Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-1: 11-7, 11-5, 3-11, 11-9 (70m)
After coming from 2-0 down to defeat Ali Farag in his first round encounter at the 2016 Windy City Open Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet came through his second round encounter against Daryl Selby, who progressed in polar opposite fashion after a comfortable 3-0 first round win over Cameron Pilley, in more straightforward fashion courtesy of an impressive 3-1 victory.
With both men know as counter-punchers and two of the best on-court movers around the opening game set the tone of the encounter with long attritional rallies dominating proceedings. It was Castagnet who looked the more comfortable of the two early on, with Selby’s first round win coming on the traditional court and not the all-glass the duo played on today, and he used his advantage to the fore to take the opening game.
Selby took an early lead in the second game, easing out to 3-0, but Castagnet’s control of proceedings quickly returned and it wasn’t long before he doubled his advantage as errors began to creep into Selby’s play.
The Englishman showed his fighting spirit however in the third as the game turned on its head when Castagnet began to make the errors, with Selby take it comfortably 11-3 in complete contrast to what had went before.
With Selby back in the match he began to play more assertive, attacking at every opportunity but he couldn’t find the killer blow to break the Frenchman’s impressive resistance as he demonstrated the tenacity and athleticism that mark him as one of the best retrievers and defensive players on tour. None more so were his attributes displayed than an amazing turn of events when at 7-5 dived full length in the front left and somehow managed to recovered to hit a forehand straight winner, as the incredulous Selby could not believe what was happening – going down on his knees and bowing to Castagnet.
Castagnet lost the next four points on the bounce but regained his composure to eventually see it out in four games and progress to the last eight.
With Selby on a surge Castagnet was on the defensive end of a physically punishing rally at 6-5 in the fourth game, finding himself at full stretch on multiple occasions before he managed to turn defence into offence and put Selby on the back foot and force an error – from there on he looked assured of victory.
Shot of the Match
Castagnet pulled off a simply outrageous shot in the fourth, diving full superman stretch to get the ball before hitting a winner to stun the crowd – watch it here:
Mathieu Castagnet: “It’s not been a good draw for me. Ali Farag is such a good player and Daryl is so experienced as well and we’ve had some huge battles in the past. Even if you’re 10-0 up he can come back and you have to be focused and fight in every rally and that’s exactly what I did today so I’m very happy.
“I have no explanation about that shot in the fourth. I love this sport and if I have to dive and push myself to play the shot, I will do whatever I have to to win. That’s my personality and my commitment and maybe that’s why I’m now a top ten player.”