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French pair storm through to last 16

Gregory Gaultier powers past Omar Meguid
Gregory Gaultier powers past Omar Meguid

Gaultier and Castagnet in top form as they reach World last 16


French pair Gregory Gaultier and Mathieu Castagnet stormed through to the last 16 of the 2015 Men’s World Squash Championship yesterday (November 17) after comfortable victories in their second round encounters at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Washington.

Four-time World Championship runner-up Gaultier, the World No.3, was in scintillating form as he swept aside the challenge of Egyptian Omar Abdel Meguid in a ruthlessly efficient 35-minute performance that will significantly boost his hopes of finally ending his hoodoo at the sport’s most prestigious tournament.

“I was happy with the way I was playing today.” said Gaultier. “I was more fluid than the last round and I think I’m starting to raise my game day-by-day. After so many tournaments back-to-back I was a bit tired last week in Qatar.

“I’m trying to analyse everything, get into my routines and do what I have to do on court. This is a title that has been eluding me, but I’m not really thinking about the title at the moment, I have to remain focused on my tactics and I thought I did that quite well today.”

Gaultier will now face Egyptian youngster Karim Ali Fathi for a place in the quarter-finals after the World No.42 stunned No.18 Fares Dessouki, coming through a brutal 83-minute encounter, while Castagnet will take on Colombian World No.5 Miguel Angel Rodriguez after defeating American Todd Harrity to end all hopes of home success in the process.

Mathieu Castagnet ends American hopes by beating Todd Harrity
Mathieu Castagnet ends American hopes by beating Todd Harrity

“I’m 29 and it’s my first time ever reaching the last 16 at the World Championship,” said Castagnet.

“But I’m a squash professional so of course I want more. I want to reach the quarters at least so I will make the most of my rest day tomorrow to prepare for my next match.”

Rodriguez came through a thrilling 75-minute match with unfancied Kiwi Campbell Grayson, with the first game alone last an epic 32 minutes before Grayson took it 16-14, only for Rodriguez to come back and win the next three games.

Former World No.1 James Willstrop, who missed the 2014 edition of the tournament through injury, showed that he is once again on the rise with a comfortable 3-0 win over World No.17 Saurav Ghosal, a regular training partner and room-mate down the years.

“Saurav’s been in great form and has just beaten Ryan [Cuskelly] who has been absolutely flying,” said Willstrop.

“I haven’t really got a lot of those tough matches under my belt so I’m absolutely chuffed to bits to be able to put that together like that really. You forget how to do it a little bit and you’ve got to relearn it which I’ve been doing for a few months now and tonight it came together.”

Elsewhere World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy had no trouble getting past World No.22 Tom Richards, winning in straight games in 31 minutes.

Simon Rösner and Ali Farag also secured their berths in the last 16. Rosner beat his great friend and training partner, Nic Mueller, while Farag continued his recent of outstanding form by beating No.13 seed Max Lee of Hong Kong.

2015 Men’s World Championship, Bellevue, Washington, USA.

Results -Second Round (Top Half)
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-2 (31m)
James Willstrop (ENG) bt [16] Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (41m)
[9] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [Q] Todd Harrity (USA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (38m)
[5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-1: 16-18, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 (75m)
[6] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-1: 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6 (53m)
Ali Farag (EGY) bt [13] Max Lee (HKG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-7 (41m)
Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt Fares Dessouki (EGY) 3-2: 7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4 (83m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-4 (35m)

Second Round (Bottom Half)
[4] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) v [12] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
[14] Borja Golan (ESP) v Paul Coll (NZL)
Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) v [7] Omar Mosaad (EGY)
[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Diego Elias (PER)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [15] Stephen Coppinger (RSA)
[10] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
[Q] Karim El Hammamy (EGY) v [2] Nick Matthew (ENG)  

Pictures by STEVE LINE ( courtesy of PSA


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