R1 : All-European Men’s finale

18.45 Matches:

Gregory Gaultier (Fra) 3-1 Nathan Lake (Eng)      11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-6 (44m)
Patrick Rooney (Eng) 3-1 Declan James (Eng)      11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9 (54m)
Baptiste Masotti (Fra) 3-1 Edmon Lopez (Esp)    11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 12-10 (59m)
Iker Pajares (Esp) 3-0 Aditya Jagtap (Ind)                    11-9, 11-7, 11-7 (33m)


Iker Pajares (ESP) 3-0 Aditya Jagtap (IND)

He is a nightmare (smiles). He was in Barcelona for almost a year, I know him very well.

There is no rhythm in his game, he is firing shots all the times, with the volleys, from the back, he is very difficult to read, he holds the ball very well, he holds, he holds, and then he plays.

The court is very cold, and I feel that’s to his advantage. I find him very difficult to play. I was very nervous. I know he can play very good squash, and if he is confident, he is very hard to play.

Very happy indeed to get through in three.

I’m playing Tarek. It’s the third or fourth time I play him, he is the world number 3… I think it’s good for me we are playing in the traditional court. But of course, a very hard match tomorrow but I will fight tomorrow. I have no pressure, I’ll have to be confident, I have worked very hard so we will see…


Patrick Rooney (ENG) 3-1 Declan James (ENG) 

Patrick: When we play English players, it’s very competitive, especially when it’s between the ones that are coming through, we all fighting to improve. We train together in England, and when we draw each other, it is very competitive. Coming all this way to play an English man, I never get to play Egyptians!

The first two games, I controlled the volley, volleying more. Then in the third game, he stepped up, so I had to think I have to step in front of him or I’ll end up losing. But I started to take the lead, he reversed the pressure, he started to defend a lot better, so I had to adjust to that and he started to get around my volley.

Malcolm. What to say. He was getting better with age. Age is just a number… Today, I tried to play like he wanted me to play. I tried to have fun as well, I tried my best to have fun but… he wouldn’t have been happy with me shouting. Not at all. Probably wouldn’t talked to me. Maybe for a week… ‘None of that’…


Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-1 Edmon Lopez (ESP) 

Not easy conditions to play. It is in no way a criticism of the PSA, they do the best ever possible; but the fact we cannot play anything else than solos, the fact we are stuck in our rooms doing nothing, the fact it’s so hard to get prepared for the matches, makes our lives very difficult, and takes the fun away from the equation.

The fact there are so few tournaments as well, we feel the pressure constantly, that we have to perform well as there are so few matches in between events. Plus the stress of being tested positive.

To be honest my match today was horrible. A catastrophe. I had the impression of being back two years ago, the old Baptiste, who used to play too early too soon. I have worked so hard to get away from there. And I tell you something he had four game balls in the 4th. If it goes to five, I bet you what you want I would have been on the plane back home tomorrow.

Not much pleasure out of it today, I know now I am going to able to refocus, analyse what happened and sort it out for my next match. I have a good draw, I need to take my chances…