Host nation France got their 2016 WSF Women’s World Team Squash Championship campaign off to a perfect start in Paris after they achieved 3-0 victories over Spain and Germany on the opening day of action at the historic Jeu de Paume club – the oldest squash club in the country.
France, who are situated in Pool D, saw the country’s number one player, Camille Serme, World No.28 Coline Aumard and World No.77 Laura Pomportes all rise to wins to ensure that they emerged from the two fixtures with maximum points, topping their pool ahead of second-placed Hong Kong China, who defeated Japan and Spain.
“We deliberately used the same players for both ties as we knew we'd be playing on the same courts, so it made sense,” said national coach Philippe Signoret.
“But it was not easy and the girls played well to give us the best possible result on the opening day.”
France are hosing the tournament for the second time in four years – with the 2012 edition taking place in Nîmes seeing them bow out in the first knockout round – and Signoret says that his team is relishing playing in front of their home crowd this time around.
“We allowed the pressure of being hosts get to us last time in Nimes, but this time we are determined to enjoy the opportunity of playing in front of a home crowd,” he explained.
“It is pressure, but a different kind of pressure. Our girls have had some good results on the [PSA World] Tour over the past few months so, although we are seeded outside the top four, we are aiming for medals.”
Title favourites Egypt took on India at the second venue – the St Cloud Squash Club – with Kawy, making a record 10th successive appearance at the tournament, beating Sunayna Kuruvilla 3-0.
World No.1 Nour El Sherbini and World No.3 Nouran Gohar were also in action, beating Indian No.1 and No.2 Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal Karthik, respectively. They sit below New Zealand in Pool A, with a Kiwi triumvirate beating Mexico 3-0.
“It was a tricky opening tie for us,” admitted Egypt's National Coach and four-time Men’s World Champion Amr Shabana.
“India is a top eight country in my view, so it was a good match for us to win.
“Our girls had to be on their toes to get the result they did. I was very happy with the way they performed.”
Seven-time winners England also got off to a fine start on the opening day of action, with World No.2 Laura Massaro, World No.10 Alison Waters and World No.12 Sarah-Jane Perry all winning to overcome Canada.
Results – First Qualifying Round: 2016 WSF Women’s World Team Squash Championship
 EGYPT bt  INDIA 3/0
Omneya Abdel Kawy bt Sunayna Kuruvilla 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-2 (18m)
Nour El Sherbini bt Joshna Chinappa 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 15-13 (34m)
Nouran Gohar bt Dipika Pallikal Karthik 3-1 4-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9 (39m)
 NEW ZEALAND bt  MEXICO 3/0
Amanda Landers-Murphy bt Luz López Dominguez 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 (25m)
Joelle King bt Diana Garcia 11-5, 11-5, 11-4 (19m)
Megan Craig bt Nayelly Hernandez 11-7, 11-3, 11-3 (14m)
 ENGLAND bt  CANADA 3/0
Sarah-Jane Perry bt Nikki Todd 11-7, 12-10, 11-7 (22m)
Laura Massaro bt Samantha Cornett 12-10, 11-9, 11-5 (28m)
Alison Waters bt Danielle Letourneau 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (23m)
 USA bt  WALES 3/0
Reeham Sedky bt Lowri Roberts 11-3, 8-11, 11-5, 11-1 (34m)
Amanda Sobhy bt Tesni Evans 6-11, 11-4, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6 (55m)
Olivia Blatchford bt Hannah Davies 11-6, 11-2, 11-3 (19m)
 MALAYSIA bt  NETHERLANDS 3/0
Sivasangari Subramaniam bt Tessa ter Sluis 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 (24m)
Nicol David bt Natalie Grinham 11-6, 11-3, 11-1
Delia Arnold bt Milou van der Heijden 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5 (43m)
 AUSTRALIA bt  AUSTRIA 3/0
Tamika Saxby bt Judith van der Merwe 11-1, 11-3, 11-4 (15m)
Donna Urquhart bt Birgit Coufal 11-8, 11-3, 11-6 (19m)
Rachael Grinham bt Sandra Polak 11-2, 11-4, 11-3 (14m)
 HONG KONG CHINA bt  JAPAN 3/0
Liu Tsz-Ling bt Risa Sugimoto 11-4, 11-7, 11-8 (24m)
Annie Au bt Misaki Kobayashi 11-4, 11-5, 11-5 (21m)
Joey Chan bt Satomi Watanabe 11-4, 7-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7 (44m)
 FRANCE bt  SPAIN 3/0
Laura Pomportes bt Marina de Juan Gallach 13-11, 11-5, 11-6 (32m)
Camille Serme bt Xisela Aranda 11-4, 11-1, 11-4 (20m)
Coline Aumard bt Cristina Gomez 13-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6 (56m)
 FRANCE bt  GERMANY 3/0
Laura Pomportes bt Saskia Beinhard 11-5, 11-6, 11-4 (20m)
Camille Serme bt Sina Wall 11-3, 11-4, 11-1 (17m)
Coline Aumard bt Sharon Sinclair 11-6, 11-2, 8-11, 6-11, 11-3 (48m)
 HONG KONG CHINA bt  SPAIN 2/1
Tong Tsz-Wing bt Marina de Juan Gallach 11-8, 11-9, 11-0 (30m)
Annie Au bt Xisela Aranda 11-1, 11-9, 11-9 (23m)
Liu Tsz-Ling lost to Cristina Gomez 7-11, 11-7, 10-12, 9-11 (60m)