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Tesni Evans

CIB Black Ball Open: Evans Battles Past Turmel

Wales’ World No.9 Tesni Evans was forced to come from a game down against English youngster Lucy Turmel to advance to the second round of the CIB Black Ball Open.

The Welshwoman, who suffered a big injury at January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions that saw her miss this tournament in March found herself on the backfoot in the opening stages as World No.36 Turmel started strongly and stepped up the court to cause problems for Evans.

Turmel, who was been recording impressive wins since the tour resumed in September, continued her dominance in the second game and looked to have put herself in prime position when she held two game balls to go 2-0 up. However, in typical dogged fashion, Evans roared back to life to regroup and draw level.

Evans continued to play the bigger points better as she tested the nerves of 21-year-old Turmel to her advantage to take the lead for the first time in the match, before running away with it in the fourth.

Evans will face USA’s Olivia Clyne in the next round of the PSA World Tour Gold event.

“I was pretty certain at that point [10-8 down in the second] that I was in serious trouble,” said Evans to SquashTV afterwards.

“She played slightly different than what I thought and took me a bit off guard. I’m just happy to be through to be honest, because for two games I was completely outplayed.

“She works with Laura [Massaro], so I’m not surprised that she had a really good game plan and it took me by surprise. Where I like to play on the backhand side, she was completely out playing me, so even when I snuck in the second, I thought that I had to do something different. I’m really happy with how I adapted, in the end the fourth game was the only chance I got to show some front shots because I didn’t have a chance before.

“My physicality is something that I’ve been struggling with since the start of the season and something I’ve been working hard on over the last block. I’m really happy because if anything I had to grind and run out, which isn’t really my style, but I think I needed that blow out and hopefully it will stand me in good stead.”

Turmel said afterwards: “I felt pretty relaxed at the start of match, I was happy to get in front of her and play the ball to the front of the court as Tesni had a bit of a slow start and was not picking the ball up to the front as well as she normally does.

“My game plan was to keep doing that, get in front of her, and attack from there until she started picking the ball up to the front.

“The last game, I lost my length completely, I found myself behind her, and from that position, when Tesni was attacking, I was never going to win. I don't think it was physical, I just lost a bit of focus, switched off for a few rallies, and against Tesni, that is just not good enough.”

[8] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Lucy Turmel (ENG) 3-1: 6-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-4 (52m)

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