Egypt & England To Contest Fifth Successive Men's World Team Championship Final
16 Dec 2023
Egypt and England will lock horns for the WSF Men's World Team Championship title for the fifth time in a row in 12 years after comprehensive wins today over Switzerland and France, respectively, in New Zealand.
In the day's first semi-final at the Mercury Baypark Arena in Tauranga, England blew away European rivals France in the two sides' sixth meeting at this stage of the competition.
Crouin, who perhaps went into the match feeling the effects of his 78-minute five gamer against Welshman Joel Makin in the quarter-final, struggled to deal with ElShorbagy's ferocity on court, with 'the Beast' powering his side into the lead with 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 wins.
The second match, between Mohamed's younger brother Marwan ElShorbagy and Baptiste Masotti was a more even affair, with ElShorbagy saving a game ball in a tense 14-12 opening game win before pushing on to victory with an 11-5 win in game two and an 11-7 in game three.
Speaking after the tie, England National Coach David Campion said: "We always have unbelievable battles with France and today was going to be no exception.
"We set out to try and find that happy balance between being really alert and assertive, and playing with authority, but not going over emotionally."
Title-holders Egypt, too, were in dominant form over first-time semi-finalists Switzerland.
World No.1 Ali Farag, a crucial part of the title-winning sides of 2019 and 2017, put in a vintage performance to give his side the lead, with the 31-year-old taking down Swiss No.1 Nicolas Mueller 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 in 28 minutes.
Mazen Hesham, promoted to No.2 today with world No.4 Mostafa Asal rested, then came through a competitive battle with Dimitri Steinmann, with the mercurial world No.7 clinching three tight games 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 to send his team through with no need for a third match.
After the tie, Egypt's Hesham Al Attar said: "It feels amazing - on paper we were pretty confident but anything can happen, and they've got very tough players and you can always be nervous in a semi-final.
"We're just happy to have gone through and hope to do well. It should be a good matchup tomorrow."