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TODAY at the World Open Squash 2011                                                       facebooktwitter
Day TWO, Sat 29th, Men's Qualifying Finals                                    More updates on the BLOG

Brothers in Arms and Birthday Treat in Rotterdam
Day Two Roundup from Steve Cubbins                    Framboise's Match Reports
 

It was another long day at Victoria Squash in Rotterdam, the Dutch City of Sports, as men's qualifying concluded and women's qualifying began for the World Open Squash 2011, the biggest and most valuable squash event ever held in the Netherlands.

There was first-time success in reaching the main draw for over half the men's field, including two who joined their brothers and one who got an unexpected birthday treat.

Quiet start for the women
 
Not too much to report in the women's side, with sixteen straight-game wins, all but two of them taking half an hour or less, but there was still little for the home fans to celebrate as 11 of their 12 players went the same way as their 16 male counterparts yesterday.

The sole home winner over the first two days of competition was Milou Van Der Heijden who overcame compatriot Daniel Rossmeissl. Several of the Dutch had chances to take games though, particularly Milja Dorenbos, Cigany Sillevis, Melissa Meulenbelt and Daphne Jalgersma who all stalled within sight of the finishing line in at least one game.

All today's winners meet one of the qualifying seeds in tomorrow's second round with those winners going on to the qualifying finals on Monday.

Sixteen qualify for Men's Main Draw

The sixteen men's qualifying finals were all heavily disputed, with world junior champion Marwan El Shorbagy the only one who managed to win in less time than the longest women's match as he beat Germany's Jens Schoor in straight games to join his brother Mohamed in the main draw, where he meets Pakistan's Farhan Mehboob.

"Today, I played well, in particular on the volleying, was comfortable on the T," said Marwan. "But Jens is a very good player, so dangerous at the front …. I had to play my best today to beat him. I think my mum must be crying at home, as this is my first time qualifying for the Worlds…"

Simon Rosner won't be the only German in the main draw though, as Raphael Kandra, on his 21st birthday, beat Julien Balbo in 75 minutes with the Frenchman struggling with a turned ankle in the latter stages of an oft-times brutal encounter. Kandra's reward is an encounter with hard-hitting Aussie Cameron Pilley.

"Yes, my first ever world Open!!!!" said a delighted Raphael. "And as it is my birthday today, it’s a good reason for cancelling the party that I had planned at home (I live not too far away from here). You can say that actually, I made my own birthday gift!!!!"

Another Frenchman who struggled with injury towards he end of his match was Yann Perrin who lost out to Mexico's Cesar Salazar - also joining his (twin) brother in the main draw - leaving Greg Marche the only French winner on day as he beat Australian Matthew Karwalski to leave the Aussies six-strong in the main draw following Zac Alexander's win over Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet.

"For about 3, 4 months I feel good, I feel strong, and that my squash is getting better," said Cesar. "I want to thank the Mexican Government who understand that we need to travel to Europe to play more tournaments, and helps the top four with funding. And yes, it’s my first time getting into the Worlds!!!!!"

The longest match of the day, at 76 minutes, saw another first time qualifier in South Africa's Clinton Leeuw who came from 2/1 down to deny England's Robbie Temple. "

Two Englishmen did make it through to the last 64, as Joe Lee overcame fierce resistance from compatriot Eddie Charlton and Adrian Waller denied South Africa a second qualifier as he beat Shaun Le Roux. Waller meets Daryl Selby while Lee faces Canada's Shahier Razik.

As seems to be compulsory on these occasions, two of the longest matches were left until last. Two youngsters battled it out on court 9, Malaysia's 21-year-old Ivan Yuen taking a 2-1 and match-ball lead over 20-year-old Finn Henrik Mustonen, who stormed back to take the match in 76 minutes. Mustonen faces third seed Karim Darwish, as he did in last week's Qatar Classic.

The final match on court one promised to be even longer as Steve Finitsis held a substantial lead in the fourth against Omar Abdel Meguid, but the Egyptian clawed it back to take the fourth 12/10 in a match that featured 58 decisions in its 73 minutes. Meguid meets compatriot Omar Mosaad.

