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The World Games: Quarter-Final Preview

The quarter-finals squash at The World Games 2022 get underway today at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.

There are eight countries represented across the men’s and women’s draws, which will get underway at 10:30 local time (GMT-5) and be played to a best-of-three format.

Those following the event from home can keep up with the scores and results as they happen, including from the plate matches, on the tournament website, while the Olympic Channel will broadcast the final on the 17th.

You can catch up on everything that happened yesterday with our Round 2 Roundup.

Read on as we preview today’s matchups (all stats generously provided by Squash Info).

[1] Tinne Gilis (BEL) v [9/16] Marina Stefanoni (USA)

Belgium’s Tinne Gilis

The day’s play begins with Belgium v the USA as top seed and World No.13 Tinne Gilis takes on 9/16  seed Marina Stefanoni. Gilis has spent just 12 minutes on court so far, having received a bye in round one and then rapidly putting Canada’s Nikki Todd to the sword yesterday evening.

The World No.57, meanwhile, impressed in beating Japan’s 5/8 seed Satomi Watanabe yesterday and Colombia’s Laura Tovar in round one.

While the pair have never met on the professional circuit, they are familiar with each other’s game having clashed three times as juniors, with Gilis victorious on all three occasions.

[3/4] Coline Aumard (FRA) v [9/16] Saskia Beinhard (GER)

Coline Aumard in action.

In a first ever meeting in any competition, France’s 3/4 seed Coline Aumard plays Germany’s 9/16 Saskia Beinhard. Aumard, who recently retired from the PSA World Tour, goes in as the favourite and sits 35 places above Beinhard in the World Rankings.

Beinhard, though, will take comfort from her second round upset of Finland’s Emilia Soini, as well as a crushing round one performance against Hungary’s Kincső Szász, where she conceded a total of just two points.

2017 quarter-finalist Aumard, meanwhile, is yet to drop a game, having seen off Celine Walser and Jessica Turnbull to reach this stage.

Katerina Tycova (GER) v [5/8] Lucy Beecroft (ENG)

Katerina Tycova (right) produced the shock of the day when she beat 3/4 seed Anna Serme (left) on day one.

Katerina Tycova has been the surprise package of The World Games 2022. The German World No.130 is the only unseeded player remaining in either draw and captured headlines on day one with a shock win over 3/4 seed Anna Serme after going a game down and then upsetting 9/16 seed Alex Haydon in straight games on day two.

Tycova’s opponent is English World No.54 Lucy Beecroft. Beecroft, who recently made the British Nationals final, overcame Hannah Chukwu on day one and Cheng Nga Ching yesteday without dropping a game.

[2] Mélissa Alves (FRA) v [5/8] Haley Mendez (USA)

No.2 seed Melissa Alves.

Despite both players being active on the PSA World Tour, today’s match is their first meeting since the 2010 World Junior Championship, in which Mélissa Alves took a 3-0 win.

The No.2 seed has enjoyed a trouble free start to her maiden World Games. After receiving a bye through round one, the 28-year-old made short work of Nadia Pfister in round two as she took an 11-3, 11-4  victory in 14 minutes.

Mendez, meanwhile, saw off a spirited challenge from Erisa Sano Herring on day one before coming from a game down to beat Poland’s Karina Tyma yesterday.

[1] Grégoire Marche (FRA) v [9/16] David Baillargeon (CAN)

Gregoire Marche.

In the first men’s quarter-final, top seed Grégoire Marche faces Canada’s 9/16 seed David Baillargeon. With the pair’s sole previous meeting coming back in the 2014 Montreal Open – a 3-0 win for Marche – there will be an element of mystery for both.

While World No.13 Marche will go in as the favourite, Baillargeon has already shown that he is capable of springing a surprise. The World No.62 fought back from a game down yesterday to knock out [5/8] seed Faraz Khan after a comfortable opening day victory over Rafael Gálvez.

Marche’s route through has been a simpler affair, with the 32-year-old entering the tournament in round two, where he beat Australia’s Rhys Dowling in straight games.

