2023 Reports 2023 Round One

R1: “I don’t know how to thank Baptiste” Soliman

Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-0 11-7, 11-9, 12-10 (51m)

“You ruined the match”, announced the Frenchman as he stepped off court after losing the second game after a few decisions that seemed a bit strange, to say the least. But the best was still to come…

2/0, and Youssef is just enough ahead to go for his shots. Baptiste doesn’t let go of the bone, and fights to stay in touch, 5/6, 6/8 but it’s match ball 10/6.

The Frenchman plays his best squash, both of them do, it’s an incredible match, fast players, hungry players, fair players, intense squash, incredibly fast pace. And the Frenchman strings the points…

9/10. Baptiste plays a shot on the left side that just clips the tin. We all saw it. We all heard it. But the ref, God love him as nobody else will, goes “I’m sure the ball is good”, game to Masotti. For a few seconds, both players stay on court as Youssef pleads with the ref.

And Baptiste gives it back.

He will lose the next three points, probably cursing himself between being happy to be a fair, an extremely player and the feeling he could be resting in his corner, 2/2…

At the end, he told the ref – calmely I must stress – how poor his match handling was. As several players today went to PSA to complain about him, maybe, maybe things will happen…?


“I don’t know what to say really. He is 2/0 down, 9/10, he has the momentum, just to hand that ball back to me, it shows how fair he is, how a good person he is.

“As you know, squash is getting more tense, it’s so not likely to find this kind of players, so I can’t thank him enough, I don’t have enough words. He showed that he wanted to play a fair match, and he wanted to beat me but fairly. It’s all credit to him.

“I don’t know how to thank him, because he lost the match he wanted to win. But we play again in Canary Wharf in a few days, and I’m looking forward to play him again.