‘Swiss Rocket’ Nicolas Mueller booked his place in round two of the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family after a hard-fought four-game battle with Frenchman Baptiste Masotti at the University Club of Chicago.
The World No.32 went a game down but fought back to complete an 8-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-9 victory which will see him line up against either Spain’s Borja Golan or Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam in the next round.
The pair traded blows in the early stages and were locked in at 6-6 after some physical rallies, and Masotti took the lengthy rallies in his stride to build up a one-game advantage.
A more positive showing from Mueller saw him level in game two, but he looked to be running out of steam after surrendering a 5-1 lead in game three. The 31-year-old kept battling though and some unforced errors from Masotti helped him on his way to a tie-break win to lead 2-1 lead.
The fourth went down to the wire too, with Mueller having his own comeback as he overturned a 6-1 deficit to finally see out the victory.
“It was hectic, the whole match wasn’t the most structured,” said Mueller.
“His forehand is so lethal, 99 per cent of the time we played on the backhand because whenever we played on the forehand he sent me to the showers because it was too good. I’m obviously very pleased to be through, it was a tough battle, and I’m super happy to come back from 6-1 down in the fourth. It doesn’t happen often but when it does it feels nice.
“The Cathedral Hall at the University Club is one of the most iconic venues in squash. I’m very thankful to be here and for everyone who made it possible for us to play here at this wonderful event.”
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-1: 8-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-9 (51m)