Friday, September 22, 2023

Gaultier and Gawad jump into Grasshopper Cup quarter-finals

Gregory Gaultier hunts the ball against Daryl Selby

High-speed Greg sinks Daryl Selby


Former World No.1 Gregory Gaultier was in imperious form as he extended his winning streak on the PSA World Tour to 20 consecutive matches, defeating England’s Daryl Selby 3-0 to reach the quarter-finals of the 2017 Grasshopper Cup inside Zurich’s Puls 5, and he was was joined by current World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad.

Gaultier hasn’t lost a Tour match since the final of January’s Tournament of Champions – a streak that has seen him collect the Swedish Open, Windy City Open, British Open and El Gouna Open titles in succession – and he continued to show that he is the dominant force in Men’s squash as he overcame Selby in just over 30 minutes.

“I tried to inject a lot of pace into it from the first point – we were both tired from the European Teams and it’s always hard to back up after just a few days,” said Gaultier.

“We all train hard and have we have played a lot of matches since January but we keep on going and going until we collapse! I thought that we both played a good game and the scoreline maybe doesn’t reflect the match.

“But I think I got the tactics right – to play fast from the first point. I’m happy with the way I played and hopefully I can carry it on and my fitness will be there.”

Simon Rosner leaps for a volley

Gaultier now face German Simon Rösner in the last eight after the man from Paderborn came through 3-1 over New Zealand’s Paul Coll. Rösner squeezed home 12-10 in a massively competitive opening game but fell off the pace in the second as Coll power through 11-4.

However, Rösner regained control in the third and fourth games to win the majority of the punishing rallies to claim victory in 82 minutes. It was revenge for a defeat in the first round of the recent Canary Wharf Classic after a phenomenal battle lasting four minutes short of two hours.

Gawad, who overtook Gaultier atop the World Rankings on May 1, also impressed as he defeated French number two Gregoire Marche 3-0.

The opening game was closely fought between the pair – going all the way to a 13-11 tie break – but from then on it was one way traffic as Gawad controlled proceedings to leave Marche cutting a frustrated figure at the end.

Karim Abdel Gawad works his way past Greg Marche

“Greg is a very tough opponent – we used to play with each other in the juniors so I know his game and I’m very pleased to get through in three,” said Gawad.

“Everything that has happened to me this season is unbelievable. I’m very grateful to my team for the support over the past few years. There are still a lot of dreams and ambitions I have to achieve and that’s what I am playing for.”

Gawad will go up against compatriot Tarek Momen for a place in the semi-finals after the 28-year-old from Cairo beat French number three Mathieu Castagnet 3-0.

2017 Grasshopper Cup, Puls 5, Zurich, Switzerland.

First Round (Bottom Half):
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-2 (35m)
[6] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Paul Coll (NZL) 3-1: 12-10, 4-11, 11-7, 11-5 (82m)
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [Q] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 12-10 (36m)
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-0: 13-11, 11-8, 11-7 (41m)

Draw – Quarter-finals:
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [5] Ali Farag (EGY)
[8] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [4] Nick Matthew (ENG)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [6] Simon Rösner (GER)
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) v [2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 

Pictures courtesy of PSA


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