[1] Simon Rösner (GER) 2-1 Borja Golan (ESP)  11-2, 16-18, 13-11 (70m)

What a weird encounter that was. But as the match closed, I couldn’t help having a thought for Borja, who had lost a 12/10 in the 5th European Individual finals against Kandra a few days ago, and had just nearly took out the WR5, bowing 13/11 in the last game here! OK, it means that at 36, there is still a lot of life in the “Old Spanish Dog” but still… How frustrating/heartbreaking!

Weird I was saying, yes. First game, Simon just dominated the show, and to be fair, we thought that it would be over in a few minutes. Did Simon feel that as well and relaxed? Or did Borja’s experience, and ability to get you to play his game, mid pace, lob, straight, played its role? I would go for the second alternative me…

Especially as Simon confirmed it at the end of the match!

in the second, with the momentum from the 8m first game, Simon goes 4/1, then it’s nothing between them till 18/16 to Borja!!!! 33m of intense, beautiful squash, the crowd completely involved, supporting Borja – and I feel carrying him throughout the match. What the French crowd, most of them neophytes, produced in that match was just incredible. Chanting, clapping in rhythm, Borja was just their man. What Simon did to them, we will never know!!!!

In that loooong game, Simon has 3 match ball, but Borja took the game on his 5th game ball… The difference in that one comes not from the winners count (12 for Simon, 11 for Borja), but from the error count: 2 for Borja, 6 from Simon, trying to break the Borja slow rhythm and going for a bit too much at the wrong time.

The third doesn’t look good for the German when he goes down 3/0, and it’s again point for point till 7/7. Finally, finally, Simon seems in control again, 4th match ball at 10/7. The end? noooooo… Borja, still believing he can snatch this, fights and runs and hits…

At 11/11, Simon gets a 3m injury break – he took him a while to get the French ref to give it to him bless him – as he had a weird sharp pain in the knew, moving apparently all around the front, then side, of the quads/knee area. That did him good, and on his 7th attempt, the German finally gets the cake, 26m (minus 3) last game…

Simon

It’s always dangerous when you are up and wining that comfortably in the first game…

Somehow, I lost my length, I was very nervous for some reason, I couldn’t pass him anymore, and I’m just not sure what happened from that point on.

It didn’t happen to me that many times before, it was like I could see what he was doing, but I just couldn’t react, he sucked me into his game, a bit like he did in Chicago really, which is not good, twice the same error.

The only good thing is that I won both, but I’ll have to stop and think about what happened…

I love the fact that there is such a good crowd and this is only the first match. You only get this at a few tournament throughout the year so it is very impressive.