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06.03.2020

Matchbericht ¦ 1. Liga ¦ Grasshopper IV vs. Uster IV

Coming into this match, GCIV were in 5th place in the table - equal on points with Sihltal and only one point above Vitis in last place. With only two games left to go, it was imperative that we win a point or two against a strong Uster side.

On arriving, Kartik was "happy" to see that he would be having a rematch against Alistair Gadola, who he had just played against the night before for GCIII. Having been soundly beaten, he wasn't exactly optimistic, but was nonetheless determined to do his best!

First up, Mark vs. Sebastian Wiesner. At the beginning, Sebastian was simply too strong for me and took the first 11:4. Kartik's advice to move up the court helped a bit in the second and I at least made it a bit harder for Sebastian after a slow start. I wasn't able to stop him from taking the game though - 11:9. In the third and fourth games I was able to apply a bit more pressure leading Sebastian to make more mistakes so managed to even things up at 2:2. I couldn't stop him running away with the fifth though, going down 11:7. 1:0 to Uster.

On court 2, Paul was still battling it out with Kate Gadola. After an uncharacteristically early arrival, even managing to have a warm up, Paul still fell asleep for the beginning of the match! Kate won the first two games comfortably, 11:4, 11:6, so things were not looking hopeful for us!  Luckily, a bit of dodgy (from Paul's point of view at least!) marking from Carsten woke him from his stupor and spurred him into something resembling action. Two strong games later, it was two all and we could still dare to hope. The fifth was a real battle, neck and neck, 9:8 to Kate and hope was teetering on the brink! And then, a break for us - Kate made some mistakes - and, in Paul's words - "gifted me three points in a row"! Victory, and we're still in with a chance. 1:1 in matches - all even in games.

Next up was Kartik against Alistair. Kartik came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders and after giving him the first two points, surprised Alistair with good length and unreadable drops to go 7:3 up. Alistair fought back, but was unable to regain the momentum - game to Kartik, 11:8. In the second, buoyed by a sense of invincibility, Kartik completely forgot how to play squash! 11:1 to Alistair. Firmly bumped back down to reality, Kartik played well in the third and fourth, but was unable to stop Alistair taking the games to 7 and 4 respectively. 2:1 to Uster.

So, everything was down to Carsten against Milena. Under instructions to show no mercy, Carsten went for the jugular! He missed, going down at the beginning of the game, but was able to come back strongly and to inflict enough damage to take the game to 6. A better start in the second, a wobble in the middle and a strong finish and it was 2:0. It was all down to the third game. Lose the game and we would get 1 point at best. Hold his nerve and take the match 3:0 and we would have two points. Milena rushed off to 4:1 before Carsten clawed it back. 5-all and Milena once again surged ahead - 9:6, then to 10:8. Carsten saved the game balls though and went up 11:10. Not wanting to make it too easy, he let Milena back in and gave her another couple of game balls before finally closing it out at 15:13. A fantastic 3:0 leading to a winning draw and two points!

A well deserved "victory" (if a draw can be considered victorious!) putting us in, if not a strong position in the league, then at least not a depressingly awful one!  One more match to go in 3 weeks' time against Vitis and everything (well - safety at least!) to play for!

Mark

GCIV - Uster IV