Belgium’s Gilis and France’s Crouin Win World Games Gold in Alabama; Mendez Places Fourth

Belgium’s Tinne Gilis (l) and France’s Victor Crouin

Belgium’s Tinne Gilis and France’s Victor Crouin are the 2022 World Games champions after victories in the finals, July 17, in Birmingham, Alabama.

Top-seeded Belgian Gilis completed a full set of straight-game wins as she beat Great Britain’s Lucy Beecroft in straight games, while Crouin–a recent Harvard graduate–beat top seed Greg Marche in a four-game all-French men’s final.

Watch a replay of the Olympic Channel’s coverage of the World Games finals here.

“I’m really, really happy with my gold medal today,” Gilis said afterwards. “I hope I made my country proud, my family proud and everyone proud! I’m so, so happy!”

“I’m so happy,” said Crouin. “My goal was to win a medal at this event and I return home with the gold! To beat Miguel and Greg back to back is huge for me. I did my best to recover from yesterday’s brutal semi-final but still had a rough night due to soreness. So, to win today means a lot to me! Winning the gold is a huge achievement for my country and myself and I am proud to have fought all the way until the end. So happy!”.

Team USA’s Haley Mendez pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament, taking out France’s two seed Melissa Alves in the quarterfinals. After missing out on the gold medal match in a 2-1 loss against silver medalist Lucy Beecroft, Mendez narrowly missed out on a Bonze medal against France’s Coline Aumard 11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8.

Team USA’s Marina Stefanoni and Shahjahan Khan both 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.