2023 Reports 2023 Round One

R1: Seb frustrates Abud 3/1

Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) bt Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)  11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 13-11 (61m)

A bit of a typical Abdulla match really. Alterning brilliance with gifted tins at crucial times. First game, long first game 12m, a few errors from the Qatari, a good game plan for the French, 11/8 who gradually frustrates his opponent by playing a controlled, tight to the wall, slowish pace, straight and good width squash.

Abud finds a different pace in the second, good squash, fast and accurate to the front and it’s 11/6 in 9m.

An excellent start for  the French in the third, 4/0, thanks to a few errors from the Qatari, 7/3 up for Seb. At 8/9, it’s still all possible for going 2/0 up, but two errors and the Frenchman is up in 13m, 11/8.

At the start of the 4th, I was absolutely sure we were going to 5. Abud was down at some points, but so up at others! While Seb was keep the ship going at the same slow and accurate basic pace that was working marvel…. 3/3, 4/4. Down 5/7, Sebastien score 5 points in a row, 10/7. It’s 2m to the hour, and Grégoire Marche, watching the match hesitates to rush to the shuttle (on the hour). But as the Qatari claws back, point after point, gone the shuttle, and game ball for Abud, 11/10!

But a typical Abud will offer the last 3 points to his grateful opponent, 13/11, 19m….

Seb said

I had a very simple game plan, play straight. No angles as he is so good at it. If I was opening the court even slightly, he was all over me.

I had to stay focused on that straight game, play straigth, keep the length up, frustrating him as he doesn’t like that kind of squash. But it was for me hard mentally to keep playing that game, I had to persuade myself to keep playing like that, again, and again, and again, even if I was finding it extremely boring.

He got very frustrated, made a few errors, he wanted to attack, and finally opened the court for me, glad that the plan paid off.

My season was up and down so far, as I am working on a few things and sometimes, I find it hard to implement them, it takes time. So happy with my result here, a win against a top 20, that’s good.