitment to organise the event and now, after over three years of preparation, 683 players from all over the world are finally here.
Day 1 saw unseeded Men’s players compete for a place in main draws and the start of group matches for the Women’s 35+ category.
Many home nation representatives got a chance to shine on this big stage. Zenon Waniak (M60+), the founder and owner of the Hasta La Vista club, gave the home fans something to cheer about as he won 3-0 against Haji Abdul Mateen Md Yussof on the all-glass court set up for this event with stands which can accommodate over 500 fans.
Another Pole, Maciej Kędzierski (M55+) was less fortunate in his five-game thriller against Czech Republic’s Bohuslav Zajkr. The latter took the long match after winning the decider 11-9.
England’s David Harris (M60) was the winner of another nail-baiting contest as he took the fifth game 12-10 against Pavel Mach of the Czech Republic. Harris was already two games up, but his opponent managed to come back to parity, cheered on by a large contingent of his countrymen. In the end, the Englishman kept his cool and will now play the fourth seed, Trevor Wilkinson.
In the women’s 35+ category the first round of group stages saw seeds Birgit Coufal, Eva Fertekova and Denisa Sladeckova record dominant 3:0 wins.
After all games concluded for the day, the official Opening Ceremony took place at the Hotel Novotel Wrocław.
Monday’s matches start at 10:00AM (GMT+2) and will be played simultaneously on 16 courts.