Germany’s World No.130 Katerina Tycova produced a fine display to come from behind and defeat Czech 3/4 seed Anna Serme as the squash competition got underway yesterday at The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama.
In the pair’s first ever meeting, World No.41 Serme took the first game 11-8 and looked on her way to victory as she opened up a 7-4 lead in the second. Tycova, however, impressively fought back, levelling the match with a hard-fought 14-12 win.
At one game apiece and with The World Games using best-of-three scoring until the semi-finals, it was all to play for in the third. The 23-year-old Tycova showed no signs of nerves though as she quickly dispatched Serme 11-3 to set up a second round match against Australia’s Alex Haydon, who beat Finland’s Riina Koskinen 2-0.
“It’s my first World Games and I’m super happy I made a good start into the tournament. Anna played very well and after she won the first set I really had to fight back into the game. Luckily I managed to get the right mindset for this comeback. I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” Tycova said.
Earlier in the day, Canada’s former World No.49 Nikki Todd held off a spirited challenge from Ecuador’s World No.237 Maria Moya to take a 2-1 victory and set up a second round clash with top seed Tinne Gilis, who received a first round bye.
Afterwards, Todd said: “I’m really happy to get through today! Maria is a strong player and she came out firing in the second so I had to use all my old tricks in the third to get the win. I’m looking forward to my match tomorrow against the No.1 seed, who I don’t think I have ever actually played, but it should be fun! Hopefully I can make Canada proud!”
In the men’s draw, defending champion and former World No.3 Simon Rösner overcame Hungarian World No.70 Balázs Farkas in a tight encounter. Rösner, who beat this year’s top seed Grégoire Marche in the 2017 final in Poland, lost the first game 11-6, but was able to recover to dig out the victory with an 11-6 win in the second and an 11-9 in the third.
For the home fans, there will be four players to cheer for today, after victories for Marina Stefanoni and Haley Mendez in the women’s draw and Faraz Khan and Shahjahan Khan in the men’s draw.
Reacting after his win over Spain’s Sergio Garcia Pollan, Faraz Khan said: “I appreciated having Chris Gordon and Ong Beng Hee in the corner today, as their experience counts for a lot and they gave me great advice before the match and between the games.
“I know Sergio from my time and Spain, and I think we play a similar style of squash and I knew it was going to be a physical match with long rallies so I just tried to prepare for that mentally and enjoyed a clean match with him. I wish him good luck for next season.”
Results: The World Games 2022, Men’s RD1
Rhys Dowling (AUS) bt [9/16] Christopher Gordon (USA) 2-0: 11-5, 11-8
[9/16] David Baillargeon (CAN) bt Rafael Gálvez (PER) 2-0: 11-6, 11-2
[5/8] Faraz Khan (USA) bt Sergio Garcia Pollan (ESP) 2-0: 11-7, 11-6
[5/8] Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) bt Valeriy Fedoruk (UKR) 2-0: 11-6, 11-9
[9/16] Ronald Palomino (COL) bt Sean Conroy (IRL) 2-0: 11-1, 11-3
[9/16] Jakub Solnicky (CZE) bt Filip Jarota (POL) 2-0: 11-6, 8-11, 11-4
[9/16] Yannick Wilhelmi (SUI) bt Harley Lam (HKG) 2-1: 9-11, 12-10, 11-3
Joseph White (AUS) bt [9/16] Yannik Omlor (GER) 2-1: 11-4, 8-11, 12-10
[5/8] Shahjahan Khan (USA) bt Vini Rodrigues (BRA) 2-0: 14-12, 11-8
[5/8] Baptiste Masotti (FRA) bt Dima Scherbakov (UKR) 2-0: 11-2, 11-2
Simon Rösner (GER) bt [9/16] Balázs Farkas (HUN) 2-1: 6-11, 11-6, 11-9
Jeremías Azaña (ARG) bt [9/16] Martin Svec (CZE) 2-1: 11-5, 10-12, 11-9
Results: The World Games 2022, Women’s RD1
[9/16] Nikki Todd (CAN) bt Maria Moya (ECU) 2-1: 11-5, 5-11, 11-1
[9/16] Marina Stefanoni (USA) bt Laura Tovar (COL) 2-0: 11-9, 11-3
[5/8] Satomi Watanabe (JPN) bt Nadiia Usenko (UKR) 2-0: 11-3, 11-3
[5/8] Emilia Soini (FIN) bt Ching Hei Fung (HKG) 2-0: 11-4, 11-5
[9/16] Saskia Beinhard (GER) bt Kincső Szász (HUN) 2-0: 11-1, 11-1
[9/16] Jessica Turnbull (AUS) bt Jia Liu (CHN) 2-0: 11-1, 11-1
[3/4] Coline Aumard (FRA) bt Celine Walser (SUI) 2-0: 11-4, 11-2
Katerina Tycova (GER) bt [3/4] Anna Serme (CZE) 2-1: 8-11, 14-12, 11-3
[9/16] Alex Haydon (AUS) bt Riina Koskinen (FIN) 2-0: 11-5, 11-5
[9/16] Cheng Nga Ching (HKG) bt Anastasiia Kostiukova (UKR) 2-0: 11-4, 11-4
[5/8] Lucy Beecroft (ENG) bt Hannah Chukwu (HUN) 2-0: 11-4, 11-5
[5/8] Haley Mendez (USA) bt Erisa Sano Herring (JPN) 2-1: 11-2, 11-13, 11-6
[9/16] Karina Tyma (POL) bt Lucia Bautista (COL) 2-0: 11-7, 11-6
[9/16] Nadia Pfister (SUI) bt Hannah Blatt (CAN) 2-1: 9-11, 11-6, 12-10
Draw: The World Games 2022, Men’s RD2
 Grégoire Marche (FRA) v Rhys Dowling (AUS)
[5/8] Faraz Khan (USA) v [9/16] David Baillargeon (CAN)
[5/8] Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) v [9/16] Ronald Palomino (COL)
[3/4] Raphael Kandra (GER) v [9/16] Jakub Solnicky (CZE)
[3/4] Victor Crouin (FRA) v [9/16] Yannick Wilhelmi (SUI)
[5/8] Shahjahan Khan (USA) v Joseph White (AUS)
[5/8] Baptiste Masotti (FRA) v Simon Rösner (GER)
 Miguel Rodriguez (COL) v Jeremías Azaña (ARG)
Draw: The World Games 2022, Women’s RD2
 Tinne Gilis (BEL) v [9/16] Nikki Todd (CAN)
[5/8] Satomi Watanabe (JPN) v [9/16] Marina Stefanoni (USA)
[5/8] Emilia Soini (FIN) v [9/16] Saskia Beinhard (GER)
[3/4] Coline Aumard (FRA) v [9/16] Jessica Turnbull (AUS)
Katerina Tycova (GER) v [9/16] Alex Haydon (AUS)
[5/8] Lucy Beecroft (ENG) v [9/16] Cheng Nga Ching (HKG)
[5/8] Haley Mendez (USA) v [9/16] Karina Tyma (POL)
 Mélissa Alves (FRA) v [9/16] Nadia Pfister (SUI)
Before the second round matches get underway today, the plate matches between players beaten in yesterday’s first round will be played. 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.