Stephane Galifi and Campbell Grayson got the 'plum' draws, with the veteran French/Italian set to taske on defending champion Nick Matthew, while Kiwi Grayson meets 2008 champion Ramy Ashour, the second seed.

For Galifi, it's his third time in the World Open main draw, but he's still very pleased: "What’s at stake is enormous when we try and qualify for such a tournament. You can never play relax in the qualifiers, so much pressure, people may think it’s easy, but it’s not. And from the psychological point of view, it’s one of the hardest things to do. He played so well, and I’m so proud to win this one…"

The men's first round takes place over two days, starting on Sunday and concluding on Monday.

  

Men's Qualifying Finals:

Stephane Galifi (Ita) bt Dick Lau (Hkg)
               12/10, 4/11, 11/2, 8/11, 11/2 (69m)
Eric Galvez (Mex) bt Kristian Frost (Den)
               11/3, 11/9, 11/9 (56m)
Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy) bt Jens Schoor (Ger)
                11/6, 11/8, 11/5 (31m)
Greg Marche (Fra) bt Matthew Karwalski (Aus)
               11/9, 11/6, 8/11, 11/2 (56m)
Zac Alexander (Aus) bt Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)
               8/11, 11/8, 11/3, 11/8 (62m)
Shawn Delierre (Can) bt Siddharth Suchde (Ind)
               11/7, 11/8, 11/8 (68m)

Campbell Grayson (Nzl) bt Wade Johnstone (Aus)
               11/6, 11/6, 11/7 (40m)
Cesar Salazar (Mex) bt Yann Perrin (Fra)
            
   12/14, 11/5, 11/3, 11/6 (63m)

Max Lee (Hkg) bt Joel Hinds (Eng)
                12/10, 11/6, 9/11, 11/8 (58m)
Clinton Leeuw (Rsa) bt Robbie Temple (Eng)
                 11/7, 9/11, 4/11, 11/5, 11/5 (76m)
Davide Bianchetti (Ita) bt Amr Swelim (Ita)
                  11/8, 11/5, 2/11, 14/12 (62m)
Joe Lee (Eng) bt Eddie Charlton (Eng)
                 12/10, 4/11, 11/7, 11/6 (62m)
Adrian Waller (Eng) bt Shaun le Roux (Rsa)
                 14/12, 11/5, 11/6 (52m)
Raphael Kandra (Ger) bt Julien Balbo (Fra)
                  6/11, 15/13, 11/9, 11/4 (75m)
Henrik Mustonen (Fin) bt Ivan Yuen (Mas)
                 11/9, 4/11, 6/11, 14/12, 11/6 (76m)
Omar Abdel Meguid (Egy) bt Steve Finitsis (Aus)
                 5/11, 11/5, 11/7, 12/10 (73m)

The Draw: Galifi v Matthew, Leeuw v Rosner, Kandra v Pilley, Delierre v Lincou, Meguid v Mosaad, Mustonen v Darwish, Max Lee v Willstrop, Joe Lee v Razik, Marwan v Mehboob, Waller v Selby, Alexander v Hisham Ashour, Galvez v Shabana, Cesar v Grant, Bianchetti v Ghosal, Marche v Anjema and Grayson v Ramy Ashour. LL1 Eddie Charlton, LL2 Joel Hinds.


Women's Qualifying Round One:

Stephanie Edmison (Can) bt Chloe Mesic (Fra)
              14/12, 11/4, 11/6 (26m)
Lisa Aitken (Sco) bt Belen Etchechoury (Arg)
              11/2, 11/3, 11/6 (17m)
Imelda Salazar (Mex) bt Milja Dorenbos (Ned)
               11/3, 12/10, 11/5 (30m)
Zephanie Curgenven (Eng) bt Karina Heredia (Mex)
                11/3, 11/3, 11/4 (17m)

