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Squash World Cup 5-8 Playoffs Roundup: Colombia shock South Africa, Australia beat Hong Kong, China

No.8 seeds Colombia will play No.5 seeds Australia in the 5-6 SDAT WSF Squash World Cup playoff after they squeezed past No.7 seeds South Africa on games won after a 2-2 draw, while Australia eased past No.6 seeds Hong Kong, China on day four of the relaunched Squash World Cup.

The event – which has been revamped since the last time it was played and now features gender-balanced teams of two men and two women, game-scoring to seven points, and sudden death game balls at 6-6 – is being played at Chennai’s Express Avenue Mall, which hosted the World Cup the last time it was played, in 2011.

After finishing fourth in Pool A, Colombia faced a daunting prospect in South Africa, who yesterday beat Hong Kong, China to finish third in Pool B.

The tie appeared to be going to seeding when Jean-Pierre Brits beat Alfonso Marroquin 3-1, only for Laura Tovar to fire back with a 3-0 win over Lizelle Muller.

Dewald van Niekerk restored South Africa’s lead as he beat Felipe Tovar but, crucially, Tovar picked up one game in a 7-3, 4-7, 7-4, 7-1 defeat, meaning that if Colombia’s second string woman Catalina Pelaez could beat Hayley Ward 3-0 or 3-1, Colombia would scrape through on games won.

To the delight of her teammates, Pelaez was able to scrape through by the barest of margins. With Pelaez leading 2-1 in the tie, game four went to a sudden death tie break, which Pelaez was able to win 7-6 to get Colombia over the line.

Afterwards, Pelaez said: “I had to enter the court and really concentrate. I was really on at first but then maybe got a little anxious and started to hit the ball without really thinking. Especially that last game, which at 7-6 could have gone either way. 

“I’m really happy to take this win for the team because finally we won!” 

Laura Tovar added: I’m so happy to win, it’s my first of the tournament. The court was very hot today.

“I’m happy to give the win to my team, let’s go Colombia!”

In the first tie, Australia’s top two helped their side come from behind to take a 2-1 victory over Hong Kong, China.

Australian men’s second string, Nicholas Calvert, saved match balls in his third and fourth games against Chung Yat Long before eventually losing out 7-3 in the fifth as the No.6 seeds took the lead.

Turnbull then hit back for Australia with a convincing 7-3, 7-4, 7-0 victory over Heylie Fung.

In the third match, Joseph White followed up Turnbull’s performance with a dominant display of his own, beating Andes Ling 7-4, 7-4, 7-5.

With two points awarded for victories for team’s top two players, those wins for Turnbull and White were enough to wrap up the tie in three matches.

Afterwards, White said: “It was tough. It’s a bit slower on court today than in previous days, so the rallies extended a bit and there weren’t as many balls shooting through and not as many quick winners.

“I had to construct the rally and be a bit more patient with how I moved the ball around the court and I’m happy to be able to keep my focus. I did that well today.

“I think I’ve been playing quite well this week.”

Results: SDAT WSF Squash World Cup – 5-8 Playoff

[5] Australia 2 – 1 [6] Hong Kong, China

Nicholas Calvert lost to Chung Yat Long 2-3: 6-7, 2-7, 7-6, 7-6, 3-7 (42m)

Jessica Turnbull beat Heylie Fung 3-0: 7-3, 7-4, 7-0 (15m)

Joseph White beat Andes Ling 3-0: 7-4, 7-4, 7-5 (24m)

Alex Haydon v Toby Tse – Match Withdrawn

[7] South Africa 2-2 Colombia [8]

Jean-Pierre Brits beat Alfonso Marroquin 3-1: 7-5, 3-7, 7-4, 7-4 (27m)

Lizelle Muller lost to Laura Tovar 0-3: 6-7, 1-7, 4-7 (15m)

Dewald van Niekerk beat Felipe Tovar 3-1: 7-3, 4-7, 7-4, 7-1 (22m)

Hayley Ward lost to Catalina Pelaez 1-3: 5-7, 2-7, 7-2, 6-7 (22m)

Colombia win on games won.

The semi finals of the Squash World Cup, which pits Egypt against Japan and India against Malaysia, take place today from 15:30 (GMT+5:30).

Watch the action live on the Olympic Channel and worldsquash.tv (worldwide) and JioCinema (India only).

Click here for live scores from Chennai.


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