[3/4] Raphael Kandra (GER) v [5/8] Dimitri Steinmann (SUI)

Kandra (left) and Steinmann (right) clash in El Gouna.

In what could be a hugely entertaining clash, Germany’s World No.19 Raphael Kandra goes up against Swiss World No.45 Dimitri Steinmann.

The pair will go into the match with a thorough understanding of one another’s game, having met four times in recent seasons. The record, though, makes for difficult reading for the 25-year-old Steinmann. Kandra enjoys a perfect record in the head-to-head matchup, though the last match was a nail-biting 3-2 victory for the 31-year-old in the first round of this year’s El Gouna International Open.

Ahead of today’s match, Kandra has spent just 16 minutes on court after receiving a round one bye and beating Jakub Solnicky in straight games. Steinmann, meanwhile, has managed 73 minutes already, after a 2-0 win in round one over Valeriy Fedoruk and a 52-minute epic against Ronald Palomino yesterday.

[3/4] Victor Crouin (FRA) v [5/8] Shahjahan Khan (USA)

The USA’s Shahjahan Khan

US No.1 and World No.31 Shahjahan Khan, the last male player standing for the USA, faces a tough challenge if he is to reach the semi-finals. He comes up against an in-form World No.18 Victor Crouin. The Frenchman, who has recorded impressive victories over then-World No.1 Paul Coll and former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad this season, won their only previous meeting – which came in the second round of the 2021 El Gouna International Open – 3-0.

Khan, though, will draw confidence from his perfect record so far. The 27-year-old has impressed in both his matches at The World Games, with strong performances against Vini Rodrigues in round one and Joseph White in round two.

Crouin, meanwhile, received a bye in round one before allowing a total of just five points to Yannick Wilhelmi in round two.

Colombia’s No.2 seed Miguel Rodriguez dives for the ball.

[2] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) v [5/8] Baptiste Masotti (FRA)

In a match that has all the makings of a World Games classic, ‘the Colombian Cannonball’ Miguel Rodriguez takes on France’s Baptiste Masotti.

No.2 seed Rodriguez will go into the match knowing just how great a threat the World No.20 presents, with the Frenchman recording a 3-0 victory in the pair’s only previous meeting, which came at the 2019 Egyptian Open.

Rodriguez will come into the match the fresher player after beating Jeremías Azaña of Argentina in 20 minutes in his only match so far. Masotti, meanwhile, played out a thrilling 2-1 win over defending champion Simon Rösner yesterday, having earlier swept aside Ukraine’s Dima Scherbakov.

Draw: The World Games 2022, Women’s QF
[1] Tinne Gilis (BEL) v [9/16] Marina Stefanoni (USA)
[3/4] Coline Aumard (FRA) v [9/16] Saskia Beinhard (GER)
Katerina Tycova (GER) v [5/8] Lucy Beecroft (ENG)
[2] Mélissa Alves (FRA) v [5/8] Haley Mendez (USA)

Draw: The World Games 2022, Men’s QF
[1] Grégoire Marche (FRA) v [9/16] David Baillargeon (CAN)
[3/4] Raphael Kandra (GER) v [5/8] Dimitri Steinmann (SUI)
[3/4] Victor Crouin (FRA) v [5/8] Shahjahan Khan (USA)
[2] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) v [5/8] Baptiste Masotti (FRA)

Click here for the draw and results of the plate matches.

The 2022 World Games will be held in Birmingham, USA, between 7-17 July 2022, with the squash tournament being played July 13-17. The event, which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary, is an international multi-sport competition comprising sports that are not contested in the Olympic Games.

Click here to buy tickets for squash at the 2022 World Games and click here for the draws and seedings.

For more information on The World Games 2022, visit the competition website or follow on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Keep up to date with the latest in World Squash news by following the WSF on Twitter (@WorldSquash), Facebook and Instagram, or by subscribing to the WSF Newsletter.

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