Maud Duplomb (Fra) bt Nikki Van Der Heijden (Ned)
                11/4, 11/6, 11/5 (21m)
Lauren Selby (Eng) bt Ilona Lagerweij (Ned)
                11/9, 11/1, 11/4 (21m)
Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) bt Nayelly Hernandez (Mex)
                 11/2, 11/1, 11/6 (18m)
Leonie Holt (Eng) bt Cigany Sillevis (Ned)
                  12/10, 11/4, 11/4 (20m)

Yathreb Adel (Egy) bt Tessa Der Sluis (Ned)
            11/4, 11/6, 11/6 (18m)
Salma Hany (Egy) bt Melissa Meulenbelt (Ned)
            11/8, 11/8, 11/9 (36m)
Tesni Evans (Wal) bt Lisette Eschweiler (Ned)
            11/4, 11/4, 11/2 (17m)
Thaisa Serafini (Bra) bt Daphne Jalgersma (Ned)
            11/5, 11/7, 11/8 (36m)

Milou Van Der Heijden (Ned) bt Daniel Rossmeissl (Ned)
             11/6, 11/2, 11/2 (18m)
Birgit Coufal (Aut) bt Laura Lagerweij (Ned)
            11/3, 11/2, 11/3 (12m)

Sally Skaarenborg (Den) bt Brogan Lane (Eng)
            11/6, 11/6, 11/7 (23m)
Coline Aumard (Fra) bt Dagmar Vermuelen (Ned)
            11/4, 11/7, 11/2 (24m)

More updates on the BLOG



The French View
from André Delhoste

En Francais - coverage in French

Grégoire vs Kawalski

The first 3 games are played on a very fast rythm which Grégoire particularly likes. Although all games are tight, the french seems to be in control as he clinches the first 2 sets. He loses the 3rd game, as he lacks in creativity and in pace variation.

Grégoire changes his game in the 4th, as he takes the ball a lot earlier, and plays shots he never used before in the match. He will take 11 straight points after being led 2/0 in this 4th game.

Mathieu vs Alexander

In the first game Mathieu is very aggressive, taking the ball early, thus forbidding his opponent to score on his numerous attacking shots. In the following games Mathieu loses the tactical advantage, as he gives too much time for Alexander who takes control of the game. The second game is tight but the third one is won easily by the Australian.

In the fourth game Mathieu fights to catch up with the score but cannot prevent Alexander to impose his pace and take the match in 4 games.

Yann vs C.Salasar

The first game is played on an incredible pace, attacking shots from all over the court from both players. Yann will take this first game 14/12 after saving several game balls. In the following 2 games, yann isn't as patient and makes too many unforced errors, attacking too early in the rallies.

The 4th game is spoiled by Yann's adductor injury, which prevents him to cover the front corners properly. Yann will have to concede this fourth game and the match.

Julien vs Kandra

Julien starts well, leading 11/5 and 10/5, using long and powerful crosscourts to put Kandra out of position. Then Julien loses his way, and the german will save 7 game balls to clinch thensecond game 15/13.

The rest of the match will be scrappy, Julien running after the score in the second game until he sprains his ankle stepping on Kandra's foot. Despite a strap, Julien won't be able to come back in the game and will lose in 4 games.
 

 

Fram reports on the qualifying finals ...
  

DISPUTED? OH YES

Stephane Galifi (Ita) bt Dick Lau (Hkg)            12/10, 4/11, 11/2, 8/11, 11/2 (69m)
Eric Galvez (Mex) bt Kristian Frost (Den)          11/3, 11/9, 11/9 (56m)

The two openers were fierce and furious, that’s for sure!

First, Old Timer Stéphane Galifi pushed his body to the limit today against Dick Lau to try and qualify for the Worlds, as if it was his last chance to get onto the prestigious tournament. He dug in as I haven’t seen him do for a long time, and played some superb delay length that sent the Hong Kong player in the wrong direction many times.

A lot of decisions, under the direction of World Ref John Masseralla that was keeping those two perfectly under control, and although a few discussions aroused, nothing that John couldn’t handle.

