Coline Aumard (FRA) 3-2  Salma Hany (EGY) 3-11, 12-10, 11-4, 9-11, 11-2 (70m)
What a match. What drama. And at some point, and sorry for my tough language, what a farce.
My first drama teacher used to tell me that a good director is like a make up on a beautiful woman: he shouldn’t seen. The same is true in my eyes for referees. Surely, SURELY, they are there to support the game. Not make the headlines.
Well, at 11/10 in the second game, crucial game, Coline got penalised with a no let. In my eyes – and in a lot of us around me – it was a simple no let. Review. Stroke. The French camp just looked at each other. Coline looked at them. And she went: I didn’t expect that – in French.
Now, it was one decision. That’s true. And it shouldn’t have influenced the game that much surely. But it did. Salma could/should have been back to 11/11. Odds are she would have won it, had she never lost against Coline ever. But she found herself 1/1.
And something in her brain went brrrrruowwwwm. Was it the fact she is playing at home, not only in Egypt, but also in her own club that put extra pressure on? Coline thinks so.
Whatever the reason, Coline was on fire from that point on. Keeping her mental focus in line – which is sometimes the French worry – she attacked, and attacked, and attacked, taking all the chances/opportunities she created.
It had started so well for the Egyptian. 11/3 in 7m, it doesn’t much better than that. The second was very different. A 6m break at 3/2 for Coline after a heavy contact, the French girl receiving treatment on her “bad” leg, and coming back, throwing caution to the wind.
The French goes up 5/2, 6/3. The crowd starts to be vocal, supporting her girl, and yet saluting Coline sharp attacks. Good come back from the Egyptian, 6/6. 7/7. 9/9. Salma is fighting for every ball, but so is Coline. Game ball for the French, 10/9. Saved on a stroke, confirmed by video ref. Another game ball for Coline, 11/10. You know the outcome.
Salma didn’t show up for the 3rd, 6m, 4/0, 6/1, 11/5 for the French, “we’ll take it” I hear Philippe Signoret in front of me. Coline, now fully confident, and literally on fire, playing some of the best squash I ever saw her play. 8/5, looking gooood. A big push from the Egyptian, 8/8, taking the game in 13m, 11/9.
The 5th, Coline is flying, Salma is not. 3/0, 7/1, 11/2, 7m game. Coline creates the upset of the day – well, the second upset of the day, after Farida took out Joelle…
It was tough. Especially when you fight against yourself a bit first. You have a family behind you and you know where they are and sometimes they are behind the TV, but thank you so much for the support, I did hear you cheering for me and you gave me the strength to keep fighting and keep believing in myself.
In the first game, I had no length whatsoever, was a bit weary with my leg, should I go and get it, or not…. But in the second, you could see the rallies getting longer and more disputed. Yes a few traffic problems, but nothing unusual considering we both like to attack and have an aggressive style.
When I got hit in the second, I told myself, ok, it’s painful, just suck it up. You are going to hurt anyway, just get through it, you’ll rest after that. And from that moment on, I focused on my tactics, on my accuracy. And I felt really nice physically, whereas I could feel she sometimes was not going to the ball that well.
Thing is, when you are home, it’s either you are on fire or it stresses you. And today, I feel she was more stressed than normal. I made my best to make her doubt, i tried to make it as hard as possible for her.
I knew what I had to do, take the initiative and attack as soon as I had a chance. Which I didn’t do in the 4th, I was not aggressive enough. But I think I managed to do that fine in the 5th….
There is a lot of tension when we play because it is very important for us to get the win and to fight for it and sometimes it can be tricky with the decisions but you have to stay focused and I think I dealt well with that and I’m glad I did it today.