R2: Baptiste/Patrick, Fares/YowNg, Mohamed/Cesar
Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-1 Patrick Rooney (ENG) 8-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 (49m)
The preparation for this event was tough. I had Mathieu’s draw instead of playing Mahesh. But as soon as Gawad withdrew, I had in my mind that match against Patrick.
I am very happy with my performance, it is in my view my best match of the season. I was consistent, I didn’t make too many errors. I tried to take him out of his backhand as he is very dangerous mid length volley to the front.
I varied the pace, taking him to the backhand when I needed a bit of a breather, then on the forehand where he was going to open the court for me. I’m really happy I follow the game plan we designed with Renan.
My biggest weakness is my motivation and handling my emotions. I know I normally play well here, but I didn’t put any kind of pressure on me. No, I came here to find the pleasure of playing squash again. I just played a local event last weekend, and I was enjoying my squash again.
If I don’t have that pleasure factor, I just do not win matches. And today, I never thought about wining. Only thought about having fun. And as I played very well, it was great fun!
I was focused on every shot, I was taking the time to think between rallies. I think it was hard for both of us, we played a good game. I feel we are both on our way up to the top 10 hopefully in a few years, and I know we are going to have many more battles like that one.
I respect Patrick enormously, he’s got an attacking squash, which is my style as well. I knew it was going to be a good one, and winning it makes me a bit emotional actually. I have a tendency not to open myself to people, and in particularly to my coaches to improve my game and take it to the next level. I might start training with other coaches on top of Renan (Lavigne) to try and get different influences and information. I think my attacking game is in place, but I need to work on my all around game.
I am expecting a lot of myself, even if I don’t speak about it, but I know for a fact I need to take my game to the next level. And that match I’ll keep as a match to remember as I managed to play both my attacking game AND my all around game.
Playing Fares, I’m going to give it all to win but foremost, I’m going to ENJOY IT.
 Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-1 11-9, 9-11, 14-12, 13-11 (76m)
It was a very tough match. I have been watching him play for so many tournaments, he is improving so I was expecting a tough one.
I played well in the first, but he played very well in the second. I had to make sure I was making each rally very hard.
Today my plan was to impose my squash and not watch HIM play. Sometimes, if you pay too much attention to your opponent, you fall in the trap of playing his game instead of focusing on your own.
I didn’t manage to do it 100%, but in the end, I won in 4, which is good.
It was a perfect match to start the tournament.
Baptiste is going to be a tough one as well! I think we played together in BlackBall, it was a tough 3/0, and the backcourts here are way more difficult to play on than the Glasscourt, so I’m expecting a good one tomorrow.
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0 Cesar Salazar (MEX) 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (28m)
“I’m very happy to win today, Cesar is a very tricky player, he’s beaten me before and we’ve had some tough matches in the past. We haven’t played in so many years, so it was a bit tricky for me because in the first game he didn’t move very well, I think because of his tough match yesterday. Then from the second he was completely on fire, taking me short and it took me by surprise.
“Within a couple of minutes I found myself 7-2 down. But I think mentally it was very good for me to come back and win that game 11-8. He’s a quality player, Ali [Farag] had a strong three games with him at the World Champs and I’m glad to finish off in three.
“I’m looking forward to starting on the glass court tomorrow.”