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Mathieu Castagnet (right) got the better of Iker Pajares Bernabeu in the first round in Weybridge

Channel VAS RD1: Castagnet Downs Pajares In Four Games

France’s Mathieu Castagnet is through to the last 16 of the Channel VAS Championships after defeating Spain’s Iker Pajares Bernabeu in four games.

The first game saw the Frenchman restricting Pajares to just two points, though it did look like the Spaniard tweaked something in his left leg during the opening salvo.

However, the break did the World No.35 the world of good, as he was able to fight back and level the match by winning the second game, with any sign of an injury dissipating.

The Spaniard carried the momentum into the third game and it looked like he would take the lead in the match as he led 9-6. However, Castagnet won the next four points to give himself the advantage. Pajares saved the first game ball, but the experienced Frenchman won it 12-10 at the second time of asking.

The World No.28 took a commanding lead in the early part of the fourth game, only for Pajares to fight back to bring it level in the middle part. The Frenchman was able to take control of the game to take the victory and move through to the second round.

“I am a bit mentally tired because I had such a great event a few weeks ago. My daughter was born on the 27th October and I have had to wake up every three hours during the night,” Castagnet admitted.

“Yesterday was the first night that I slept pretty well but to be honest my head is gone. I tried to be focussed on my game and I think the third game was crucial for me because he was 9-6 up, so to win it in four was great!

“I tried to be focused on my game and I think the third game was crucial for me because he was 9-6 up. I was a bit passive up to that point I feel, so I really kicked myself from then on, and that’s the turning point. Had he taken the third, it could have gone to five, or even to four for him. That was crucial.

“We have the same style of game, maybe he’s got a sharper hitting of the ball, and me a bit more powerful. But his best areas are mine too, like he is good in the front left, so am I.”

Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) 3-1: 11-2, 4-11, 12-10, 11-5 (62m)

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