Team USA Takes on World Games in Alabama

(l-r): Ganek Family US Squash Head National Coach Ong Beng Hee, Marina Stefanoni, Haley Mendez, Faraz Khan, Shajahan Khan, Chris Gordon

Team USA’s Haley Mendez will vie to reach the gold medal match at the 2022 World Games after a quarterfinal upset over two seed Melissa Alves Friday, July 16, in Birmingham, Alabama.

The quadrennial World Games are an international multi-sport competition comprising sports that are not contested in the Olympic Games, and has featured squash since 1997. The squash competition format employs a best of three games format until the semifinals where the format shifts to best of five games.

The U.S. delegation featured five players led by Ganek Family US Squash Head National Coach Ong Beng Hee with first round play opening Wednesday, July 13.

World No. 56 Mendez pulled off the biggest upset of the squash competition so far, taking out France’s world No. 25 and two seed Melissa Alves 6-11, 11-4, 11-9. Mendez will vie for a place in the gold medal match Saturday against England’s 5/8 seed Lucy Beecroft at 4pm ET.

Team USA’s Marina Stefanoni and Shahjahan Khan fell short in the quarterfinal stages against higher-seeded opposition.

After pulling off an upset over Japan’s 5/8 seed Satomi Watanabe in the round of sixteen, nineteen-year-old Stefanoni exited the main draw with an 11-5, 11-7 loss against Belgium’s gold medal favorite Tinne Gilis.

In the men’s draw, Shahjahan Khan squandered three match balls in the second game against France’s top seed Victor Crouin. The Harvard graduate continued his momentum in the third game to win 8-11, 13-11, 11-3.

Veteran Chris Gordon made an early exit in the first round against Australia’s Rhys Dowling, but continues his tournament in the plate draw where he defeated Spain’s Sergio Garcia Pollan.

World No. 51 Faraz Khan sustained a difficult round of sixteen loss, failing to convert four match balls in the second game and eventually falling against Canada’s world No. 62 David Baillargeon 11-9, 10-12, 5-11.

The World Games finals will broadcast live via the Olympic Channel on Sunday, July 17, from 11:30am ET.

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