[3] Camille Serme3-0 Lee Ka Yi (Hkg)                               11-7, 11-1, 11-4 (23m)
[26] Zeina Mickawy (Egy) 3-1  Marie Stephan           11-3, 11-6, 5-11, 11-3 (31m)

[6] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) 3-0 Sebastien Bonmalais 13-11, 11-7, 17-15 (51m)
Arturo Salazar (Mex) 3-2  Lucas Serme                  7-11, 14-12, 11-9, 11-5 (62m)
Victor Crouin 3-0 Nathan Lake (Eng)                           11-9, 15-13, 12-10 (43m)
C1 Baptiste Masotti v Bernat Jaume (Esp)
Gregory Gaultier 3-0 Iker Pajares (Esp)                 11-9, 11-6, 7-7 retired (45m)

Pour sa première apparition devant les caméras de SquashTV, Sébastien Bonmalais (n°61 mondial) a livré une prestation remarquable en 1/32ème de finale du championnat du monde.

Opposé à Karim Abdel Gawad (n°6), vainqueur de l’épreuve en 2016-2017, le Réunionnais s’est incliné en 3 jeux très accrochés (13-11, 11-7, 17-15 en 51 minutes), non sans avoir eu des opportunités de conclure dans les première et troisième manches.

Sébastien a fait étalage des qualités de vitesse qu’on lui connaît mais aussi été très inspiré offensivement, notamment côté revers. Au point de susciter les éloges de son adversaire lors de l’interview d’après-match …

Entrée en matière sans encombre pour Camille Serme (n°4 mondiale) au championnat du monde à Chicago, face à Lee Ka Yi (n°46). La joueuse de Hong Kong a joué crânement sa chance en début de match, mais à partir de 8-7 dans le premier jeu, la Française a haussé son niveau de jeu et s’est envolée vers la victoire (11-7, 11-1, 11-4).

Elle affrontera une de ses amies les plus proches l’Australienne Donna Lobban (n°23) demain en 1/16ème de finale.

Pour sa première apparition dans un tournoi majeur, Marie Stéphan (n°72) n’a pas démérité face à Zeina Mickawy, classée 40 places devant elle. Mais après avoir vu la Française revenir au score, l’Egyptienne a fait la course en tête dès le début de la quatrième manche et s’est imposée 3-1 (11-3, 11-6, 5-11, 11-3).

Greg a dit….

“I didn’t see what happened because I was in front of him.

“It was in the third game, I was 8-6 up or something like that. He didn’t twist his ankle but it was a big impact, and I hope he’s not too damaged. It’s the kind of spot I hurt my ankle in New York in 2016 with Nick. I hope it’s not going to be too bad for him, it was a good match and obviously a tough first round, especially on these courts where it’s bouncy and the ball is pretty lively.

“I tried to play with control and not rush my shots. It’s not the way I want to win, but I was good all the way to that score. Unfortunately this happened and all I wish him is a speedy recovery.”

“He’s a tough boy and he’s been improving. Last time I played Makin I was World No.1, so it was a different story. Now I’m trying to build my way back somehow with my old body and my bad knee. I’m looking forward to playing him, I’ve only played him once in 2017 at the World Teams in France, so we’ll see what happens.

“Of course, I have a tough section of the draw but I have to get some wins somehow.”

Tothor a dit…

“I’m happy to go through in three games, I managed to be decisive. It felt really good coming back onto court after a few days off. After Washington I came straight to Chicago to train to get ready for this event. I’ve been training with some of the best players in the world such as Ali and Tarek, so I gained a lot of confidence from that tournament [Squash on Fire].

“I beat James in the final and it was probably one of my best wins so far, so I need to try and keep the momentum going and enjoy my time on court.

“I feel like we have lots of great players in France and we often train together, which is a great thing. But we know each other really well by now, so training with new players means you learn new things just from talking with them and trying to learn from their perspective. There is still a lot of work to do, so it’s great to learn from them from now on, and it inspires me a lot.”

Cam a dit…

“You know, it’s the morning, the first match of the tournament. You have to get the legs going so I am just happy with the performance.

“I was quite happy with my accuracy today and I will try to move better and better each day, and also be more aware of where my opponent is because she caught me a few times today.

“This year is different because although it is the World Championships, we can’t have our staff with us. It is special conditions so I will try to take it as it comes.”