Fighting as hard as I can isn't always enough
Chris Fuller's Professional Squash Blog
Although in the middle of a hard training period at the moment I came to The Q-Sourcing Trophy 2010 event in
Being a small tournament both the Qualifying and the Main Draw where held over only 3 days (Friday to Sunday) meaning two matches per day. As a junior most tournaments were two matches a day but now as a senior I have become accustomed to one match a day meaning lots of time for preparation and recovery which is not possible at events such as this.
I am never sure if this works in my favour or not. On the one hand having two matches a day suits me well as I am quite a physical player with one of my main strengths being my fitness. On the other hand though I pride myself on my preparation and recovery and so like to go into matches thinking of myself as 1-0 before I go on knowing that I have prepared the very best I can which is less possible with two matches a day.
These thoughts proved trivial on qualifying day however as both of my matches ended up being straight forward. I started with a 3-0 win over a local guy which was a nice warm up as he ran hard and put me under a nice amount of pressure for a first match. Aided by a good draw next up was an Australian guy now living and training in The Netherlands who I again knew I stood a good chance against.
Struggling with his movement on dead courts I got past him reasonably comfortably as well playing well and beginning to feel comfortable on some awkward courts.
The following day I was drawn against the local favourite and occasional coach at the club Rene Mijs the number 5 seed. I didnít really know a lot about him but felt confident that at worst I could give him a good run for his money!
I started well winning the first 11-6. If playing and watching Steve (my coach) over the years has taught me anything though itís that old(er sorry Steve!) players and coaches often start slowly and not to get complacent. Unfortunately my fears were confirmed as he got better and better as the match went on. I had a brief lead at 5-2 in the second but after that he began to control me and I was under a lot of pressure.
A lot of the problem was that my straight drop got predictable and he began to read it with ease pushing up and covering it as well as my straights and crosscourts. This made it very difficult for me as my main attacking shot is my straight drop and unless feeling very confident I rarely go short in other ways. He also began to find some good lengths and widths and took the second 11-7.
The 3rd and 4th games were very similar in many ways. I tried to vary my attacking options and I tried to play deeper from the front but lost a little bit of composure and feeling with the racket. I got a little desperate and ended up on the end of a lot of rallies retrieving as well as I can but never really on top. He played with experience and did enough to always stay on top and remain a couple of points up and won it 11-9, 11-8.
Of course I am disappointed to lose in a match that I felt I could have won but I must give him credit as he made it very hard for me. Regardless I feel that I have made some improvements from my disaster at the British Nationals and I fought as hard as I possibly could so can do no more. Itís just a shame when thatís not enough!
I am now just at the club about to watch my Brother in the Semi Finals. A Fuller brother may yet make the final!