Saturday, December 2, 2023

Battle hots up for PSA number one slot

Relaxed Gaultiier faces double threat to rankings lead
By NATHAN CLARKE (PSA Correspondent)

Current world number one Gregory Gaultier

The battle to be World No.1 in the November PSA World Tour Rankings will enter crunch time tonight during the semi-finals of the 2014 Delaware Investments US Open when a triumvirate of players will all be aiming to keep alive their hopes of occupying the most coveted position in squash.

World champion Nick Matthew, the current World No.3, World No.2 Mohamed Elshorbagy and current incumbent Gregory Gaultier all go into final-four action knowing that nothing less than victory and passage to Saturday’s final will suffice if they are to stand atop the charts when the new rankings come out on November 1st.

Both 23-year-old Elshorbagy, the only man in the trio not to have previously held the top ranking, and 34-year-old Matthew know that they must win the tournament outright to have any chance of taking the No.1 spot from Gaultier, World No.1 since April, who knows a place in the final is enough for him to retain his position for an eighth straight month.

“Every player wants to be World No.1,” said Elshorbagy. “Players say they just come here to do well and enjoy themselves but I’m sure they’d enjoy it a lot more if they could be World No.1.

“You’d rather be number 100 than number two and I’m going to be doing everything I can to get that ranking during this tournament.”

The 31-year-old Gaultier, from Aix-En-Provence said: “I’m not here with my calculator checking the points. I’m here to play squash and that’s all I’m here for.”

Three-time World Champion Matthew, who takes on four-time World Champion Amr Shabana in his last four encounter said: “All the talk about rankings has been about Mohamed and Greg and I’m happy to fly under the radar at the moment.

“A lot has been said about the battle to be number one and rightly so, those two guys are the best two players around at the moment and I think we’re all trying to get to their level.

“This is my first tournament back after a long summer break after the Commonwealth Games so I’m taking the pressure off and just enjoying playing my squash.”

2014 Delaware Investments US Open: Semi-final.

[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [3] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) v [2] Nick Matthew (ENG)


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