Dick was extremely patient, and played at a mid pace that maybe suited the Italian/French too much I thought. Never really out of his comfort zone, Galif just had enough time to adjust his shots at the back, and find lovely attacks. Maybe the tactic for the Kong Kong player should have been to play a bit faster. But hey, I’m sitting here, quietly in a press room, how easy is it to give advice….

It was a good entertaining match, the crowd, numerous and appreciative, enjoyed it thoroughly. Still, just a shame that poor Dick had to suffer cramps in the last game after working so hard to come back from 2/1. Never fair when the body lets you down at the end…

Happy.

I started well in the first, but then, he started getting more accurate, and it became a very demanding game physically. He played really well, I’m happy to win that one, I can tell you.

What’s at stake is enormous when we try and qualify for such a tournament. You can never play relax in the qualifiers, so much pressure, people may think it’s easy, but it’s not. And from the psychological point of view, it’s one of the hardest things to do.

He played so well, I’m so proud to win this one…

 

And what about Eric Galvez and Kristian Frost. In that one, the pace was fast and furious, from the first rally to the last.

Like in the other match, lots of lets, a bit of testosterone, a few butts on the floor and explanations with the refs, but again, nothing out of control. Only two players desperate to get the points and the money from qualifying.

It was a lovely match to watch, both players hitting hard, short, good accuracy at the back, and nice long drop shots, with a lot of running, hardly unforced errors. Excellent level indeed.

"Because of the jetlag, I just couldn’t sleep, and I can tell you I was soooo lucky on that last shot [a lucky backhand drive that finds the nick], because I had no energy left at all. So lucky, sooooo lucky!

I was hoping that he would make errors and give me a few cheap points, but he didn’t. He just played well all the time.

They were a few lets, but nothing bad, just bad circulation at times, just me wanting to get to the front, or him, but just normal powerful squash, with a lot of going to the back, going to the front, back, front…

Very very happy to get through…"

 

Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy) bt Jens Schoor (Ger)            11/6, 11/8, 11/5 (31m)

Before the tournament, I had a great preparation with Ian Thomas, I feel good, moving well, playing good squash, and most of all, I’m calm on court….

Today, I played well, in particular on the volleying, was comfortable on the T. But Jens is a very good player, so dangerous at the front…. I had to play my best today to beat him.

I think my mum must be crying at home, as this is my first time qualifying for the Worlds…

Zac Alexander (Aus) bt Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)         8/11, 11/8, 11/3, 11/8 (62m)

I was pretty nervous at the beginning, and took a terrible start, I was too defensive, he was up 6/2 up but I came back very strong at the end of the game, making the ball move around better, and pushing him to do a lot of work, and in the second game too.

And I guess it paid off, because in the 3rd, I was up something like 7 or 8/0… And in the fourth, he was still a bit tired I think.

Today, I was very patient, I controlled the ball well on a bouncy court, and although he kept picking up a lot of my shots, I kept my composure.

It’s my first ever PSA in Europe, because I was not able to do many tournaments from Australia up to now, but recently, I went to the US to train with Rodney Martin – who I want to thank for his great work with me – and was able to play a few tournaments in the States, which in turn gave me more points, and allow me to qualify for more tournaments, and this one in particular, my first ever Worlds…

SHAWN VERY FAST…

Shawn Delierre (Can) bt Siddharth Suchde (Ind)            11/7, 11/8, 11/8 (68m)

A very close game between the experienced Canadian, fresh off the Pan Am games and as experience Sid…. Didn’t see the whole match, but what I saw was a very fast pace game, with lovely drop shots from the Indian, and some awesome pick up from the Speedy Canadian.

Not sure of the line the refs took though, awarding so many no lets against Sid that were in my experience, simple lets, trying to get to the ball, would have reach it if not the interference. Maybe they didn’t spot the far back T position of the Canadian on the T…

Anyway, hat to the Canadian who was able to finish with a silver medal in the Pan Am games, fly all the way over here right after, and like Eric Galvez, qualify for the Worlds…

I got the job done. I’m not a shooter like those guys [showing Cesar and Yann], but I just get the job done….

