Coline Aumard (FRA) 2-1 Melissa Alves (FRA) 11-7, 9-11, 11-8 (37m)
Borja Golan (ESP) 2-1 Richie Fallows (ENG) 11-13, 11-9, 11-4 (47m)
Coline was never relaxed on that one. Playing a compatriot with nothing to lose and being supported by French people she might have hoped/expected to be neutral, Coline had a lot of mental work to do.
After taking the first game, she looked in control, but the ref was on her case, blaming her movement off the ball. “I just didn’t know where to go, or what to do” Coline confessed. “I was trying to get out of the way, and yes, sometimes I felt I was in the way, but to be honest, I just didn’t understand where I was supposed to move.”
And it was a bit obvious in that second actually. Melissa seemed a bit lost at sea form 6/4 up, error, no let, then another no let, and a stroke for Coline, 9/6 Co. But within seconds, two calls that Coline doesn’t understand, Melissa found her way through and it’s 11/9 on a stroke for Melissa.
Coline exits the court and I see her in tears. I saw her so many times in her career losing matches because the mental side of squash. And Melissa, nothing to lose, playing her powerful and accurate squash, was a true threat, displaying a superb squash….
The third sees in my opinion Coline’s experience shining through, back to basics really, winning points at the back, and Melissa getting a few no lets. Still, Melissa’s mental strength and power played its role, 6/6, 8/8. It’s anybody’s really, but it’s 5 points in a row for Coline, and finally 11/8 for the favourite, who was very relieved to win that very very tricky match indeed…
I just didn’t know what to do to prevent the No lets and strokes against me. I was trying to move out of the way, yes, sometimes I felt I was in the way, but to be honest, I just didn’t understand where I was supposed to move.
I felt a bit flat, I was dreading the match, I was playing 5 games all week, and that’s a different dynamic from BO3, especially with Melissa, if she gets the timing right she can get all her shots in…
So I was really trying to prevent her time on the ball, as she is so powerful and dangerous. We had a few traffic problems when we were trying to get to the front and off back from the front.
I think the difference today is my experience. In the past, I lost so many matches like that, but today, I just tried to be patient, and weather the storm, fighting as much as I could with what I had…
And a big thank you to Tinne for her support today…
It was really hard. I played on Saturday with Kandra, five games, the final of the Europeans, and it took a lot of energy from me. Then travelling a lot yesterday, my body didn’t recover, but at the end, I was competing really well.
He got to the centre really quickly in the first two games, he was reaching all my shots at the front. I was maybe a bit slow and that was the difference. I tired to play a bit more solid in the second and I felt that I was both physically and mentally stronger towards the end.