Mayar Hany (EGY) 3-1 Nadia Pfister (SUI) 11-5, 6-11, 11-8, 11-5 (30m)
Melissa Alves (FRA) 3-0 Enora Villard (FRA) 11-4, 11-3, 11-1 (27m)
What a weird match that was. Those two train together, play together for France, and basically are the best of friends. And they know each other’s game. And “they hate playing each other” confessed their coach in Créteil and accessorily National Coach Philippe Signoret. It showed.
They hadn’t played since forever, 2011 according to PSA stats. And it started very well for Enora, who played very fast and hitting hard for the first three points in the opener. Long story short, she managed to get another point at 4/9, to bow 11/4 but hard work, 8m. Exactly the same story in the second, up 3/0, but this time, it’s 9m of hard work, and 11/3 for Melissa. Wheel’s off in the 3rd, quite understandably, and it’s 11/1 in 4m for Melissa.
It’s so hard to play a team mate, and a good friend, as we are more than just sparring partners. You think about it with every single shot. You can anticipate her shots as you know her game, but she knows yours as well, so you try new things hoping she won’t guess them.
I don’t want to talk for her but it looked like she lost her game plan today, whereas I think I managed to stick to the game plan that know works with her: I know she can retrieve nearly everything, so I had to play very fast, very hard and sharp attacks. It worked for me today.
I’m feeling quite optimistic about the next two years. I had a good start of the season, only to get a little injury at the end of the year, an adductor tear, which took me out of action for 6, 7 weeks. And of course, the physical side is the first thing to go, the racquet stays normally but the physical side of things just goes.
But I’m happy, I’m coming back nicely I feel, and I feel quite positive, both from an individual point of view than from a team one. We are pretty strong at the moment, and I am confident for the coming months…
“I think the second game, I lost my length and my game plan. I felt like she was playing really well, she found her shots and was taking it in at the front and hitting to the back and I didn’t know what I should do. I had to talk to my coaches to get my game plan back and started to feel more comfortable.
“I want to thank my coach, Amr Khaled, and I’m so happy that he’s here coaching me and my fitness coach, I started with him a few months back and I think I’m getting on the right track.
“I have a day off tomorrow, so I will relax and talk about my game plan with my coaches for the next match and make sure I’m ready.”