Emily Whitlock (Eng) 2-1 [6] Nele Gilis (Bel)  11-3, 5-11, 11-8 (37m)

Well, if I thought that the match Simon/Borja was weird, Em/Nele takes the cake for sure.

First game, Nele doesn’t seem on court. Maybe a bit of pressure, and Emily is just killing it out there, despite the crowd being on the Belgium side. 6/1, 7/3 and 5 straight points from there. 7m.

The second well, is the mirror of the first one really, with Nele making her opponent taste her own medicine, 7/3, 8/3! A little reaction from the English but the Belgium makes it level 1/1, 11m game.

The third game is just ridiculous, 17m of what the h is happening! Nele, momentum with her, will shoot at 7/1, surely, match won, playing beautiful assertive squash, sending Em to the four corners. And boom. Nothing. The English, out of the blue, takes control, steps up, and now, it’s Nele that is visiting the Castle. It’s 9 points in a row, 10/7, with Nele “sauvant l’honneur”, scoring a point before bowing 11/8….

Emily

Last year I was a different player to what I am now. Physically I fell better, mentally I feel better and even if I had lost today, I was still to move freely and run after every ball. She is so athletic and fit so win or lose, I just wanted to enjoy my time and give it everything.

I stopped thinking after the first game, so I had to switch on and think again and I thought it was too late when I got to 7-1 in the third. I am just so happy and the fighting spirit is back!

You know, I’m actually good at come backs! Even in Juniors, in the middle of Finland, down match ball, where nobody cared, I could come back! So the only think I thought was just execute a rally perfectly and take a point at a time.

Actually, I think I was playing very well in the first but then she did to me exactly what I was doing to her. And I just needed like a forehand or something! I kept playing everything at the back, with no purpose.

It was weird, I’m not sure how I won that one to be honest. I never thought about the BO3 as different tactically, but then again, at the end, I was thinking, we are both very fresh!

I was really relaxed today, almost to relaxed, to the point where in the third I was 7-1 down. I was thinking that I was too flat but I like it here. Even though I came 2nd last year, I like the tournament and it is a nice city and I just want to stay a little bit longer.