2024 Reports Round One

R1: Gregoire Marche 3-1 Karim El Hammamy

Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1 Karim El Hammamy (EGY)  11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 10-10 rtd(89m)

You might not know that Gregoire hasn’t played on PSA since the TOC back in January. He was having lots of problems seeing the ball because of an eye worry and had surgery a few years back, but unfortunately not enough. So he had another surgery in January.

It was a bit of a worrying time for him as for two months after the surgery, he didn’t see any kind of improvement. But thank Heaven, improvement did come, although one of his eyes will never be as it should. Still he is now starting to see the ball a bit better – depending of the conditions, light, sun, etc.

So, what better to return to competition than starting with a lovely 89m match against one of the toughest opponents in town?

Karim – former World Junior Champion – has had a lot of injuries and for years, hasn’t been able to really realise his full potential. Today, he pushed Greg to dig in very deep, and nobody will know what would have happened had Greg lost the fourth (the match stopped at 10/10!).

A stupid accident, self inflicted, 9-10 to Greg, Karim dives but can’t return the ball, and immediately screams in pain, holding his right shoulder. Apparently, he heard something going in his shoulder, so let’s hope it’s not too bad. Despite medical attention, Karim was unable to continue and the match was awarded to the Frenchman.


“I’m really sorry for him at the end, I hope it’s not too serious, he told me he heard a “crack” when he fell, so I hope it’s not too tough.

The match would have been completely different on the glass court; there, the conditions are tough. He gets you into a false, sluggish rhythm, and I couldn’t find the energy to move him around and to finish when necessary.

There’s a lack of matches, of course, even though I’ve played some in training, it’s not the same in competition. So, not too many marks on court anymore, I couldn’t control the ball, not straight, too high, too short, not enough accuracy overall.

In the first two, I feel good because I still have some energy, but in the third, the more I progressed, the more I felt a bit sluggish, and if you can’t hold him on the court, you’re in trouble.

I have a day off, and then I play against Asal, getting into things right away. It will be on the glass, where I’m much more comfortable, no pressure, hoping everything will go well, and it will only be positive.”