Squash World Cup 2023: Day one as it happens

After a 12-year absence, the Squash World Cup is back.

We’ll be bringing reports and reactions from the SDAT WSF Squash World Cup as they happen right here, and you can watch live and free worldwide on WORLDSQUASH.TV and on the Olympic Channel, while viewers in India can watch on JioCinema.

Japan prove World Cup credentials with entertaining South Africa win

In an entertaining opener, Japan made the perfect start to their World Cup campaign with a 3-1win against South Africa.

Tomotaka Endo got the No.3 seeds off to a good start in a fast-paced game that instantly highlighted the merits of the ’T20 of squash’.

In a frenetic first match, the Japan No.2 took the first game against Jean-Pierre Brits 7-4 but was pegged back 7-1 in game two.

The pair continued to exchanged furious rallies and points, with Brits then moving ahead with a 7-2 victory in the third, only for Endo to strike back to restore parity by taking game four 7-3.

Both men went all out for a vital first-match win in game five and at stages it looked like Brits was going to give the underdogs a crucial point, only for Endo to drag himself over the line with a hard-fought 7-5 win.

After Endo’s win, Japan turned the screw, with World No.18 Satomi Watanabe beating Lizelle Muller 3-0 and Ryunosuke Tsukue beating Dewald van Niekerk 3-1.

There was some consolation and a valuable winning point in the fourth match as Hayley Ward battled back to beat Akari Midorikawa 3-1.

Speaking after his match, Endo said: “It’s totally different squash – the pace is super fast! I’ve never played this fast and it’s so hard to hit your drop shots at this pace but you’ve got to manage it. It’s definitely more difficult than I expected, but more fun!

“Usually in an 11-point game, if you’re 5-1 down, you can still come back. But at 5-1 here, you feel so stressed and under so much pressure.

“It’s super hot outside but inside this shopping mall we’re in a great area and it’s a great atmosphere!”

Result: SDAT WSF Squash World Cup Pool B

[3] Japan 3-1 South Africa [7]
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)

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