Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-2 Chris Simpson (ENG) 11-6, 10-12, 4-11, 11-6, 11-3 (59m)
A bit of a strange match that one, with to be honest, the most attacking I ever saw Chris play. Did his victory against Abouelghar in the Egyptian Open liberate him? Who knows. Today, it was the most aggressive, liberated, attacking Chris I ever saw, and it was great to see.
Apart from the second game, all the game were onesided I found: Mazen took the first one 11/6 in 11m, then Chris confirmed his victory in the second by taking the third in 7m, 11/4…. reverse in the fourth, with the Egyptian taking it 4/1, 6/2, 8/4, 9/5 11/6 in 11m, and the last one, 9/1, 11/3 in 8m
The second was the most interesting one, with a domination from the Egyptian all the way through the game, 3/1, 7/3, 8/4, where Chris literally weathered the storm, slowly, put his opponent under pressure by finding some exquisite attacks of his own, taking an unlikely second game in 16m 12/10 on his second game ball, making absolutely no error, 9 winners for both, and 3 errors for the Egyptian
It’s remarkable to see how Chris is still making his game evolve at 32…
I’m really happy to be stood here. I really love playing and I cherish every moment now to be honest. I’ve started to really enjoy my game and I think I’ve started to find my range a bit more, I’m playing faster and getting better each tournament. Hopefully one day I will reach 100% and reach my potential, but for now I’m really happy to be here.
I didn’t think I would be able to compete at this level again, so I’m really happy to be here and play and perform like this and I hope the best is yet to come.