In the all-French battle on the opening day, Mathieu Castagnet got the better of Gregoire Marche to book his place in the second round of the St. James’s Place Canary Wharf Classic.
The World No.22 got the better of his higher-ranked opponent on the glass court at East Wintergarden, after battling through a lengthy first game, with Castagnet taking it after half an hour.
The second game was slightly more straight-forward, as he eventually got the better of his compatriot, coming through to take the win, booking his place in the second round, where he will face World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy.
“We are very close friends and we share rooms. We have been on the PSA World Tour for ten years, so it has never been easy to play him. We were chatting 20 minutes before the start but this is part of the job, and I am really happy to be through.
“My body is much better now. I have been struggling with injuries in the last two years. I am getting better and I think I am doing the right things. I am doing less on the court and I am training differently. I am really happy that these things are working.
“I am a person who likes to do ghosting, but I do not do that anymore, so I use the bikes more because there is no impact. I like to practice for maximum an hour now. I only play three games instead of five because I do not want to go too crazy. I have to be more careful with my stretching and my diet.”
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 2-0: 12-10, 11-8 (46m)