Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-2 Greg Lobban (SCO) 11-9, 6-11, 14-16, 11-6, 13-11 (81m)
It was late when we finished. The glasscourt had finished a while before us, we were what, 4, 5 people watching the match. But what a match.
About 4, 5 calls the whole 5 games, ridiculous squash in the last game – the first 4 were about finding the corners, playing straight and accurate, volley drop shots, redrop, and lob defence, killing the other one with retrieving from Hell and metronomic strong basic squash. Both following their game plan to perfect. No outburst, no blocking, a HUUUUGE battle between two Gladiators, giving it all till the last minute.
At 9/9, it’s a flip of a coin… the whole last game was to be fair, 2/2, 4/4, 6/6, 7/7, 8/8.. First blood to Marche, 10/9 after 77m of squash, Grégoire forces it too quickly. It’s the Scottish turn to set up a match ball, 11/10, saved by a stroke, and the last match ball is for the French, 12/11, finally, 13/11, 117m.
“What was the score” Grégoire asks me, after he stood from flat of the floor after his victory, he didn’t know… Respect from each player to the opponent as they salute each other.
As Lobban stated “that’s the way squash should be played, from World number One to world number 400”.
It’s anyone’s game at 9/9. That’s why I play squash, I get through stages of hating it then loving it, and it all depends of who I play. I didn’t play anything in February, I put in a lot of work over the last six weeks to get in good shape for this one.
I felt that it was there for the taken today so I’m disappointed not to get the reward but it was an enjoyable match, and hopefully, that’s the way squash should be played down from the number one in the world all the way to one hundred.
On Saturday I told myself what’s the use of going.. I just spent 7 days in bed with a very bad flu. On Sunday, I felt a bit better. I didn’t have a single match since. If you had told me a week ago that I would play and win such a match, I would have laughed very loudly…
I started to have cramps in the third, in the arms, and in the 5th, in both calves. To be honest, I don’t know how I managed to fight, I guess it’s in the head? Maybe I was so tired I just didn’t overthink things, just let go of the arm.
I made a few too many errors, but I know I had to go for shots. And rather a good number got in. I didn’t have a choice, I knew I couldn’t last and last forever.
Taking the conditions I came here, it’s a good outcome. A rest day tomorrow, the bonus is having produced a match like that with what I had in the legs. I take the win, with gratitude. And the purpose on this one was to enjoy it. And I did, a fair match against a fair player.