Parker downs Crouin in marathon struggle in Doha

World No.42 George Parker twice came back from a game down to get the better of Frenchman Victor Crouin in a gripping five game encounter.

The pair had met twice before on the PSA Tour and shared one win apiece, with both matches being won by a 3-0 margin.

This time around it was nip-and-tuck as both players enjoyed spells of scintillating squash. The court conditions favoured whoever took the ball in short more and it was initially Crouin who found his drop shots first as he made a superb start to the encounter.

But Parker felt his way into the match as he moved through the gears to take a 9-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6, 11-9 victory and he is rewarded with a second round clash with Egypt’s Mohamed ElShorbagy.

“I thought it was a tough match, it was quite up and down and both of us made errors at silly times,” said Parker.

“It’s a dead court, so whoever was more proactive and took the ball well first was mainly winning most of the rallies. It was about getting forward, so it was quite high intensity squash. It was a good match, but I struggled with my forehand today, I thought I was pretty loose and Victor gets on it so fast.

“I really struggled to hunt the next shot, but credit to him, he’s a fit boy and it was a clean match.

“I’m looking forward to it [playing ElShorbagy]. I’ve played him a few times in Bristol in training and didn’t win, so it will be an experience for me at No.40 in the world and 24 years old. I’m trying to get as much experience as I can playing in these matches when there is money and points on the line because playing these tough games is how you develop.”

Result George Parker (ENG) bt Victor Crouin (FRA) 3-2: 9-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6, 11-9 (66m)

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