Today, I play the crucial points well I though, and cut the unforced errors to a minimum. Also, I used smart play, I studied his method, he was cutting of my crosscourt very well, and playing all his shots very straight, very few crosscourts. So, I adapted my game to his, and tried and avoid his backhand volley drop shots as much as possible, because he was killing those ones…

At the end, I had to stay patient, and not play the Crazy Delierre, because I was afraid he was going to come back in the match. So, kept my calm, waiting for the opportunities to open up, and try and kill the ball at the front. And the opportunities presented themselves in the end.

Campbell Grayson (Nzl) bt Wade Johnstone (Aus)            11/6, 11/6, 11/7 (40m)

Physically, legs are fine, but today, I had a bit of a niggle in the shoulder blade that was interfering with my breathing, slightly annoying!

Campbell played really well today, he had a hard match yesterday and did well to bak it up.

I had my chances, although I don’t remember having a lead, but at no time I felt I was out of it. Still, at the end of the games, I just got a bit sloppy, he probably had more match experience than I, and it showed at the crucial times…



I had to work very hard for every point. I didn’t know his game, first time I played him. He is very good if you give him the ball into the racquet, and in particular in the middle. So I tried and moved him around.

I felt a bit sluggish at times from yesterday’s match, but nothing too bad, and it wasn’t that bad once I got started. I think I played better than I did yesterday. Still, in the 2nd and 3rd, got a good lead, 8/3 and 7/3, but made a few errors, lost my length, got a bit impatient. So went back to basic squash, to make sure I would keep controlling the ball…

Cesar Salazar (Mex) bt Yann Perrin (Fra)              12/14, 11/5, 11/3, 11/6 (63m)

It’s my first time getting into the Worlds!!!!!

I was well concentrated from the start, but then in the middle of the first game, he started attacking more. We both worked very hard, and I think that game was very important, although I lost it, because it made him do a lot of work which paid off in the second, plus me changing my tactic and playing more on the backhand – he is just too good on the forehand.

In the third, I could see he was clearly impaired with his leg. He couldn’t move that well, and in the 4th, I was in control most of the time, he was not focused the whole time, I guess it was his leg that was creating him the trouble.

For about 3, 4months I feel good, I feel strong, and that my squash is getting better. I want to thank the Mexican Government who understand that we need to travel to Europe to play more tournaments, and helps the top 4 with funding. So I’m going to try and do more and more tournaments to get more and more exposure…



First game was tight, I took a bad start but came back strong, attacking well, I take the game but only just. Then in the second, I go for the ball, and feel like a pinch in the hamstring, that just got worst from then on. I had more and more trouble getting to the ball in particular on the backhand, was late on the ball, and struggled to push off.

A bit disappointed not to be able to defend my chances at the end, it’s the World Open, but we have a lot of tournaments coming up. So, going to get a bit of treatment and rest, and off to Macau and Hong Kong next week…

PATCHY…

Max Lee (Hkg) bt Joel Hinds (Eng)               12/10, 11/6, 9/11, 11/8 (58m)

This was – for the games I managed to see – a good game of squash, with Lee attacking beautifully, and Joel running really well to retrieve the shots while trying his best to prevent his opponent from getting more opportunities to attack.

It was more a mental game that anything else today between those two, with Lee going ahead, relaxing a bit while Joel was giving it a big push, to then see the Hong Kong player clawing back again. Sometimes it went Max’ way, sometimes Joel’s way.

This match was so close and honestly could have gone either way.

In fact, it was a bit the same story with Robbie and Clinton, but played at a more furious pace, with frantic squash at time, in particular in the 5th, where the Englishman probably lost a bit his way, while Clinton did what he knows best to do: hanging in there, weather the storm and fight till the last point.

First game, the court was bouncy, and those conditions suit him more than I, he picked up a lot of my shots. In the second game, the ball slowed down, which was better for me. After the second game, I was so confident I was going to win the match, and had a terrible start in the 3rd, making so many unforced errors!

