Crouin Cracks British Open Quarters After Myriad Müller Match-Balls
13 Apr 2023
Eighth seed Victor Crouin claimed his maiden British Open quarter-final berth - and became the first Frenchman to reach the last eight for five years - when he edged past European rival Nicolas Müller after finally clinching a 10th match-ball at The Rep theatre in Birmingham.
After dropping the opening game, the French No.1 won the second and third games 11-9 and 11-6 and had a staggering nine match balls and was unable to convert any of them. Swiss No.1 Mueller had two game ball opportunities which were unsuccessful, before Crouin eventually converted match-ball at the tenth attempt to round off a 71-minute battle 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 22-20.
"The emotions built up and it was difficult to stick to a game plan with match balls, but I'm happy I won!" Crouin said.
"Unfortunately, I'm thinking two matches ahead of myself, thinking about the quarter-final opportunity. It's really tough out there and really tough from a mental game point of view.
"We all train hard so when we step on court it's more of a mental game, and today I'm happy I closed it at the end.
"I'm not looking forward to talking to my dad/coach because he's not going to be happy with this! I'm not happy with this but I'll remember the win and hopefully I'll learn from this."
A day after finding out that he would become the sport's newest world No.1, Peru's Diego Elias got the better of England's Nathan Lake in straight games to make it through to the event's last eight for the third time in a row.
After Egypt's Karim Abdel Gawad defeated England's Mohamed ElShorbagy, Elias knew that he would become the first South American world No.1 on Monday. He could have been forgiven for not being at his best, but the 'Peruvian Puma' booked his spot in the quarter finals.
The soon-to-be world No.1 found it tough at times, as Lake's movement and racket skills proved difficult to handle. However, Elias was able to take the victory in straight games and will now take on Crouin for a place in the semis for the first time.