R1:  Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1 Nathan Lake (ENG) 11-2, 15-13, 7-11, 11-2 (64m)
Not a good day for the French camp today as we lost this morning one of the sweetest boys ever, called Enzo Corrigliano. Aged 23, he collected a few French junior titles, since a very young age and his passing away was a huge blow to us all. I used to nickname his “Our Little Prince”, in reference of course to Le Petit Prince de St Exupéry. Gregoire heard the news minutes before his match, and it was on his mind, obviously.
Still, a perfect start from the Frenchman, Nathan not able to put his opponent under pressure, and Gregoire was flying really, completely in control, 7/0, 11/2, 9m, no errors from Greg, three from Nathan.
The second, well, Nathan got used to the court, and maybe Greg thought he was in control, and probable lowered the guard at 5/2. The English rushed into the break in the armour, and we had a match! 7/7, 8/8, 9/9 and Nathan having a chance at closing the game, saved with a nice winner from Greg.
The Frenchman was to need 4 game balls to finally clinched that one, 15/13, a huge 28m game! Very few errors from either, 2 Greg, 3 Nathan.
The third, well, bit of energy drop for the French, and a realisation he was not positive enough “You have lost EVERYTHING, come on, move your bloody….” Fill the gap. The Englishman shows his class, taking the game in 13m, 11/7.
Fourth game sees a Frenchman full beam, and a Englishman slightly flat, very onesided really, 3/0, 11/2, 5 errors from Nathan, and a game length of 9m.
I thought I played really well today, but just too many unforced errors… Still, it’s the best I’ve played since we came back and that’s encouraging.
The first game, I couldn’t settle quickly, didn’t the chance to get used to the conditions, fast court, and he put me under a lot of pressure.
And at the end, just a bit physical, but also he stepped up the court, and got in front of me…
I’m still happy with my game since the first few tournaments we had this season. I knew I was going to be ready for this one, I started pretty well in the first game, lost my focus at the end of the second and then had a bit of a lack of energy and couldn’t find my length.
At the beginning of the fourth I was just think about putting the ball in the back first and trying to be a bit more accurate. He’s quite dangerous when he is in the middle and volleying, he beat a few top players, so I wasn’t taking him for granted whatsoever. So I’m happy with the performance today.
Even if things don’t go well, I’m trying to stay a bit more relaxed than I usually am. Mentally, I feel a bit stronger at those crucial times, so let’s hope it’s going to better the next day.
Emotionally, today was very difficult as I heard as I was stepping on the shuttle to come here that one of our French former juniors, Enzo Corigliano, who was studying in the States, passed away. He was 23 and that affected us terribly.
We were very good friends, all my thoughts to the family, and to his friends. We are all devastated and today, when things were not going well for me, I thought about him and that put me right back on track…