R1: Lower back seized for Dimitri against Nicolas

Nicolas Mueller (Sui) 3-0 Dimitri Steinmann (Sui) 11-8, 12-10, 11-3 (42m)

We have two Swiss on the Tour in the top players, and of course, they have to play each other in the first round… 25 yo Dimitri got a good win against the 33 yo Swiss Rocket in dec 2021 (thanks SquashInfo) in the final of the Swiss Nationals, a 15/13 in the third victory for the challenger.

Nici took his revenge the following year in the Czech Open, 3/1, and couldn’t really finish their last encounter, as he got injured during the match in Hong Kong. So it was so strange that today, it was Dimitri that couldn’t finish the match. By respect for his opponent – as did Nicolas in HK – Dimitri kept playing after feeling his lowerback clicking at 5/3 in the 3rd game. Despite treatment during the 3m self-injury break, the Swiss just couldn’t turn his upper body at all for the last points.

Nici :

“It’s not the way you want to win. We played a couple of months back and the roles were reversed when I pulled my glutes and he ended up walking over the match. I wish him a very speedy recovery and we don’t want to see players getting injured.

“Last year was amazing for me at this event. The conditions are perfect for my kind of game. It’s warmer than last year, but the court is so dead. Once you have an opportunity, you have to go for it – there’s no halfway.

“The length is very rewarding – you have to get the ball to the back. But when you have an opportunity you have to close your eyes and go for it.”