R1: Juan Camilo Vargas 3-2 Ibrahim Elkabbani

Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) 3-2 Ibrahim Elkabbani (EGY) 5-11, 12-10, 11-6, 8-11, 11-2 (68m)

If the match next door was a very smooth affair, that one wasn’t.

So many calls, so many chats with the ref who did his best to control Ibrahim – very vocal – and Juan – very unhappy with the movement of his opponent.

Ibrahim will have to control his emotions better if he wants to progress on the senior stage, and also he needs to look at the way he comes off the ball as well, in my opinion. It is not helping the fluidity of his squash, and make him lose precious time in the next shot preparation.

Well done to Juan to keep his head…

Juan : “It was a bit of a roller coaster.

“The start was really hard for me, the ball was very bouncy and he was very fresh and powerful. He hit the ball cleanly, with a lot of pace, and I struggled to get used to that. In the second game I changed my tactics, I relaxed a little bit and trusted my shots.

“Also, the ball started getting a bit more dead. I pushed through, it was a big battle, but I’m happy I got the win.

“Even in the fourth I had the lead, but then I made some silly mistakes and he just came back to life because he was a bit low. After winning the fourth, even though he was energised, I was better in the fifth. I was able to put the ball in low and wear him down.

“I’ll play quite relaxed against Ibrahim. Normally I’m the underdog at these big events but today I wasn’t. I’ll go out there, try to enjoy my squash and hopefully believe in myself.”