Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-2 Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 7-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6 (73m)
If Masotti played extremely well in his previous match ousting Miguel, we all knew Miguel was coming back from injury and that it was his first squash match since he dropped out of the US Open. So although it was a good win, it didn’t really mean how well the Frenchman was playing. But today, the WR 59 was playing a young and fit former World Junior, in great form too, who just beat Kandra in the previous round, WR 32. It was a good match to win, and that’s exactly what the French did….
Yow’s game plan was simple. Controlling the rallies, forcing Masotti to play windscreen wipers and force errors out of him out of frustration. That plan worked very well in the first game, as a huge rally at 4/2 took a lot out of Masotti, Yow scoring the next 4 points, 6/4. Errors followed and the Malaysian took the opener 11-7 in 17m.
He lost his way a bit in the second though, and played a bit too short and systematically on the backhand front corner. Masotti started counterdropping and anticipating, and was much harder to move around. And despite a lot of errors in the second part of the game (I counted 5), it’s the French that clinches the second (and crucial) game, 12/10 in 18m on his third attempt.
But the huge work that the young Malaysian had to produce to implement his game started to weigh a lot on his legs, and for the next two games, from the middle of the game, Masotti was just too powerful and sharp physically, and just outplayed his opponent in the end…
A well deserved victory for the 24 years old Frenchman that seems to really find his way in this tournament….
I’ve known him for a long time, he is a good good player. My plan was to put pressure on his backhand. I changed my tactics during the game, I tried to put more pressure on his forehand. tried to mix the pace every time, and it was a mental battle.
“At match ball I told myself not to make any mistakes, to just put the ball on the wall, and I think the match ball was the best part of the match. I’m so happy to win this one, it’s unbelievable to be in the quarters. I have a day off, so I will prepare myself for the next match in front of the Pyramids.
“I hope I play Victor on Wednesday, it would be very nice to have a friendly guy in the quarters. I hope he wins tonight and we will cheer for him in front of the Pyramids.”