4th seeds Hong Kong China were extremely lucky to edge into the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Team Squash Championships, when they defeated 14th seeds South Africa 2-1 in Nimes France on November 14.
In the first match Milnay Louw, ranked 121 in the world, outplayed Liu Tsz-Ling ranked 84 places above her in straight games 12-10 12-10 9-5.
The number-1 stringers then took to the courts with South Africa’s Siyoli Waters, ranked 47, playing 9th-ranked Annie Au. Waters attacking from the first ball, pocketed the first game at 13-11 and the second 11-7 before mistakes crept in.
This allowed Au, winner of 10 titles on the Women’s World Circuit, to take the third game 11-6 and run up a commanding 7-4 lead in the fourth. Playing hard attacking squash Waters crept back to level at 8-all and win the next point 9-8 – 2 points away, from what would have been an upset victory.
But Au levelled at 9 points all and notched the next to level games at 2-all. The decider was a one-way race for Au, who levelled matches at one-all.
National Champion Diana Haynes, unranked in the world, then surprised by leading two games to one before 18th ranked Joey Chan took the 4th game to make it 2 all.
Lefthander Haynes then ran up a 9-5 lead in the decider – again 2 points away from an upset victory for South Africa. But Chan determinedly clawed back to 9 points all winning the match at 11-9 much to the relief of her teammates and team coach Faheem Khan.
The fourth seeds now clash with 6th seeded Australia.
Final Fixtures at the Women’s World Team Squash Championships, in Nimes, France: 1st-seed (England) v (7) Ireland 3rd seed Malaysia v (5) New Zealand (2) Egypt v (10) India (14) South Africa V (12) USA