Final – PST Bottini Fuel World Open 2013

 Wade vs Mel2

Well it didn’t quite turn out as I’d hoped, but overall, I’m not too disappointed with the tournament. It was my first tournament in 6 months and there is something to say about lack of match practice. Sherbini played well, although there was a little more pushing and shoving then I would have preferred, but that’s just how some people play.

The first game was just feeling each other out without being too crazy and I was able to squeak it out 11/9. I wasn’t feeling overly comfortable, but was happy to have won it. The second game I slowed down the pace too much and allowed Sherbini to dictate play. I felt a little sluggish and my brain was a little scattered and I proceeded to lose that game quite easily 11/6.

The third was better and after some brainstorming with my super coach and wife Heather after the second game, I concentrated on trying to lift the intensity. I hit my stride in the third game and even though I lost, I felt the plan was working, but Sherbini was able to hang on enough to pull it out 11/8.

Fourth game was tight, I continued with a high pace and it was a see sawing affair, but Sherbini made a few more unforced errors than I did. I started to volley drop straight more, which was working well. We were both doing a lot of work, but I was able to win that game 11/8 and take it to a fifth and deciding game.

I started really well in the fifth and was pushing him back and stepping forwards and volleying again, which is what I love. I had a 6-2 lead when I put a backhand drop in the tin, which I then felt the momentum of the match swing. Sherbini pulled back a couple of points and he was back in the ball game. I had a couple of point break and he hit a frame winner to pull him within one point. Things were getting tight at 9-9 and when I won the next point I felt very confident and comfortable. I hit a great backhand crosscourt, deep into the forehand which court Sherbini a little wrong footed. I remember thinking, that’s a good shot, he’s going to be under pressure and give me a loose ball here, but unfortunately the squash gods were not with me and Sherbini framed the ball, which ended up as a straight drop shot winner. 10-10 tie break. It was a good next rally, but I was caught wrong footed and a straight drive by Sheribini gave him match ball. A desperate rally for the next one and a last desperate dive, match over. It could have gone either way there, a few framed winners that could have been frame tins and the results reversed.

Still, very happy with how I played, there wasn’t much more I could do. A good match to learn from before my next tournament in Detroit in two weeks at the PST World Championships 3-5 May. I hope you can join me then.

There’s always next time……………..


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