R2: [9/16] Gregoire Marche (Fra) 3-0 [9/16] Miguel Rodriguez (Col) 11-4, 15-13, 11-8 (64m)
France’s Gregoire March claims a tough three games to record his first victory over Miguel Rodriguez
When I mentioned that Mathieu’s first game was long, 12m for 11/3, it was before seeing this match, 11/4, 15m. Extremely long rallies, both of them working hard trying to make the court big for the other one, but Grégoire finishing the points better on the opener, 1 error for the French, 3 for the Colombian.
The second is a full match on its own, 34m of endless rallies, again, both of them so intense and working extremely relentlessly hard, nothing between them except when Grégoire had 2 spells of 3 errors each time, 4/3 and 9/6.
10/9 game ball… Need I say the rally was loooooong…. Miguel saves it, sets up a game ball of his own, but it’s not enough. The rallies go on and on for a while as the Acrobat needed none less than three more game balls to finish that crucial game, 34m, 15/13.
The third looks like we are heading towards a 5 setter to be honest, Grégoire looking pretty cooked and Miguel fresh as a rose, 7/1. But don’t ask me how, Greg just clawed back, forced a few errors out of the Colombian Cannonball, 5/8, 8/8, and out of the blue, 11/8 with a return serve in the tin from the Colombian, so uncharacteristic… Short game, 13m…
And first ever victory for Grégoire after 4 defeats…
Greg: “The second game was crucial.
“Even if I had the lead at 10-8 there were a few weird decisions at the end of the second. I just tried to stay calm and focused as much as I could. I think I played the crucial points pretty well, that’s something that I’ve been working on for the last few months.
“Maybe a few months ago I wouldn’t have done the same thing in the second. I felt a bit flat physically because after being in the room for two days it’s not easy, you don’t really know where your body is physically. It’s a great win, I think it’s the first time that I’ve beaten Miguel.
“It proves that my game is going up and I hope that I can relax tomorrow and be ready for Monday. I think I was 7-1 down in the third and I didn’t want to give that game up easy because it’s never good to lose a game in five minutes because you give hope to the opponent. I wanted to be a bit more relaxed, get my shots a bit more accurate and make him run, at least.
“He made some mistakes, so I was happy to take it point-by-point and then when it was 7-5 I thought that maybe there was something to do, and I’m happy with the win.”
— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) March 20, 2021