R2: Tinne 2-1 Satome

[2] Tinne Gilis (BEL) 2-1 Satomi Watanabe (JPN)  8-11, 11-4, 11-5 (30m)

Well well, well. What a first game from the Japonese number One. She was playing at the pace Ramy Ashour never dreamed of playing. OK, I’m slightly exagerating but you see my point.

So Tinne, a bit of nerves coming from being the up and coming, having beaten her sister in the rankings, and having strung a few nice results recently, made her just play windscreen scrappers for most of the opener. “On fire comes to mind”, 6/3, 6/6, 10/7, 11/8 in 11m.

Trouble is when you play at that pace, you often start losing the accuracy. And it’s exactly what happened from the second on, making 6 unforced errors in the second, 11/4 in 7m for Tinne, and about the same in the third, 11/5 in 8m.

Still, extremely entertaining squash, fast pace, fair players, panache, intensity, the French crowd loved it… Then again, what’s not to love!!!


“I find it very stressful the best-of-three, because everyone is playing so well so you have to focus from the very beginning until the end. There have been so many upsets already so anything can happen.

“I did my best at the beginning but Satomi played some unreal shots in the first game and I just couldn’t do anything. I just tried to find my lengths better in the second and the third, and that paid off for me in the end.

“Honestly, I was very excited to start the season because it is Nantes, and this is one of my favourite tournaments! It is alway so good, the crowd is unreal, the atmosphere is great from round one until the final, it makes it so much better for the players and for everyone who comes! I am really happy to be here, and I hope to perform even better tomorrow!”