R1: Leonel Cardenas 3-0 Cesar Salazar

Leonel Cardenas (MEX) 3-0 Cesar Salazar (MEX) 18-16, 11-9, 11-3 (52m)

Next opponent: Paul Coll / Tsz Kwan Lau

It was a very clean match, with incredible intensity. Two very good friends, but only one made it to the next round. Leonel has changed his body quite dramatically in a couple of years, and his fitness is now in top shape. He needed that and a lot more to win against Cesar, who has been wowing us for a few years now with his passion, his athleticism, and his talent.

Leonel was very vocal today at crucial times. A great show, a great battle, and a great win for Leonel.

Oh yes just one stat: first game, 29m.

Leonel : It was an unbelievable match I think.

We are the top players of our country, he is one of the best of Latin America, so playing him is out there….

I’ve been playing well this season, I had some good results but this match was on a completely different level for me. Because I was playing someone of my own country, and it felt completely different from any other match. He played his 100%, I played my 100%. We never were aggressive or tense on court.

I’m glad I’m strong now on court, I feel great, I kept fighting and I feel my fitness got me through today.

I knew I was a good player, but I used to struggle a lot with my fitness, I realised that something had to be done. I did put a lot of work in on that. Things are feeling great. The fact I am training in Mexico is a great factor as well, with the altitude. I don’t get as tired as I was before.

I worked on my game plan as well, and I’m very happy with the result against such an unbelievable player, the top of my country. Really happy with the way I controlled myself and my emotions today.