[6] Gregoire Marche (Fra) 2-1 [1] Simon Rosner (Ger)    11-5, 9-11, 11-3 (46m)

After yesterday’s performance, we were sort of expecting/dreading – depending which side you are on – such an upset.

Yesterday against Borja, Simon only got through by a whisker, 13/11 in the 3rd, and although the match was not in 5, it was still 70m, and tough more from a mental point of view than anything else.

From the start, Grégoire was in charge, as simple as that. Able to return, pick up and counter attack all what the German was throwing at him, supporting by a fantastic crowd although a few Simon supporters balanced the sounds up bless them, Grégoire was the boss tonight.

First game, 8 unforced errors from Simon in 15m… As I told his coach, “the only good news is that he is bound to get better in the second”!

And it did. Finally managing to contain Grégoire, the score was quite close the whole way, 3/3, 5/3 Simon, 8/6, 8/8, 9/9, two great winners from the German that finally Grégoire couldn’t retrieve despite diving repeatedly and it’s 11/9.

But in the decider really, Simon just didn’t look in the match at all, and Grégoire, assertive and calm, just strung the points, forcing another 5 errors from his opponent, 6/1, 8/2, 11/3….

Greg

There are no words to describe the feeling I have.

When I was asked today in a clinic for young kids what is my best squash memories, they happened to be all here, in Nantes. The moment I hear the crowd, I have ever had goosebumps, and I remember getting them two years ago when I beat Mazen in the semis and that time, it was a big win for me.

That format opens opportunities, and is a bit of a leveller, and allows a different strategy. So I fought on every point….

We are good friends with Simon, on and off court, and today, to beat him, the No.1 seed, on that court and in these conditions, as well as it being the first time I have beaten Simon on the Tour, is unreal. I just feel great and I am definitely going to enjoy my rest day tomorrow and then get ready for Friday.

It was a tough battle mentally, so it is good to have a day off tomorrow. But it doesn’t stop here hopefully. I have very high expectations this season, I have proved I can beat the best, I had a great summer training, and I feel ready.

Joel is a really strong player. He had a really good season last year. I lost twice to him. He is really strong, he is tough to beat because he is really patient and he has good structure to his game. I will have to find some solutions to make him work differently.

The semis are best-of-five so it will be a different feeling, but there are no words for this crowd. For our sport, this is big, and it is the only time you can find it during the season, for us in France, and the audience are just spectacular.