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Joey Chan (left) v Nicol David (right): All imagery courtesy of theworldgames2017.com

Chan Stuns David in World Games Semi-Finals

Hong Kong's Joey Chan claimed a huge upset against three-time World Games gold medallist Nicol David to reach the final of the 2017 instalment of the multi-sport event for non-Olympic sports taking place at the Hasta La Vista club in Wroclaw, Poland.

Going into the match, Malaysian superstar David was boasting a 16-match unbeaten run at the World Games which stretched back to 2005, while she hadn’t lost to a fellow Asian player since Rebecca Chiu got the better of her in the Asian Games final in 2002.

Second seed David took the opening game and then went 2-1 up after Chan had pegged her back in the second.

But Chan, the World No.19, recovered to claim the fourth for the loss of just four points before converting her second match ball in the decider to clinch a shock win by a 7-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-4, 11-5 margin.

“I can’t believe it,” said the Hong Kong No.2.

“Nicol has always been my idol – she’s a role model for all squash players.

“I think I’ve been getting close to her recently – but to finally beat her for the first time is amazing. I am very happy.

“Nicol always begins strongly – she was very sharp today and pushing up the pace. I had to concentrate on controlling the ball – I had to slow it down.

“At 10-5 match-ball I was a little bit tense – I was seeing the finishing post. But I was quite relaxed during the match – under no pressure. For this event, I feel I am fighting for my country.”

Chan will face top seed Camille Serme in the final after the World No.3 from France beat surprise semi-final opponent Fiona Moverley 11-6, 11-5, 11-7.

“When I saw Nicol had lost, I was a little bit nervous,” Serme said.

“I didn’t want to be another seed to lose in the semi-finals.

“It’s important for France to win medals here so it’s great that Greg (Marche) and I are now both guaranteed medals. It would be good for our Olympic 2024 bid if we did win gold – especially if Paris gets it.”

Gregoire Marche (left) v Diego Elias (right)

France are now guaranteed of at least two silver medals after World No.23 Gregoire Marche ended a three-match losing streak to Diego Elias, beating the 3/4 seed 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 in 42 minutes in the first men's semi-final.

“This is a new event for most of us and it's special to be part of the French team at the Games,” explained Marche, who is seeded first for the Open International de Squash de Nantes in September.

“There are no ranking points at stake and you're not alone on court – so you feel more relaxed. I haven't felt any stress this week – I must remember to try and feel this way when I'm playing my next PSA event!

“I've been playing well but as I hadn't played much before I got here, I didn't know what to expect.”

Simon Rösner (left) v Mathieu Castagnet (right)

Germany's Simon Rösner ended the possibility of their being an all-French final when he recovered from a game down to defeat former World No.6 Mathieu Castagnet.

The World No.11, a runner-up in the 2013 World Games in Colombia, made a slow start and was shaky in the second when he squandered 9-4 lead to see Castagnet recover to 9-all, then 10-all, before closing out the game in the tie-break to draw level.

That victory game him the impetus to push on in the third and fourth games to close out an 9-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-7 triumph to set up a mouthwatering final clash with Marche.

“I felt a bit flat at the beginning of the match but managed to get out of trouble and started playing to my strengths,” said Rösner.

“For most of us, this is the first event after our summer break. But it was a really good match – and to be fair to Mathieu he’s had a lot of distractions recently, including surgery, weddings and stag events.”

Results – Semi-Finals: 2017 World Games Men’s Squash Championship
[1] Simon Rösner (GER) bt [5/8] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 9-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-7 (69m)
[5/8] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt ¾ Diego Elias (PER) 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 (42m)

Draw – Gold Medal Final
[1] Simon Rösner (GER) v [5/8] Gregoire Marche (FRA)

Draw – Bronze Medal Play-Off
[5/8] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v ¾ Diego Elias (PER)

Results – Semi-Finals: 2017 World Games Women’s Squash Championship
[1] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [5/8] Fiona Moverley (GBR) 11-6, 11-5, 11-7 (31m)
¾ Joey Chan (HKG) bt [2] Nicol David (MAS) 7-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-4, 11-5 (54m)

Draw – Gold Medal Final
[1] Camille Serme (FRA) v ¾ Joey Chan (HKG)

Draw – Bronze Medal Play-Off
[2] Nicol David (MAS) v [5/8] Fiona Moverley (GBR)

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