R1: George 3-2 Lucas

George Parker (ENG) 3-2 Lucas Serme (FRA) 6-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6 (77m)

Superb performance today from the English George Parker against French Lucas Serme. Yes, Lucas got heavily injured in the business end of the 4th game, as George went a bit energetically to get a backhand front shot to the left of the court, pushing Lucas who felt heavily on the floor, injuring his back quite badly. Lucas asked for a contributed injury time, but advised to get on back on court to avoid the back to seize, didn’t take much time to recover. Unfortunately for him, the pain became more and more present, to become unbearable by the end of the 5th.

Still, that doesn’t take anything from the Englishman up to that point, as I was impressed by the quality of George’s game today. And more precisely by his basic game that has improved immensely, allowing him to have many more choices and mixing his shots beautifully, thanks for having more time on the ball…

Yes, Lucas managed to wrongfoot him quite nicely today, but I felt that the English today had more weapons in his arsenal. Lucas kept the pressure up by retrieving beautifully and finding some exquisite volley drop shots of his own though.

Now, if Lucas hadn’t been injured, would have he been able to apply the physical pressure to frustrate his opponent, and force a few errors out of him, to clinch that decider? We will never know. But like I said, I was impressed today by the improvement George’s game seems to have achieved. Good work.

When I fell after the heavy contact in the 4th game, the back was gone but Mathieu told me to go back right away, as it would get worse if getting cold. So I tried to go back on court, but the pain became sharper and sharper to the moment the back just seized and was so painful I struggled to just finish the match…

I felt alright, my legs were a bit heavy coming in. I might have overdone a bit on the training, but as I got into it I got used to it a bit more. He was being really attacking, I think it was mainly me trying to get in front and be aggressive. I think I’m a bit stronger around the middle when I try and hit down on the ball and when I did that I managed to make him dig out the corners.

He’s such a good mover and he counter punches you by any margin because he’s so quick off the ball. I think in the end he got a bit tired and he may have got injured as well, which probably didn’t help.

I think I closed it out well though, I needed to – I’ve been losing too many of those close games this season where I’ve had game balls and match balls and I’ve sort of bottled it so it’s a big win for me.