Success for Simon Gauzy but it almost wasn't good news for Adrien Mattenet, the face which has been promoted on behalf of the host for the 2013 World Table Tennis Championships - France. As he entered his match against Italy's Niagol Stoyanov he certainly didn't seem all there to begin with. The passion and energy which captivated the crowd at the World Cup in Paris in 2011 just wasn't apparent as Stoyanov took the early lead.
|Mattenet fights for the Win|
Errors were high on both sides and although Mattenet came back to take the next 2 sets by comfortable margins, he still didn't appear to have the fight in him just yet, the fluency of strokes which had helped him beat the world's best on occasion weren't flowing so greatly. For that reason Stoyanov led out on the offensive, easily winning the next 2 sets.
Frustration set in as Mattenet fell under the pressure of an expecting crowd who had all come to see their number 1 player perform in his first match. Right now Mattenet was looking like losing was a very real possibility. Trailing 3-2 is not a great place to be in your first match but it sparked exactly the fighting spirit that Mattenet needed. Positive body language came back, confident strokes, there was a shift in momentum as Mattenet came surging back into the game. Niagol Stoyanov had nowhere to hide.
The shift of power in this match was exceptional, each set was won with comfort including the last 2 which shifted in favour of Mattenet. As his passion rose and he psyched himself up, the points started falling in his favour, the important shots started going on and as he lifted himself up, the crowd of enthusiastic supporters swept him off his feet and carried him through to victory.
|Gauzy wins over Seo Hyun Deok|
Simon Gauzy's match was a battle of creativity, fantastic shots and great rallies. Gauzy asserted himself 4-1 over Korea's Seo Hyun Deok, arguably one of the world's better players previously being top 30 in the ITTF World Rankings. This is a great win and shows the progress of Gauzy who last month won the French National Championships. His fluent attacking style on both wings and ability close and far from the table will be a great asset to him in this event, proven so already.
Again the Bercy Arena fired up for their host player, the excitement was electrifying. Taking the first 2 sets it was just a short disruption, one set falling the way of Seo before Gauzy finished the job. The last 2 sets were incredibly close and could have gone either way, but Gauzy executed with a high level of commitment and risks paid off to award him the match.
Video Highlights of Gauzy's match here:
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