R1:  Fares Dessouky (Egr) 3-0 Baptiste Masotti (Fra) 12-10, 12-10, 13-11 (49m)
I know that the Frenchman stated he was not incisive enough today, and that he was slowing down the ball. That is rubbish if you pardon my English. He was incisive, and aggressive, and playing as fast as the decency would allow!
And that my friends, took Fearless completely by surprise as it’s normally HIS game!
The result was Baptiste shooting to 10/5 game ball. Well, Fares decided that it was worth fighting for, and with winning shots, only one error from Baptiste and two strokes, the Egyptian closed the game in one hand, 12/10, 18m opener.
The second was more balanced from the start, 2/0 Fares, 3/3, 4/4, 5/5, Fares this time seems in control, 10/7. But it’s Masotti’s turn to claw back, 10/10, a winner and two strokes. 10/10. But one of the 5 errors from the French racquet, plus a winner, and it’s 2/0 Fares, 12/10, 16m.
Surely, the Frenchman is going to slow down… Que nenni. None of that. 3/3, 5/5, 6/7, but finally match ball for Fares, 10/7. Same difference than with the previous game, the French wants to enjoy the court a bit more and at 10/10, he gets a stroke, setting up his own game ball! 11/10… Good for him as he call his shot not up. That is class.
A cross court at 11/11 makes it Fares’ 4th match ball, a long rally but the French just clipped the out of court line, really unlucky there for him poor mite. 13/11, Fares takes the match, not that delighted with his performance. But what a match!
I was not incisive enough today I thought, except at the end of the match. With my coach Renan, we talked about it, and I was trying to slow down to gain in accuracy, and to stop crosscourting systematically, to play straight more.
But you know, if fact, he is the one deciding where the game is going, and when I was 10/5 in the first game, he played two three great shots, and you start to doubt… Only positive, I kept my game plan on.
Trouble at the moment, we train well, we play a lot but there is a month between the events, no more leagues, no more local nationals, so you can’t test yourself or prepare yourself for matches every three days like we used to.
When you play the top 10 guys – because even if Fares is not T10 at the moment, he plays top 10, is their ability to play the crucial points better. When you play a top 20, you know you might finish as strong as them, but not when you play a top guy. Because when it comes to the business end of the game, they are consistent. You might not be.
But I think I deserved to take a game today. I really do.
It was a very tough match today. It was tricky, it’s the first time I have played against Baptiste. It was very tough, I couldn’t handle my nerves, until the end of every game I was giving up so many points and he played incredibly well. I’m very happy to be through.
I take these kind of things as a challenge, to come back and play well – keep my head up and it worked today, so I’m very lucky.