It is always tough when two players of almost the same playing style, agility and experience meet on the court, and that was exactly what the spectators were treated to in the second match on the Glass Court of the Khalifa Squash Complex on Sunday.
With an even head-to-head (1-1) stat between the World No. 42 Gregory Parker of England and France’s Victor Crouin, the World No. 46, the first-round clash in Doha threw up some nail-biting moments with the match, which lasted 67 minutes, going to the wire. The English eventually won 3-2 (9-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6, 11-9) after the decider.
While Crouin could be ruing the missed chance of killing the match when he came back from 3-6 in the to raise to an 8-6 lead in the decider, the 24-year-old Parker definitely had his stars to thank for some unexpected errors from the Frenchman which allowed him to bounce to winning ways despite showing clear signs of agitation at a stage in the game.
“Well, I am happy with the result though the match was very tough as it was more of up and down for both of us. It was a high-intensity game, as we both went back and forth. In the end, it was a good match against an excellent opponent. Victor’s counter-plays were very fast, and his reflexes are very sharp. I look forward to playing him again,” the delighted Parker said.
Speaking about his next match against the World No.2 and three-time winner in Doha Mohammed ElShorbagy, Parker said, “I’m looking forward to playing against him. I’ve played a few times with him in Bristol in training, though I didn’t win, it is an experience I appreciate. I am just 24, and I think I need as many experiences I can garner because it is in tough games like the one against ElShorbagy that you learn how to develop. I hope it ends well tomorrow all the same.”