This article first appeared on wsfworldmasters.com
Thursday at the BETARD WSF World Masters Championships 2022 was full of exciting quarterfinal matches and heartbreak for the home fans.
The five setters started early as Dominika Witkowska [3/4], who carried Poland’s hope for a medal on her shoulders, lost in her W45+ quarterfinal clash against Germany’s Melanie Kreisel [5/8]. Witkowska managed to come back from 2:0 down, but Kreisel kept a cool head and won the decider.
– Before the 5th game my coach asked me if I really wanted to win this match because I wasn’t showing the right attitude enough. That and the support of other German players helped steer me in the right direction – Kreisel said after the match.
Another dramatic clash was the W35+ medal group meeting between Nicolette Fernandes [1/2] and Olga Kolarova [3/4]. Surprisingly it was Czech Republic’s Kolarova who went 2:1 and 9-3 up, but could not finish the job as the top seed from Guyana starting working her way back to parity. After saving two match balls in the fourth, Fernandes won 11-5 and will play RSA’s Siyoli Waters on Saturday for the gold medal.
In the M40+ Joe Wong, the [5/8] from Hong Kong upset Germany’s Julian Wollny [3/4] to get a place in the semis. He will face top seed Ivan Flores Vela from Gibraltar who is still to lose a game in this competition.
On a day full of amazing encounters, the most watched had to be Poland’s Przemysław Atras [9/16] against Pakistan’s Karamatullah Khan [5/8]. The stand in front of the glass-court was full with another couple hundred fans following the livestream. And the players delivered a match to be remembered. Khan took a 2:1 lead, but Atras managed to save match balls and claw back to take that game 12-10. The fifth game seemed to be in the bag for the former Polish Champion who built a 8:4 lead, but Khan regained his concentration and eventually won 12-10.
– Przemek played excellent squash and had lots of support. I really enjoyed that match. At the start I didn’t play my game and I maybe underestimated my opponent which you should never do. Being 8-4 down in the fifth and really tired, I managed to find my length and width again which required real mental toughness – Khan reflected after the match.
Thursday was also a great day for South African squash in Wrocław: their players won 8/9 quarterfinals and 1 medal group match in which they featured.
Friday is the penultimate day of the World Masters 2022. Matches start at 10:00 AM (GMT+2).