Having been disappointed with my performances in my last 2 tournaments after the Swiss Open I feel a different type of disappointment. Playing against the number 2 seed and World number 84 was never going to be easy and stretching him to a tight 3-1 (14-12, 9-11, 7-11, 6-11) having played some of my best squash you might think I should be happy but I'm not!
Having got so close I feel gutted that I didn't win. The first was crucial and having lead early on I found myself in a real battle at the end of the game. After clinching it on tiebreak I was delighted as although it had taken a lot out of me I was sure it had taken a lot out of him as well.
This was then reinforced to me when at the start of the second he stopped engaging in as physical a match and started mixing it up a lot more seemingly not wanting to compete physically. At first this didn't work either as I raced to a 7-3 lead and by this stage was feeling very confident. Looking over to his body language I thought that I had him, I really did and I told myself that a couple more rallies now and I've won. How things can change!
I ended up trying to force the next couple of rallies at 7-3 only to lose them and then the next few as well and suddenly I was 10-7 down!! I managed to scramble back to 10-9 but too late as he closed the game out 11-9.
I was furious and haven't spoken to myself in between games as harshly in a while. I put it behind me and was determined to get back on track in the 3rd. This game started with 3 brutal rallies which he won for 3-0. These seemed to take their toll on him afterwards though as I raced then to a 5-3 lead again thinking I had my man! A bad refereeing call against him gave me 6-3 but unbelievably seemed to give him a new life, awakening a beast! I somehow without doing too much wrong only won 1 of the next 8 points and again from seemingly nowhere he had come back to win the game.
This momentum then carried into the 4th and although again I didn't fell that I played badly he played controlled disciplined squash and closed the match out with a rolling nick.
So close to what would have been the best result of my life, so gutted.