Match Replays


to the ESF European Team
DIVISION 1 & 2 Squash ChampionshiPS 2024

May 1st to 4th 2024 in Uster, Switzerland.

The championship will take place at the


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England looking to complete another double triumph
Text: Steve Cubbins

The annual ESF European Team Championships head for Zurich, Switzerland in the first week of May with perennial winners England looking to complete another double triumph, but challengers snapping at their heels in both the Women’s and Men’s events.

42 and counting for England’s Women

In 44 editions England have won the Women’s title 42 times with Netherlands (2010) and France (2019) the only other teams to have their names on the trophy.
They travel to Switzerland with a strong squad – the same as last year’s – of Gina Kennedy, Sarah-Jane Perry, Lucy Beecroft, Jasmine Hutton and Lucy Turmel, all ranked inside the world’s top 30.
This year Netherlands are in Division Two, while France are seeded four and are in the same Pool as England, but in Pool B second and third seeds Belgium and Wales both have their sights set on upsets.
Led by the Gilis sisters Nele and Tinne, Belgium – seeded a lowly sixth – lost out in last year’s final, but their World Rankings – currently #4 and #9 – are higher than any opponents, so in a three-player match against anyone they should start favourites.
“It’s very special because we come from such a small country and small city that basically has no squash,” said Nele. “We both had to move away from our country and our family which is difficult but it’s the sacrifice we had to make. I really do believe that we are going to get this title one year – hopefully next week!”
Third seeds Wales, finalists in 2022, could well have a say too, with Tesni Murphy and Emily Whitlock ranked #21 and #24 and both capable of beating any of the top players on their day, while Lowri Roberts is enjoying a fine season on the PSA Tour.
France’s top player is Melissa Alves, currently at #26 but she will be able to draw on the memories of her dramatic win in Birmingham that gave France the 2019 title. She is joined in the French squad by Marie Stephan, Enora Villard and Lauren Baltayan.
Hosts Switzerland are seeded 6th, although with their top duo Cindy Merlo and Nadia Pfister ranked #54 and #79 and a Pool including Belgium and Wales, they face a tough challenge to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2001.

England favourites for a 44th Men’s Title

The men’s event features four-player teams which has traditionally been to England’s advantage with their strength in depth, with France their traditional rivals. England met France in all but one of the finals from 2000 to 2014 and won all them – France could sometimes take two matches via the likes of Gregory Gaultier and Thierry Lincou, but if they didn’t both win 3-0 England would invariably mop up at numbers three and four.
That dominance changed from 2015 though, with France taking the title, then repeating the feat in 2017 and 2018. England recovered to reclaim the title in 2019 – against Spain in the final – and beat France in the 2022 and 2023 finals.
With Mohamed and Marwan ElShorbagy now in English colours and both in the world’s top ten, they will be strong favourites for a 44th title in this 51st edition (only France (3), Sweden (2) and Scotland (1) have ever stopped them).
England are captained by Adrian Waller, with Patrick Rooney, Nick Wall and debutant Curtis Malik also in the squad, and face [4] Wales, [5] Spain and [8] Ireland in their pool.
France are once again strong contenders, with a squad of Victor Crouin, Baptiste Masotti, Sebastien Bonmalais, Auguste Dussourd and Gregoire Marche, all ranked inside the top thirty.
Hosts Switzerland are serious contenders too, having finished on the podium for the first time last year in Helsinki, and lead by Nicolas Mueller and Dimitri Steinmann (ranked #23 and #29), they will have their sights on going at least one better than that third place finish which earned the their #3 seeding.
As well as France, the Swiss have [6] Germany and [7] Czechia to contend with in their Pool.

It’s all action in Uster

Action takes place at two centres in Uster, the Division One matches and Playoff matches at the Squash Arena Uster, and most of the Division Two matches at Sport Centre Blue Point.

Matches are played out to produce a final ranking order, with the top two teams in Division Two winning promotion to Division One, replacing the bottom two finishers.
The bottom two finishers in Division Two are relegated to Division Three, which is held as a separate event – this year’s was held in Bucharest earlier this month, where Ireland and Ukraine (men) and Romania and Italy (women) won promotion to next year’s Division Two.


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