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Hosts India enjoy dream start as World Cup returns after 12-year wait

Hosts India and top seeds Egypt enjoyed perfect starts as the Squash World Cup returned after a 12-year absence, while there were 3-1 wins for Japan and Malaysia.

The SDAT WSF Squash World Cup, which was last played in 2011, has returned with a number of rule changes, including gender balanced teams of two men and two women and increasing the pace of matches by playing to seven points per game rather than 11.

No.2 seeds India, backed by a boisterous crowd inside Chennai’s Express Avenue Mall, made the ideal start to their Pool B campaign with four wins out of four against Hong Kong, China.

Chennai natives Abhay Singh and Joshna Chinappa began well for the hosts with a pair of 3-0 wins against Chung Yat Long and Heylie Fung.

Andes Ling and Toby Tse threatened to spoil the party when they took 1-0 and 2-0 leads against Saurav Ghosal and Tanvi Khanna, but both were able to fight back, with Ghosal claiming a 3-1 win and Khanna impressing to rescue the match and win 3-2.

Speaking afterwards, Chinappa said: “In India, we’ve got so many women doing so well in different sports and it’s nice to be one of them in a small capacity. Since I was nine years old this is all I’ve done, all I’ve known and it’s very special to be playing for India at the highest level still!”

India face South Africa tomorrow in Pool B, with the No.7 seeds going down 3-1 to No.3 seeds Japan in the opening tie of the day.

In Pool A, pre-tournament favourites and defending champions Egypt showed their class with a shut out of Australia.

Up first for Egypt, Karim El Hammamy bounced back from a troubled start to beat Nicholas Calvert 3-1, with Fayrouz Aboelkheir then repeating the trick as she came back from a game down to beat Jessica Turnbull by the same scoreline.

Egypt saw out the rest of the contest more comfortably, with Aly Abou Eleinen and Kenzy Ayman beating Joseph White and Alexandra Haydon in straight games.

Egypt will face Colombia tomorrow, with the No.8 seeds losing to No.4 seeds Malaysia 3-1.

The SDAT WSF Squash World Cup resumes tomorrow (14 June), with play beginning at 10:30 (GMT+5:30) at Express Avenue Mall, Chennai.

All the action is being streamed live on the Olympic Channel and worldsquash.tv (worldwide) and JioCinema (India only).

Results: SDAT WSF Squash World Cup – Pool A

[1] Egypt 4-0 [5] Australia 

Karim El Hammamy beat Nicholas Calvert 3-1: 5-7, 7-3, 7-0, 7-3 (29m)
Fayrouz Aboelkheir beat Jessica Turnbull 3-1: 5-7, 7-4, 7-4, 7-4 (23m)
Aly Abou Eleinen beat Joseph White 3-0: 7-1, 7-6, 7-2 (21m)
Kenzy Ayman beat Alexandra Haydon 3-0: 7-5, 7-3, 7-4 (20m)

[4] Malaysia 3-1 [8] Colombia 

Sai Hung Ong beat Alfonso Marroquin 3-0: 7-2, 7-3, 7-4 (16m)Aira Azman beat Laura Tovar 3-1: 5-7, 7-0, 7-3, 7-1 (19m)Darren Pragasam beat Felipe Tovar 3-0: 7-2, 7-2, 7-2 (14m)Xin Ying Yee lost to Catalina Pelaez 1-3: 6-7, 6-7, 7-2, 5-7 (21m)

Results: SDAT WSF Squash World Cup – Pool B

[2] India 4-0 [6] Hong Kong, China 

Abhay Singh beat Chung Yat Long 3-0: 7-2, 7-3, 7-6 (24m)Joshna Chinappa beat Heylie Fung 3-0: 7-1, 7-5, 7-5 (20m)Saurav Ghosal beat Andes Ling 3-1: 5-7, 7-2, 7-5, 7-1 (25m)Tanvi Khanna beat Toby Tse 3-2: 5-7, 6-7, 7-1, 7-4, 7-3 (26m)

[3] Japan 3-1 [7] South Africa 

Tomotaka Endo beat Jean-Pierre Brits 3-2: 7-4, 1-7, 2-7, 7-3, 7-5 (45m)
Satomi Watanabe beat Lizelle Muller 3-0: 7-2, 7-1, 7-2 (17m)
Ryunosuke Tsukue beat Dewald van Niekerk 3-1: 4-7, 7-5, 7-5, 7-3 (33m)
Akari Midorikawa lost to Hayley Ward 3-1: 7-5 5-7 1-7 2-7 (24m)

Schedule: SDAT WSF Squash World Cup – Pool A: To be played 14 June

13:00 [1] Egypt v [8] Colombia
15:30 [4] Malaysia v [5] Australia

Schedule: SDAT WSF Squash World Cup – Pool B: To be played 14 June

10:30 [3] Japan v [6] Hong Kong, China
18:00 [2] India v [7] South Africa

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