R2: Victor 2-0 Aly

[4] Victor Crouin (FRA) 2-0 Aly Abou Eleinen (EGY)  11-3, 11-6 (26m)

If Victor hadn’t asked that let on match ball at 10/2, there wouldn’t have been any calls for the whole duration. I kid you not.

What the PSA stats don’t tell you, is that those two played a lot as Uni rivals: Victor, Harvard, Aly, Penn. They knew each other’s game pretty well, and had a lot of respect for each other too… And that my friends, showed from the start.

Incredibly fast paced rallies, Victor picked up where he left off, as in a level of a Platinium Final – if you were on the Moon, the Général de Fer – don’t ask me, not my idea, we seem to have a lot of Generals in France – Victor played just finished Qatar’s final a few “hours” ago.

Not only Qatar but he played the Europeans, then ZED in Cairo, Qatar, Nantes, and will be on his way like us all to the Egyptian Open after.

He could have been tired, he wasn’t. To be fair, Aly only landed yesterday after a hell of a journey from the semis of Madeira, and went straight on court, Mash’Allah. And today, I felt he was a bit flat, but then again, Victor wasn’t that fresh either!

4/0, helped by Aly’s errors, 8/1, 11/3 on another error. but it’s a 10m fast, intense, such a fair, panache squash from both, but with the Egyptian getting the wrong end of very long rallies.

The second get to 9/0, before Victor started to feel a bit the fatigue in the legs as he admitted after the match, 10/1, only finally taking the match in 14m, 11/6….


Victor showed today why he is top 11 in the world. He started very strong from the begining. And I was a bit nervous, it was my first time on such a big stage, big crowd, big stage, glasscourt of a PSA event. It was obviously a great experience, I’ll definitely learn a lot from it.

I was struggling to get into the match in the begining, a bit too nervous, weary of Victor as I know how good of an opponent he is. I needed to stay calm and focus on the game plan. Next time, when I play on the glasscourt, I’ll be definitely more relaxed.

This best of 3 format is quite different. I have never played something like that before, so when I lost the first game, I got a bit nervous. I needed to be a little bit more patient, find my length in the back, and then wait for opportunities to get in front of Victor, because he takes the ball so early.

Maybe I could have tried to slow the pace down, instead of forcing it too much to the front. But like I said, I thought I needed to rush with that format, but I didn’t need to actually.

A word of thanks for my team in Alexandria Sporting Club, Ahmed Hany my coach, and Walid El Mosalamy for fitness.


“It was a tricky first round. Aly, I could have played in the final. He is an incredibly talented player, played him so much in college! He is only 60-something in the World Rankings, but he is definitely going to be in the top ten one day soon!

To be fair, we used to be rival in Uni, and sometimes the matches were a bit “battle like” but Aly was always extremely fair, called his double bounces, and only wanted to win with his squash. I hope that now we are on the Tour, we could get friends as he was always a great bloke.

Today, it was extremely enjoyable to be on court with him, well, it’s even more enjoyable when you win somehow! Still, at the end, I was starting to feel the fatigue, and he was playing even better, was finding his shots, while I lost a bit of accuracy.  Happy I managed to stay calm and serene, which allowed me to clinch the last point!

“I wasn’t taking that match lightly at all, as you could see on court. I was very focused on what I had to do. I just wanted to play squash and have fun out there because it has been a crazy few weeks! I need to really stay in the moment and perform on the court! Super happy to finally get a win here in Nantes!

“A lot of people have asked me what it would feel like to be French No.1 But that was not my goal, I knew if I performed well on the PSA World Tour then I would get to that point. Now that I am French No.1, it feels different but I was just trying to avoid feeling that pressure.

It is an honour to be French No.1 because there have been so many good players for our country, and there still are. There are still many players that I wouldn’t like to be on court with them. it is tough competition, but I guess I earned it, and I hope I can stay there for a long time now!”

Happy to have a day off, going to prepare for the quarters. But honestly, I’m fine physically. I don’t have to worry about my Uni now, so after the match, that’s it, I only have to care about my recovery, my nutrition and my hydratation!

Pus, the training with my dad is such that I am aking like hell while I’m working with him, he pushes me to the limit, which means that somehow, arriving on a tournament is quite relaxing and pleasurable! Well, it’s a painful pleasure of course, but not as painful as the training, which allows me to back up tournaments.

Last week, I played 5 high level matches in a row, which didn’t happened to me since the juniors. But I had no aches whatsoever. Heavy legs yes, but no aching. Thanks Dad! So let’s try and reach the finishing post, once more.