R2: Marwan in, out, in, out….

Baptiste Masotti (Fra) 3-2 [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy) 6-11, 11-6, 11-2, 9-11, 11-5 (46m)


Marwan will always be a mystery to me. It’s like the Demons that used to live in Ramy’s head found refuge in the Controller’s head.

First game, Marwan in. 12M good game, not a single error from either of them. 3/1 Marwan, 3/3, 4/4, 6/6.
Some HUUUUGE rallies at that point, and it’s 11/6 for the Controller, looking very good while Baptiste looks a bit slower at the end.

Having the confidence that comes from having beaten your opponent the week before (at Canary Wharf) the Frenchman takes control in the second, hugely helped by a Marwan out. Making errors, and not wanting the rallies to last, too short, too fast, too quickly. 11/6 for the Frenchman in 9m.

11/2 in the 4 minutes for Baptiste, Marwan clearly out.

And the same momentum in the 4th, Baptiste still on top, 4/0. Marwan in, trying to come back, 2/6. Nice of Baptiste to celebrate the beginning of Ramadan, 2 big silly errors, that give the Egyptian the taste of In.

And a match we now have, Marwan in in in, playing superbly, 6/6, 7/7, ridiculous pace, both playing and serving as fast as possible. The gentleman on my right, still very into the matches, goes “what’s your hurry??”

8/8. At 9/8 for Marwan, another good sportsmanship from the Frenchman – as usual I might stress – he gives a not up back to his opponent at that crucial point – the ref nor me saw anything…and it’s 11/9 in 9m.

And Marwan out in the 5th, 3/1, 7/4, 11/5 for Baptiste.

Don’t ask me. Don’t have a clue me.

Baptiste : 

“It was a bit messy, a messy game. The ball was dead so we played quite a lot in front. With Marwan, in the first game, I was 6-1 up, and I just lost my focus and gameplan,” he explained.

“He came back stronger and it is always challenging to play him, even if he is not playing his best squash. I have to be honest, and this is not the Marwan that was playing at the beginning of the season.

“You know, there are a lot of things to take in mind, that happen in people’s life. It is not always the best conditions in your mind to be 100% and to play your best. I know I haven’t beaten the best version of Marwan twice, I know that, and he would agree with me.

“It is very difficult if you lose your length. He controlled the ’T’ area, so when he is controlling that, it is difficult to go in front of him. I tried to do it but I think I was completely out of my gameplan. Luckily today, it was okay. My attacking shots were okay but I am not very happy with the way I played, and the way I lost my focus.”

“However, you still need to find a way to win. I wish him all the best. He is a close friend of mine, and it is difficult to beat a guy that you like.