R1: Seb, Curtis, Iker, Nicolas


12.45 Matches
Sebastien Bonmalais (Fra) 3-0 Alex Lau (Hkg) 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (44m)
Curtis Malik (Eng) 3-2 Bernat Jaume (Esp) 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 11-4 (63m)
Iker Pajares (Esp) 3-0 Simon Herbert (Eng) 11-4, 11-9, 11-2 (31m)
Nicolas Mueller (Sui) 3-0 Ibrahim Elkabbani (Egy) 11-9, 13-11, 11-6 (38m)

Seb v Alex : A first game that made the whole difference, 18m of hard work in the Hong Kong player, with the French collecting the dividends in the 2nd and start of the 3rd.

A good push from Lau Tsz Kwan at the end of the third though. Seb will be happy not to get into a 4th with a revenge match tomorrow against Youssef Soliman….

Sébastien : I didn’t realise that the first game was so long!

The tactic was to make him work hard and not to give him any angles because we know he’s very talented with the racket and can hit a nick at any moment!

Then again, it paid off in the second game, I really felt a significant energy drop from him, and the same in the third. At the end of the game, he let loose, trying a bit of everything, and I’m quite pleased with how I responded against a player like him, who kept slowing down the game, which is very frustrating. I knew that was his tactic for playing against me…

A good match, 3/0. I’m keen to play well and keep up my momentum in the PSA currently. Tomorrow, I have a score to settle with Youssef, and it’s good that I didn’t use too much energy in this match.

Curtis : “It was very up and down today actually. A really weird start to the match three or four points in when I got hit in the eye. That put a stop to things, and I was a little bit slow to get going again, and he capitalised on it.

“I did feel like in the last three games I was playing the better squash, but unfortunately I lost the third game, but managed to cut out the errors in the third and fourth games and play the way I wanted to. I’m pleased to get over the line.

“I played him six days ago. It’s weird to play the World No.1 twice in one week so I’m just going to try and learn everything I can from last week and apply it to tomorrow. It’s completely different court conditions so I need to get my tactics spot on and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”