Grégoire, Greg L, Karim, Diego

16.45 Matches :
Gregoire Marche (Fra) 3-2 Eain Yow Ng (Mas)   8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 12-10 (84m)
Greg Lobban (Sco) 3-0 [9/16] Miguel Rodriguez (Col)   11-7, 11-9, 11-9 (57m)
[5] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) 3-1 [9/16] Fares Dessouky (Egy)   11-9, 7-11, 11-2, 11-7 (45m)
[3] Diego Elias (Per) 3-0 [9/16] Baptiste Masotti (Fra)   11-3, 11-7, 11-3 (33m)

Marche v Ng

Yow Ng, who came into the tournament off the back of winning his first World Tour title at the German Open, edged the first two matches 11-8, 11-9. Marche looked competitive throughout the early phases, but took control as he won the third and fourth games 11-8, 11-8 to bring the match level.

In a close-fought fifth game, the two players traded points to 9-8 in favour of the frenchman. Marche earned two match balls, and despite a late surge from Yow Ng to take the match to a tie-break, Marche won the game 12-10 to take his spot in round three.

Greg : The human body is sometimes incredible.

At 2/0 down, I was already feeling quite spent, and honestly, I felt he was still working hard, and I thought, he might just fold a bit. He wasn’t making many mistakes at the beginning. It came down to the end of each game, where I was the one who bended a bit, and on this court, I couldn’t use  my speed to overtake him at the back. I needed to be accurate, and I was much less so at the beginning. But then, he started to lose a bit of accuracy.

I felt, when I took the 3rd, that there might be an opening, I felt that at the end of the game, he wasn’t moving the same. I told myself, ‘come on, give a big boost in the 4th,’ which I managed to do well.

In the 5th, I saw he started to get cramps, but in my mind, I saw he was still moving well, it plays a role, obviously. I dared not try too much, I tried to prolong the rallies, but he took his chances, he played very tactically well in the 5th, and me, on the other hand, my arm was floating a bit. Fortunately, on the last one, I let my arm go, and it gets in.

It’s a pleasure to win a match of this intensity and quality.

I think I have a day off, it turns out well, I think it’s not bad, I play Paul or Youssef, but on the glass court. I’m happy, I’m back in the top 16, it feels good.

Oh also, you know I read the interview you did with Karim Abdel Gawad after his defeat against Asal at BlackBall, when he says that wining or losing is out of our hands, and that you have to enjoy each match as if it were your last.

I have nothing more to prove anymore, and I’m going to try and apply what he advises. I’m just trying to enjoy myself. I wouldn’t have been too heartbroken to lose this time, and I’ve retained and learned from what he said…

At 34, you’re still learning…

Karim : Yes, easy first round, like I had easy first round in Houston, Blackball, here, British Open… When I was outside the top 10 I was getting punished. Now I am inside the top 10, I am still being punished…

You never know how Fares is thinking, he can come up with three four shots in a row that no one can ever expected. So what I had in mind was always to have a good lead in each game just to try to prevent those good shots.

He’s done it a lot in the first game and the last game too, when he started to come back. I didn’t want to put myself in a close point situation.

In the second for example, I didn’t start well, suddenly, he had 5, 6 points lead, it’s very very hard to come back with a talented player like him.

Lobban v Rodriguez

Scotland’s Greg Lobban upset World No.15 Miguel Rodriguez to reach the third round after a strong 3-0 performance.

The Scotsman always looked in control of the match as Lobban, despite never having a decisive lead over the Colombian, kept consistent throughout the three games and won 11-7, 11-9, 11-9 to book his place in the third round where he will face Karim Abdel Gawad.

Greg L : Yes, very happy. I feel I’ve been very close in the second rounds from those top 16 guys, and I got on the wrong side of a few of them, so the scream at the end was a kind of relief of all those frustrations of the other ones.

I think I produced a very solid performance today, I was pretty close to my best all the three games. I know that Miguel made a big push at the end of the third but I didn’t want to give it to him too easily in that game.

I don’t know how I won it in the end. I played really well, I’m very happy with it.

At the moment, not thinking about my next round, I’m just enjoying the moment. I have my wife with me this week, and it’s been really nice to spend time in such a nice place. I feel really relaxed at the moment.

I know that playing Karim is a great experience. He is one of the top players, one of the best who ever played the game. For me, being able to compete with these guys is what I train for, I just hope that I can play like I did today and really give him a run for his money…