R1: Masotti, eventually from 2/0 down

Baptiste Masotti (Fra) 3-2 Greg Lobban (Sco)  10-12, 2-11, 11-7, 14-12, 11-3 (65m)

To quote James Willstrop, “squash is such a mental game it’s a joke”.

Affected most probably by the loss of his aunt on Saturday from cancer, the Frenchman was down in the first game, 4/1 6/2, courtesy of Greg’s perfect accuracy and slow pace. Baptiste caught up 6/6, 7/7, 9/9, got a game ball but it was Greg eventually – and well deserved as he led most of the opener- 15m game, 12/10 to Scotland.

The second game saw Greg completely in control, and Baptiste lost at sea, 11/2 in 7mn, only to be reciprocated in the following game, 8m, 7/2 then 11/7 for the French. 2/1 still for Greg.

The 4th is THE game. Up 3/1, the Scott seemed to have found his slower pace domination, forcing his opponent to attack from the wrong position too soon, forcing a few errors out of the Frenchman racquet.

But soon we were all equal again, 3/3, 5/5, 6/6. A great push of points and nice variation of pace for Greg, 9/6. A crucial call at that point, Greg sees his ball good, the video ref doesn’t. It will play on Greg’s for the rest of the match I feel, followed with a stroke against him – confirmed by the video ref, and in his head, instead of being 10/7, 11/7, he is 8/9. And an error, back at 9/9….

Greg will get a match ball, 11/10, but a beautiful counterdrop stuck to the sidewall will nullify it. And it’s the Frenchman, 14/12, closing down the gap, 20m game. Having appealed in the last decision of “not up” from the ref, he reviewed it, and said, “this one was down, the other wasn’t”.

Wheel was off in the 5th, 8m, 8/2, 11/3 for Baptiste….

“First of all I want to dedicate this win to my dear aunt, who passed away on Saturday. The only thing I wanted to do on court today was to fight.

“I was lacking confidence in the first two games, but I tried to win this match for her and for my family. There are a lot more important things in life than squash – even though squash is my life – the main thing that counts for me is my family. I wanted to step on court for my family today and that’s for her.

“I was talking with my family and my wife about going on court and everyone said you need to go on court and fight for her and my family. It was tragic news, life goes on but what can I do? I need to do my job and try to do it well.

“That’s twice now I’ve beaten Greg when being 2-0 down. When he had match ball against me I was still confident even though I wasn’t playing too well in the first two games. The court is difficult to adapt to, it suits my game well but you still need to find the right length.”