R1: Lucas 3/0 Shehab

Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Shehab Essam (EGY) 11-3, 11-3, 11-1 (26m)

Shehab had to replace Omar Abdel Abazawy Meguid “au pied levé” at the last minute, and was maybe not at the best of his game. Lucas kept working seriously. He talks about his last season, his change of coach and his new way of thinking…

It was a bit of a surprise match I had to say. I had a chat with Gregoire who told me that Shehab was very dangerous, that I had to be very solid but half the first game along the way, it looked like he was very tired. I did ask him at the end if he was injured, he said that no, that he was only told a few hours ago he was to play to replace Meguid (who has now retired, Fram) and probably not prepared.

For the past year, I have changed my coach from Sohail Khan who was great but I needed a new look over my squash I guess, to Medhi Renaï, who basically deconstructed a few things in my game. It led to not such a great season last year. Not that I had bad losses, but no good wins either, even if I finish the year of the British Open with getting two rounds…

I was really in complete loss of confidence, trying new things but not really getting anywhere. So I started my training two weeks after the British, and did a lot of physical work cause even if sometimes the racquet is not that great, I can still keep fighting for a bit longer!

Start of the season was ok, I nearly took out Mohamed ES in Shanghai, HKFC I equalled my seedings, but in the US, I lose against the wild card, all due respect but it’s a match I shouldn’t have lost.

That was first a huge huge building falling on my head, got me to question why I was doing this job, and a lot of other worries that I probably overthought… And then a big wake up call, back to the drawing board.

Also, a good chat with Grégory Gaultier during the French Leagues in La Rochelle. He is really good at motivating you, he is a great pedagogue, and gave me confidence in my game again, got my head sorted, and I realise that I can lose or win matches, my life ain’t over! That I just need to keep giving 200% in every match. It’s like starting from scratch, and making “table rase”, forgetting the past.

I feel great, my match today, even if Shehab was injured, I played it very seriously, I’m very happy with my performance, with a good Paul Coll match waiting for me. Wish my wife was there to make it all perfect.