A reoccurrence of an adductor injury suffered mid-way during the second game of what was until that point the match of the tournament brought a premature end to Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet’s battle with Miguel Angel Rodriguez which allowed the Colombian to progress to the semi-finals of the PSA Dubai World Series Finals on his debut appearance in the season-ending tournament.
With a place in the semi-finals on the line for both players the first game proved to be a brutal physical battle, with punishing, lung-bursting rallies dominating proceedings and enthralling the capacity crowd adjacent to the Burj Khalifa.The duo traded points blow-for-blow before a crucial decision by the referee at 10-9, calling a No Let to the dismay of Castagnet, granted Rodriguez the first game advantage to set up another titanic game in the second.
Rodrigues got off to an early 4-1 lead but Castagnet showed just why he’s know as the ‘Warrior’ as he battled back through yet more brutal exchanges before disaster struck at 4-6 when a seemingly innocuous movement saw the Frenchman reach immediately to his leg.
Immediate physio treatment ensued but it wasn’t enough to help Castagnet and he conceded the match-up to grant Rodriguez passage into the semi-finals to play World Champion Gregory Gaultier.
“That was a thrilling fist game and it was very important to play the second different tactically but I have no words now,” said Rodriguez.
“Mathieu had an amazing season and I know he achieved a dream by playing here – it was the first time in the World Series for both of us but I hope he is ok.
“For me reaching the semi-finals of this tournament is amazing – I have been dreaming of this for a long time, ever since I was a kid. I have friends and family here supporting me and this is an amazing way to end the season for me.
“I know I’m one of the fastest players around but the game now is very mental. You have to be so consistent and I’m improving and happy with my performances this week and I can’t wait to play the semi-final here tomorrow and see how it goes.”
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt  Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 2-0: 11-9, 6-4 retired (37m)