Camille Serme and Simon Rösner ready to shine at Hasta La Vista
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Internatonal Correspondent
The finishing touches are being made to the world’s largest squash club as the 33-court Hasta la Vista in Poland prepares to welcome the sport’s top players to compete in the 2017 World Games in the city of Wroclaw from today (25 July).
Squash will be making its fifth appearance in the World Games, the quadrennial multi-sport event for non-Olympic programme sports. The 10th edition of the Games has attracted more than 3,000 athletes from 31 sports and 111 countries to the participate in the biggest sport event ever to be staged in Poland, under the patronage of the IOC.
A total of 63 players from 26 nations will compete in the squash championships, led by men’s top seed Simon Rösner (right), the world No.11 from Germany, and women’s favourite Camille Serme, ranked three in the world, from France.
“The World Games is very important for us,” said Rösner, who will be hoping to go one better than his runner-up finish in the 2013 Cali Games in Colombia. “It’s our Olympic Games. It’s good to know that the event will be covered on terrestrial TV – so I hope the squash will be seen in Germany and will help attract more people to our sport,” added the 11-time German National champion.
Serme, who finished third four years ago, is making her third appearance in the event. The 28-year-old from Creteil is seeded to meet three-time gold medallist Nicol David in Friday’s final.
“It would be good to win a medal here. It’s an event that is being talked a lot about back home by the French Olympic committee,” said Serme.
Rising Peruvian star Diego Elias is also in Wroclaw on a mission: “It’s important for Peru to get medals in the World Games,” said the 20-year-old 3/4 seed from Lima, the youngest seeded player in the men’s draw. “I have been training hard for this.”
At least three players are forsaking honeymoons to compete in Wroclaw. German players Raphael Kandra and Sina Wall tied the knot a week ago – the latter, a two-time German champion, appearing in the women’s draw as Sina Kandra for the first time.
The Polish Squash Federation is celebrating the fact that squash coach Anna Jurkun (pictured below) was selected to read the words of swearing in the name of all participating sports at the Games’ Opening Ceremony – an unparalleled initiative warmly welcomed by the Polish Squash movement.
‘I felt so proud and touched by this,” said Tomasz Banasiak, President of the Polish Squash Federation. “All the work done for the past years brought myself with the whole engaged team here. The World Games 2017 are a big boost for squash in Poland – it is for us like a little Olympics. As an organisation, we are ready for the next step of development.
“TWG 2017 is the most important sport event in the year,” Banasiak continued. “It is also the key element of the strategy of the Polish Squash Federation and a milestone in its 15-year history. Thanks to the dedicated program established by the Ministry of Sport and its financial support, Polish Squash has realised an unprecedented four-year development plan for the best Polish players.”
World Squash Federation President Jacques Fontaine added: “The WSF would like to thank the city of Wroclaw for organising these 10th The World Games. From all squash parties engaged in the organisation, I have heard only compliments to the WOC’s members for their engagement and great cooperation so far.
“Great thanks also to the Polish Squash Federation and its President Tomasz Banasiak and the Field Of Play Manager Tomas Hrazsky.”
World Games Squash Championship, Hasta La Vista Club, Wroclaw, Poland.
Men’s 1st round draw:
 Simon Rösner (GER) v Wojciech Nowisz (POL)
[9/16] Rhys Dowling (AUS) v Daniel Mekbib (CZE)
[9/16] Ivan Yuen (MAS) v Matias Tuomi (FIN)
[5/8] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v Vasile Hapun (ROM)
[5/8] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Lau Ulrik Kiehn (DEN) w/o
[9/16] Douglas Kempsell (GBR) v Joe Chapman (IVB)
[9/16] Raphael Kandra (GER) v Ahmed Hany Hussein (EGY)
[3/4] Cesar Salazar (MEX) v Balázs Farkas (HUN)
[3/4] Diego Elias (PER) v Alex Eustace (AUS)
[9/16] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Alex Pavulans (LAT) w/o
[9/16] Ben Coleman (GBR) v Yuri Farneti (ITA)
[5/8] Yip Tsz Fung (HKG) v Kostiantyn Rybalchenko (UKR)
[5/8] Gregoire Marche (FRA) v Mateusz Kotra (POL)
[9/16] Shehab Essam (EGY) v Rory Stewart (GBR)
[9/16] Joshua Masters (GBR) v Jan Koukal (CZE)
 Max Lee (HKG) v Alexey Severinov (RUS)
Women’s 1st round draw:
 Camille Serme (FRA) v Natalia Ryfa (POL)
[9/16] Alison Thomson (GBR) v Tessa ter Sluis (NED)
[9/16] Catalina Pelaez (COL) v Ineta Mackevica (LAT)
[5/8] Nadine Shahin (EGY) v Franziska Hennes (GER)
[5/8] Fiona Moverley (GBR) v Nadiia Usenko (UKR)
[9/16] Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) v Zuzana Kubáňová (CZE)
[9/16] Rachel Arnold (MAS) v Anna Serme (CZE)
[3/4] Millie Tomlinson (GBR) v Céline Walser (SUI)
[3/4] Joey Chan (HKG) v Alina Bushma (UKR)
[9/16] Milou van der Heijden (NED) bye
[9/16] Jessica Turnbull (AUS) v Lisa Aitken (GBR)
[5/8] Coline Aumard (FRA) v Csenge Kiss-Máté (HUN)
[5/8] Nele Gilis (BEL) v Magda Kamińska (POL)
[9/16] Tamika Saxby (AUS) v Sina Kandra (GER)
[9/16] Samantha Teran (MEX) v Cristina Gomez (ESP)
 Nicol David (MAS) v Irina Beliaeva (RUS)
Pictures courtesy of WSF and from Squash Mad archive