R2:  Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-2  Olivia Clyne (USA) 13-11, 11-6, 5-11, 7-11, 11-7 (62m)
And when I asked what happened at the start of the 5th, where she basically gave away the first 4 points (3 tins, one stroke), she said “I was fine physically…”
Well, when you just clawed back from 2/0 down against world number 9, and gave it all you had, I guess you are allowed to a few seconds of blank, but that was enough for Tes to put a firm racquet into the quarters…
Last time those two played was that match were Tesni injured herself in NY Tournament of Champions, and as the Welsh mentioned “only lasted 17m”. So it was a nice way of erasing that bad memory for the Welsh Warrior today. Interesting to note how pleasant the match was. Yesterday, when those two came to the club to train – they are only allowed to practice with their opponent – I was trying to work in a second language, when you are blond, not that easy. And I was disturbed by those two, chatting, laughing, it was honestly a pleasure to see those two interacting.
And you know what. They took it on court with them today. The “sorry sorry”, and the “we are only trying, those things happen” to the ref as they were asking for decisions was so heartwarming. It didn’t mean they weren’t trying hard. Boy were they trying! I have rarely seen two players run as much – maybe Camille v Hania! But the atmosphere was fair, friendly, respectful. Merci les filles.
Ranking wise, they were close enough, 9 for Tes, 13 for Liv. And it’s the American that got the best start, 3/1, 6/2, 7/4. Tesni seemed to wake up a bit bless her cotton Welsh socks, and strung back the points to 7/7, 8/8, 9/9. Olivia will save Tes first game ball at 10/9, will set up on game ball of her own, 11/10, but it’s the fired up Welsh that clinches it 13/11 with her trademark COME OOOOOON, 16m game.
Liv gave away 6 points in that one, 4 errors, 2 strokes… Tes, none.
Second game will see Tesni up from the start, 3/1, 7/3, 8/5, 11/6 in 11m. A nice moment at 4/2 where Tes, unhappy with a stroke call – I have to say I agree with her, ball in the air was too far away for a stroke – looked at the replay, and cheekily went “could I have a review please”? We all laughed, and she smiled. The joke went on as in the next rally, Liv did about the same, looked at the video after being penalised with a no let, Tes going “she can’t review it, she watched the review”, again, nice moment, such a great match I tell you.
So here we were, 2/0 for Tesni. Off the blocks on that third appears a different American player, who zooms to 9/2, 11/5, 8m game, making only 1 error… The second looks like it’s taking the same pattern, 5/1, 8/4 Hollie but Tesni is still up and close, she’ll only bow 11/7, 11m, work, hard work produced.
And a bit on mental fatigue at the start of the decider as I mentioned at the start, 6/0 for the Welsh, 7/2, 8/3, 9/5, with a big push but too late really, and it’s a 10m game, closed by Tesni, 11/7, after another great rally, but with a last error from the American…
(more to come later)..
I think the first two games, it was probably the best squash since I have been injured, so I was overly happy and Liv is too good for that. She played some unbelievable shots and she went for it for two games. I should have kept up with it more because she is a quality player. The last time, I only lasted 17 minutes against her because I got injured so I am happy I got the win but she is tough to play, that’s for sure!
I had to be more positive. I sat off her and let her take the front of the court. I had to. Counter that and get on my toes and get up the court. She was getting so many opportunities off me. More than anything, it was mental. I needed to be a bit more positive and I had to leave it all out there today.
There are so many things, the girls are playing some unbelievable squash and I need to catch up so for me, I just want to give it everything and see where I am at. I will always leave everything I have on the court. I just want to get better and that’s all I can do!