Mentally, I forced myself to come back in that game, and tried to find some space to attack, but just couldn’t finish it. And in the 4th, well, we had some crucial rallies, 5/5, 6/6. I manage to take a 3 point lead, 9/6, and eventually closed it out.

Today, although I realise I still need to work on some mental aspect of my game to improve my focus – Peter Genever helped me so much with those – I’m happy with the fact that now, I can refocus during the games and not just between them. Also, I’m more confident in my shots and my fitness.


No, I didn’t feel that I picked up a lot of shots!

He is such a solid player, apart from a few errors at the start of the 3rd, he hardly made any errors.

And if I could replay my match, I would try and avoid to lose the first game while I’m up 6/2. As last time I played him, I was up 7/2 in the first and lost that one too, nice to see I’m learning from my mistakes!!!!!!!!

Joe Lee (Eng) bt Eddie Charlton (Eng)              12/10, 4/11, 11/7, 11/6 (62m)

Part one achieved. Now, time to show how I can do against better ranked players than myself…

There is been a bit of rivalry between us two. Last time I played him he probably should have won, and I was lucky to manage to win that one. But today, I think I was a bit more deserving in my victory.

It’s nice to play somebody like Eddie, fair player, nice game, you can concentrate on playing good squash and not arguing with the ref or fighting to get to the ball. Really nice match.

Today, I’m happy with the way I hit the back corners, which gave me the opportunity to work the ball short and make the court long.

In the second, when I dropped off, was me losing about an inch of length at the back, with him able to flick and hold the ball, and the difference between controlling the ball and being controlled….

I didn’t play perfect squash, but I’m happy with the mental part of the game. And given the pressure, the conditions, I don’t think I could have done much better today…

 

He played well enough, he can play better. But to be honest, in my opinion, the best player won tonight. Which doesn’t make it easy, look at Robbie who probably was the better player against Clinton, but there are a lot of factors in a victory, it’s a combination between game tactic, squash abilities, and mental state.

And Joe got better, even if of course he still got things to learn…

(Joe’s coach)

I’m extremely disappointed. I think that I was in and out from a tactical point of view tonight. Part was me, the other part was all credit to Joe. I thought I was playing well enough to win, and that physically, I could see it through the end. But it was not my day today.

Davide Bianchetti (Ita) bt Amr Swelim (Ita)           11/8, 11/5, 2/11, 14/12 (62m)

Not easy to play a friend, and especially not Vincenze. First, I really feel bad for him, but he is young, A LOT younger than I, he’ll be back. Plus, it’s better for him that I won a very disputed game, like 14/12 in the 4th, it shows him that he is not far off! Would have been easier for me to win easy though, as I’m not getting any younger, but it’s better for him to lose a close encounter.

He is such a nice guy, I’m really sorry. Truly.

But today, I played my own game, I’m finding myself hitting the ball better than I have done at times in my career, but physically, well, days where I feel fine, then I’m getting more tired. And then I finish completely knackered.

And today, o boy, if I hadn’t taken that 4th…

Adrian Waller (Eng) bt Shaun le Roux (Rsa)                14/12, 11/5, 11/6 (52m)

The first game was not that crucial from a physical point of view, we were both fine, but certainly from the mental point of view. Once I was that game up, I was able to relax and be more confident.

And especially after that 5/5 palava [there was some confusion with the score at 5/5, was it 4/5, 5/4, or 5/5. And Shawn was sure that he was to serve, while the ref thought it should have been Adrian] – well, I thought that Shawn was so sure he was to serve, and I know Shawn, so I thought he was right, plus it was only about who was serving, not a point less or more…. After that incident, I really was able to relax and let go, playing some nice shots.

And about the same in the 3rd, after a start of the game where I was pretty tight, I got that extra confidence from being 2/0 up and play my shots…

Yes I did lose a lot of weight. It’s not that I was overweight for a normal person, but if you look at the squash players, there is nothing of them! Now I can use my height at a plus and do something with it instead of it being a hindrance.

