R2: Nele 2-0 Marie – Declan 2-1 Shah

[1] Nele Gilis (BEL) 2-0 Marie Stephan (FRA)  11-6, 11-7 (25m)
Declan James (ENG)  [7] Shahjahan Khan (USA)  4-11, 11-5, 11-9 (51m)

What a pleasure to see Nele fit, positive, smiling, composed. The last tournaments last season, she looked out of source thanks to a hip injury that has now been treated and to be honest, it was a pleasure to see her moving smoothly, confidently and dominating most of the rallies.

Of course, Marie didn’t make her life easier, on the contrary. Score doesn’t really say how hard the French girl actually worked today, first game was 10m at 10/4! The French was picking up all Nele’s attacks and deep shots, and found herself some crispy short shots that got her a few points at crucial times.

But the court domination imposed by the Belgium today was impressive, and it’s a logical 2/0 win for the number 1 seed.


Every since I got the treatment, my hip is fine. The doctor told me it would take like 2 months to recover, but actually it went a lot faster than expected. And since the treatment, I’ve been playing pain free really.

I’m really happy, I feel physically stronger and better and fitter compared to the last tournament. There were two or three weeks between the tournaments, I trained and played a few practice matches, I feel ready.

I ate more, better food, I didn’t lose weight on purpose or anything before but I was mentally struggling the last part of the season. But now, I feel a lot healthier, fitter and I’m ready for the new season.


“Never in doubt Fram!

“Very happy actually, to win in that way. I wasn’t playing my best and I felt very flat, especially in the first game. I wasn’t moving amazingly well, but that’s the way it goes sometimes! You’ve got an early match, and you don’t feel amazing.

“I felt I fought my way through it in the second game, tried to be a bit more clever, play the court and how I was feeling. The third was then just brutal all the way. I got ahead and then he came back. Got my second wind halfway through it and then towards the end, it’s always a flip of a coin really. It was unfortunate that I just clipped him in the face there, so obviously I am sorry to him for that! A five minute break at match ball is really difficult because you’ve gone cold, you don’t know what is going to happen, but I took my chance, and I am very happy to get through.

“This is one of my favourite tournaments, you know. I was desperate to make it to the glass court, and to be able to play in front of what is always a wonderful crowd. It is like a fresh start, the tournament stars again, so I am really happy to get to the glass and play in front of that crowd once again!”