Defending champion Gregory Gaultier was forced to dig deep during his opening encounter at the 2016 Grasshopper Cup to overcome the challenge of qualifier Nafiizwan Adnan – the Malaysian who took the game to the Frenchman from the off and made life difficult for the World No.2.
Adnan had already spent over 100 minutes on court to reach the first round, defeating Reiko Peter and Kristian Frost Olesen in qualification, and began like a man in match form as he countered Gaultier’s traditionally strong starts, absorbing attacks and forcing the ‘General’ to up his levels.
Gaultier edged the first but couldn’t replicate that success in the second game as Adnan played with patience and determination to control periods of play and drag Gaultier into scrappy exchanges which saw the Frenchman lose focus.
The third could have gone either way but Adnan began to show signs of tiring, which spurred Gaultier on, and from the mid way point onwards it was Gaultier who stepped on the gas to ensure he moved into the last eight.
“We’ve played a number of times and today I think he played the best that he has against me,” said Gaultier.
“I was struggling to find solutions and find my length but sometimes you have to deal with these things. I did what I could today and managed to get the win and I think we gave a good show for the fans.
“Last year was my first time playing here and I enjoyed it and won. I promised to come back so I wanted to live up to my word.”
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 3-1: 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5 (53m)