Juan Lebron and Ale Galan, were very rough in the quarterfinals of the Human Padel Toulouse Open, against the Argentinians Maxi Sanchez and Lucho Capra. Two points from being eliminated, they win 4/6 6/1 7/5.
The world numbers 1 had started the game on a high note with a first gala shutout for Galan, very easy, as in demonstration. A little too much demonstration? In any case, they are the ones who concede the first break, from their second game of service.
Opposite, Capra and Sanchez are more laborious, but perhaps more effective at the start of the match. They also successfully save two break points at 4e game to lead 3-1. Diligent and serious, the Argentinians came back from 0-30 on Maxi's service, chaining four points in a row to break away 4-2.
The Spanish favorites won their service games easily, but still failed to delight Capra's (despite a tape that offered them a break point on punto de oro): Argentina 5- Spain 3.
Maxi Sanchez serves at 5-4 with the possibility of concluding the set. Capra starts the game with a nice winning smash, but the net then holds back his fake shot. He makes up for it by "kicking the buttocks" of Galan, with a ball. The same Galan then misses a backhand, his strong blow, offering two set points. The second is converted and the Argentinians win a deserved set.
The start of the 2e set rhymes with decompression for Capra / Sanchez: they make a few mistakes and allow Lebron / Galan to break on punto de oro. At 30/40, an imperfection of the carpet had however cost them a first break point, the ball having barely rebounded.
The Spaniards drive the point home, narrowly missing the 4/0, but break once again to lead 5/1. Capra and Sanchez seem to be “letting go” of this set, preferring to focus on the 3e. The n°1s only have to unwind to conclude this 6/1 set, in half the time of the first.
Lebron and Galan seem determined to make the hole from the start of the 3rd set, but the Capra / Sanchez pair hold on and keep their game: 1-0 for the Argentines.
In the 2nd game, a point of “cartoon” (dibujos animados” in Spanish) provokes the joy of the many public and allows the Spaniards to hope for a new break. The case is settled with the “punto de oro”, won by the Argentinians, to the cheers of the crowd! One everywhere, the ball in the center.
Decidedly not at the party, Lebron is mistreated on his service game, with an important and contentious ball from Capra, judged fault by video arbitration. At 30-15, Lebron misses a volley, which fails in the glass, then the band betrays Galan, sending his ball through the door. At 30-40, a 3-1 double ball reaches out to Capra / Sanchez. And it was the Argentinians who won it with a magnificent punto de oro, concluded with a furious smash from Capra.
This match can ignite – and the public with it! The world No. 1 are forcing the service of Sanchez (ex world No. 1 with Sanyo, let's remember), but the outsiders sell their skin dearly. But even playing fair, with little or no mistakes, they lose their lead to another punto de oro. At 2-3: the hole is already closed… And Galan returns to 3-3 after a white game on his face-off.
But Sanchez and Capra are far from admitting defeat and go back to the fight: they win the famous 7th game, also white, in a good way. 4-3 for them.
Everything can change on the service of Lebron, who loses the first point, but takes advantage of the grid in the second and one of the rare sins (of gluttony) of Capra in the 3rd. The Argentinians bravely try their luck, but the Spaniards do not crack and rejoin at 4-4. The match has been going on for two hours and three minutes.
On the first point of the 9th game, Galan faked a smash which surprised Capra and caused him to fall: fortunately without hurt… except for a 0-15. Impeccable on the rest of this game, the 13th and 14th in the world lead 5-4 and will do everything to achieve the big “perf” of the day. Can the #1s collapse?
The first point is superbly scored by Sanchez, with a smash into the opposing net following a par 3 from Galan. But the next three smile at the Spaniards. The fear of winning among the Argentines? Who – at 40/30 for their opponents, are still two points from the match.
Unfortunately for them, Lebron does not miss his smash in “revienta”, which flies over the net by at least 3 meters. Five everywhere...
Sanchez-Capra started the next game badly, trailing 0-30. The next ball is announced as good for them, but the video review proves Galan-Lebron right, who go into steamroller mode and take a white break!!!
The moment of truth arrives...
Sanchez, in Maxi mode, takes out the heavy artillery on two consecutive smashes, winners! 0-30 on Lebron's serve. But Galan hits even harder, drawing a few boos from an audience chanting the name “Maxi”, after an incredible 3rd smash. 15/40!!! The 1st of three 6-6 balls is saved by a vibora Galan's laser. The second too, with an unstoppable forehand volley from Galan. PUNTO DE ORO, synonymous with 2-6, or match!!
WINNER for Galan and Lebron, who can breathe… and win 7/5. But it was hard… and beautiful. A huge game from Sanchez and Capra, who more than shook the favorites.