The 2nd FIR European Racketlon Championships where held from August 25 to September 3, 2017 and featured the best players in the four-racket-sport consisting of Table Tennis, Badminton, Squash and Tennis. A unique Centre Court Arena with the only squash-glass-court in Austria was temporarily installed at the City & Country Club Wienerberg. For me it was clear, that this was the only suitable venue for a match of the Squash World Tour in our hometown of Vienna. I made it real: On Sunday, August 27 at 4pm the second match of the Squash World Tour was scheduled.
Everything was set for the perfect squash match in Vienna
Because of my position as the public relations officer of the European Championships, I managed to arrange a shuttle service for the two of us and the media team covering the second Squash World Tour match. Joel #teamorange abandoned the ride and chose to walk to the venue, while we were waiting at the meeting point. Only 15 minutes before the scheduled start of our match, I realized that #teamorange had played me. Quickly we drove to the venue, while Joel laughed up his sleeve.
I spared neither expense nor effort to make it a better organized match than the first in Bratislava where we went by bike and were lucky that we got a squash court at all. Everything was set: I bought the white ball for glass-courts only, I took care of the adequate entrance, I even brought sports drinks for #teamorange and #teamyelllow in matching colors.
While warming up, #teamorange fired the ball several times out of the glass-court and was already complaining about the „stupid construction“. I kept calm and when the match started I was ready! I took the first point and never lost the lead in game one: 10:6 for #teamyellow. I even took care of our Instagram account during the break, while Joel was sitting there focusing on the match.
Giving away a big lead
In game two I had two game points at 10:8, but somehow managed to lose the game 10:12. Now the momentum had changed. Dirty talk by Joel on our Instagram Story, „Team Yellow is finished, he cannot move anymore!“ described exactly how I felt. I threw everything I had at #teamorange, but the powerful strokes of my opponent and the fact that I had been working more than twelve hours a day for over a week, while sleeping an average of four hours led to a 5:11 loss of game three. For the first time I was 1:2 games down on the Squash World Tour – a new experience for me! I felt like Vladimir Klitschko in his last fight against Anthony Joshua: I started strong, I could have decided the match early (in game two), but I could not keep it up.
I was pretty sure that it was still possible to turn the match around. But at 7:10, after saving two match points, the show was over. Joel had his revenge. Long after I left the court, #teamorange was still celebrating his victory, posing for Insta-shots and enjoying the moment.
Losing in your hometown hurts. When the shuttle took us home after the match, I made an affirmation: I will come back stronger in Berlin!