Paul Coll (NZL) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 13-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-2 (69m)
It was no surprise, both players wanted to rally and test the other one out today. The first game is probably the turning point of the match, Grégoire up 10/8, having 3 game balls, but prevented to transform them and it’s Paul that gets the opener in 19m of hard game, 13/11.
A bit mentally down, Greg takes the foot a bit off the pedal in the second, but finds his mojo again in the 3rd, maybe surprising the Kiwi by his tenacity. Up 8/5, then 9/7, maybe Paul thought he had the match won, and relaxed a fraction. It didn’t need more to the fighting Acrobat to come back in the match, coming back to 9/9 and taking the third, 11/9 in again 19m.
The fourth is all about Paul truly imposing his game, and Greg unable to find solutions, 11/2 in 7m…..
“I was pretty happy with the way I played. I switched off in a couple of periods there, he got a good lead in the first, I was a bit passive and not really sort of taking the game. But I was happy the way I responded at the end.
At the end of the third I was waiting almost waiting for an error, which is the wrong way to play against someone like him, But then I’m happy to come out in the fourth and put in a pretty dominant fourth game.
It will be unbelievable to play at the Pyramids, just looking at the pictures from last night, you don’t really get the feel of it until you see it [the glass court] sitting there in front of those, so I’m incredibly excited to play there. It’s easily one of the most iconic sporting events in any sport, so I’m super excited for that, and I might head down tonight and watch Fares and Saurav play to see who comes out in that. Then I’ll try and get on court tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to it.
I was getting a bit worried to be honest, everyone’s dropping, I thought that this is the tournament of upsets. It’s been crazy, there have been a lot of upsets and that just shows the strength of the tour now. I have to be switched on and there are no easy games, even though five of the top eight seeds are out, the players that are through are showing how good they are and what the depths of the tour is like. It’s going to be tough for me no matter who I’m playing, but it’s nice to see some fresh faces coming through.”