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Coach Stéphane Hucliez is content with this result which revealed a promising Rouen team. “We had discussed it with the guys, the team composition worked well and opens up possibilities for me for the future. We won two points, which was not easy at the start,” he acknowledges.
The two numbers 1 clash from the start. Robert Gardos (nº40 in the world) undergoes the ardor of Chi-Yuan Chuang (nº16), the new nugget of Hennebont. Caught up by the fluid and precise game of the Taiwanese, especially in the inverted diagonal, he could not avoid a defeat in three dry sets despite a good reaction in the last two as a variant of his ball placements.
The second part does not seem favorable to Adam Szudi (nº160 in the world) against Kristian Karlsson (nº17), one of the very best European players. The first set lost 11-4 confirms it. The Hungarian does not disarm and immediately gives him the change of the room on the same score. His tactic of playing short and finishing with a strong blow puts his opponent under pressure, who struggles to start the game. The Norman player snatches the right to play the beautiful game by winning the fourth set 12-10 in extremis. This ultimate set is tight. Two badly returned cut services allow the Swede to get out of trouble (11-8) and bring a second point to the Breton team.
Adam Szudi misses the car looking good
This seems to be heading for a victory. However, the SPO Rouen is back in the saddle by aligning its new recruit, the Chinese Cheng-Ting Liao (nº81 in the world) faces the Greek Ioannis Sgouropoulos (nº206). Tense, he delivers a shy first set which he concedes 11-8. Then, he gained confidence, imposed his power in the next three rounds to bring the first point to the Rouennais. Robert Gardos doubles the lead against the formidable Karlsson. The confrontation is tactical, the two players, who know each other well, ferment the game and try to win the point by shortening the exchange. In this game, the Austrian wins not without having saved the third set 12-10 and repeated the beautiful 12-10.
The end is near. After more than three hours of an intense, spectacular encounter, Chi-Yuan Chuang frees Hennebont by beating Adam Szudi narrowly (11-8). However, on the wise advice of the coach, the Rouennais delivers an exceptional game that he is very close to winning. At 6-1 in her favor, everyone believes in it. And then the world nº16 catches up and finally caps it…
“Given the last match of a superb Szudi, we can be frustrated, but we were dealing with a strong game. Our narrow defeat, however, shows that we can be competitive this season. Our team has been expanded, we must be able to produce a good season,” concedes the technician Stéphane Hucliez.
Bat GV Hennebont SPO Rouen 3 to 2
Points for Rouen: Liao (nº81) beat Sgouropoulos (nº206) 3 sets to 1 (8-11, 11-6,11-6, 11-9); Gardos (nº40) defeats Karlsson (nº17) 3 to 2 (8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 3-11, 12-10). The points for Hennebont: Chuang (nº16) beats Gardos (nº40) 3 sets to 0 (11-6, 11-8, 11-9); Karlsson (#17) beats Szudi (#160) 3-2 (11-4, 4-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-8); Chuang (#16) beat Szudi (#160) 3-2 (11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-8)
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