On Thursday, the second-seeded India defeated Japan 3-1 in a Pool B match to win the group and advance to the semifinals of the SDAT WSF Squash World Cup.
The hosts advanced to the semifinals of the competition for the first time, where they will take on Malaysia, the No. 4 seed.
The India team, which consists of Abhay Singh, Joshna Chinappa, Saurav Ghosal, and Tanvi Khanna, was already assured a spot in the semi-finals after two amazing 4-0 victories against South Africa and Hong Kong China in their first two matches, but Thursday’s triumph allowed them to escape top seeds Egypt.
The team’s performance suffered after Abhay Singh was defeated by Tomotaka Endo in three games. The former World No. 10 Joshna Chinappa was there for the next match and pulled off an amazing rescue.
Despite trailing Satomi Watanabe, the tournament’s top-ranked player, by one game, Chinappa, a 36-year-old from Chennai, showed tremendous fortitude to rally and win 2-7, 7-4, 3-7, 7-5, 7-5.
Then, Ryunosuke Tsukue was defeated by India’s No. 1 male player, Saurav Ghosal, in five games.
Chinappa and Ghosal’s victories prevented Japan from overtaking India for first place in Pool B because of India’s higher victory total throughout the course of the Pool Stage’s three days.
In the decisive match, Khanna defeated Akari Midorikawa by a score of 3-0 to end the tie.
Later, Chinappa remarked: “Winning this match was absolutely emotional. Coming in would be challenging, I knew. Since Satomi has had several successful performances on tour, I’m simply happy to have finished.
“The game moves so quickly, that there is little space for mistake. It was anyone’s game today since we both made some fantastic shots at various points. Japan’s loss ensures that they will face Egypt in the semifinals, where the top seeds defeated Malaysia 3-1.
(Karim El Hammamy defeated Sai Hung Ong 7-1, 7-3, and 7-0; Fayrouz Aboelkheir lost to Aira Azman) Egypt defeated Malaysia 3-1. Darren Pragasam was defeated by Aly Abou Eleinen 7-1, 7-0, 7-1, while Xin Ying Yee was defeated by Kenzy Ayman 5-7, 7-5, 3-7, 7-2, 3-7.
Joshna Chinappa defeated Satomi Watanabe 2-7, 7-4, 3-7, 7-5, 7-5; Saurav Ghosal defeated Ryunosuke Tsukue 7-6, 6-7, 7-4, 3-7, 7-5; and Tanvi Khanna defeated Akari Midorikawa 7-4, 7-1, 7-0 as India defeated Japan 3-1.