Simon Rösner (GER) 2-1  Diego Elias (PER) 8-11, 11-9, 11-6 (46m)
Another game that was more of a mental one than a physical one…
Funnily enough, the only time Simon lost against Diego was last year in the same event, in a pool match, 11/9 in the 3rd. So there were two good reasons for Simon to be on his guard: one, he needed that win to stay alive, two, he knew how much the Peruvian could be dangerous in the BO3 format especially.
And Simon was right to be weary of the young man. He lost the first 17m close game, 4/4, 7/7, 8/9, 11/8. He looked the part in the second though, cutting the errors to only one, despite a pace from hell from both players, and led 2/0, 6/3, before being caught up 7/7, 8/8. A stroke at 9/8 gave him two game balls, 10/8, and a no let overuled to stroke allowed him to equalise, 11/9 in 13m.
The third, well, was all about staying focus. Simon is well known on the tour for being a heavy sweater, and the German cleaned the court a few times in the first two games. But in the third, it was Diego that kept breaking the rhythm with court cleaning, at times in slow motion, it was a bit airy actually, as if time just slowed stood still.
From 3/3, Simon seemed to adapt to the conditions a bit better, Diego slipped a few times, probably lost a bit of confidence in his movement, and against an in form Simon and at that stage of the match, it was probably not the best of timing…
It’s Simon in 13m again, 11/6 on his first match ball. Tomorrow against Karim… That will be a match not to be missed.
“I think I did well. Being 1-0 down is never easy. I was happy that he lost his head a little bit, which played into my hands. I was happy that I was able to stay focussed throughout.
“That was a big aspect of the game to not let myself get distracted through the situation so I was happy to get those last two games to win the match.
“I was able to get myself back into the game. Even though there was no rhythm to the game. I was able to stick in there, that is the big plus from tonight. It is always good to get a win because it gives you some self confidence and playing somebody like Gawad, you have to be full of confidence, so hopefully that will help me for the next match.”