The Grasshopper tournament scheduled for Zurich, Switzerland has kicked off yesterday at the Squash Arena Uster.
First set of matches held is between Zurich-based Nicolas Mueller and Hong Kong’s Tsz Fung Yip as the former booked his place in the last 16 courtesy of an 11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7 triumph over Yip.
The World No.28 was backed to the hilt by partisan home support, with every winner greeted by a crescendo of cheers as the spectators got behind their man,
NICOLAS MUELLER SPEAKS
“I’m very pumped. I’ve been playing well over the last two or three weeks, and I was glad I peaked at the right moments
‘’This season hasn’t been the best, but I’m very happy to be here and happy to play like this in front of my home crowd, it was amazing
“I’m one of those people that would rather play in front of 10,000 people rather than two people
‘’There are a couple of people who prefer it the other way round, but I thrive during moments like that,
‘’Especially when you know that most of the people in the crowd are rooting for you
Mueller will be playing against World No.8 Mohamed Abouelghar for a place in the quarter-finals later today.
Says: “I’m looking forward to the match with Abouelghar because he is one of the fairest players out there, and I know it’s going to be a good spectacle for the crowd.”
England’s World No.20 Declan James also booked his spot in the second round of the 2019 Grasshopper Cup
This came after James defeated Malaysian Eain Yow Ng 3-2 in the opening match of the tournament.
James showed impressive mental strength to hold Ng off in the title decider, closing out the win by a 13-11, 8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-5 margin to ensure he will play India’s Saurav Ghosal in the next round.
DECLAN JAMES SPEAKS
“It was a tough match, he started better than I did and was firing in shots,
“He’s a very skilful player, he’s very fast and I didn’t really know what to expect because we haven’t played each other before
‘’I was trying to feel him out and he was straight on it from the word go.
“The match was a bit up and down, and in the fifth I managed to find a mental advantage
‘’Around 3-3, 4-4, I got that two points lead and that was critical really
‘’I wasn’t as accurate as I wanted to be, but I came through and showed some mental resilience, which I’m happy about.
“I need to go back and look at why I wasn’t as accurate as I needed to be because in round two, I will need to bring that up a lot
‘’He [Ghosal] has been around the top 10 in the world for many years, he’s a wonderful player, he was top eight at the World Championships a few weeks ago
“You know what you’re going to get with Saurav, he’s highly skilful, he’s fit and he’s very fast,
‘’So, I’m going to have to bring my “A’ game in terms of squash and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
This is the first time James, 25, is appearing at the Grasshopper Cup since the last time in 2014, where he did not make it pass qualifying round.
Declan James (ENG) bt Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-2: 13-11, 8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-5 (67m)