James is the player in that department I’m looking up to, we have similar height, and I think he probably looked into it more than I did, so I do tend to follow his example….

No, not my first world, I did qualify last year, and lost to Tom Richards 3/1 from being up 2/1. That was hard…

Raphael Kandra (Ger) bt Julien Balbo (Fra)                   6/11, 15/13, 11/9, 11/4 (75m)

Yes, my first ever world Open!!!! And as it is my birthday today, it’s a good reason for cancelling the party that I had planned at home (I live not too far away from here). You can say that actually, I made my own birthday gift!!!!

It was a bit of a up and down match today. In the first, I was out of control, I was still asleep at the hotel, too loose, not hitting hard enough, not controlling the ball at all, nothing was good, and I was most unhappy with myself.

Then, in the second, we had a pretty long rally, very disputed, that I finally won, and the crowd – feels like playing home – really supported me, and that seemed to wake me up! And I went up 7/2. But he started coming back, and playing very well, and my length, my confidence, all disappeared! I managed to still win that one….

In the third, he was actually not comfortable, I’m not sure if there was something wrong with his thigh, but he was not moving that well to the front, not as fast as he normally does. Still, the third was very close, then he rolled his ankle;

It’s pretty hard to keep your game plan when you play something that may be injured, or not – he was moving pretty well when he came back – so I tried and stick to the game plan I had until then, keep focused and disciplined…

In the 4th, I mentally free myself, and my shots just went in beautifully when I wanted them to, and I was really really happy at the end…

QUICKIES!!!

Henrik Mustonen (Fin) bt Ivan Yuen (Mas)        11/9, 4/11, 6/11, 14/12, 11/6 (76m)
Omar Abdel Meguid (Egy) bt Steve Finitsis (Aus)      5/11, 11/5, 11/7, 12/10 (73m)

Well, it’s 10.20pm, last bus is leaving in 40m from the club to go back to the hotel, so, going to make it short people.

The “kids” match, between Henrik and Yvan, what a beautiful match that was. Between two extremely skilful and accurate youngsters, so fast with their hands, attacking, counter attacking, lovely lobs, nice retrieving, fair…

What a great match that was.

Yvan would have had to win the 4th today, as he basically run on fumes in the 5th. Not that he didn’t try bless him, he gave it all, and found some stunning shots. But Henrik, maybe a bit more match experience at that level, had just that little bit more under the foot, and finishes it nicely.

Still, I was extremely impressed with young Malaysian who, in my humble opinion, has got a very bright future in front of him, maybe a bit more work in the fitness side?….

As of the “Tall Boys” battle, well, didn’t much of it, but what I saw what a tough and intense match between two very strong boys both wanted to win pretty badly.

And I’m quite happy to report that Omar, who had some not too good behaviour on court the few times I’ve seen him, was pretty good today. May it last, he doesn’t need it to win.

I don’t really know if it was a nice match to watch or not, I don’t really concentrate on that. For me, a win is a win, that’s what’s important. What I’m proud of is the fact I came from behind to win.

I’m not happy with my attacking shots today, but really happy with my counter attacking, my retrieving, and also with my mental strength, because at some point, his shots was so lethal that I could have started to go for too much, and make drop shots far too high that he could have killed me with!

For some reason, I was jus not confident with my short game today, thank God I soon realised that it was not going to be an attacking shot day, but a put on your running shoes days!!!!

It’s my first time ever in the World Open, both senior and junior, because I never was able to get to the Junior world event…..

I had a very bad start, we started later than planned – two long matches before us – so went on court, really not much energy, not great movement, couldn’t see the ball that well, not good!

I made sure that I was keeping him on the move, because he wanted to volley everything, and was pretty good at it!

My shots today, well, just didn’t get in at all, it was so bad, never felt comfortable on there, even if I play well in patches… I was 4/0 down in the 4th, and I managed to come back in the game, and win the match.

Tonight, everything was hard, I didn’t feel that I had anything in the legs, shots didn’t go in, not a great day, but hey, got the win by well, just keeping digging in, and giving what I had left and run as much as I could!!!!

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