French ace plans Hull return after ToC injury
By Alan Thatcher, Squash Mad Editor
World champion Gregory Gaultier is planning a return to action at the British Open in March following his injury at the Tournament of Champions in New York.
Gaultier suffered an ankle ligament tear during his semi-final encounter with England’s Nick Matthew at Grand Central Terminal but believes a British Open comeback could be on the cards if his rehabilitation programme goes to plan.
The Allam British Open, the historic tournament known as the ‘Wimbledon of Squash’, takes place in Hull from March 21-27.
The Frenchman has won the tournament twice, in 2007 and 2014.
Gaultier said: “I had a rupture in one of my ankle ligaments and been ruled out of action for the next few weeks but hopefully I can get back to court as quickly as possible and in the best shape possible.
“The Allam British Open is the most prestigious tournament we play in and it is one that I really want to compete in during 2016.
“That drive to play in this famous competition is already part of my recovery motivation and I hope to be 100 per cent when the championship gets under way in Hull. It would mean a lot to me to be able to contend for the trophy again.”
The British Open is squash’s longest-running competition, which acted as a de-facto World Championship prior to the first staging of the official World Championship in 1976.
Paul Walters of internationalSPORTgroup, who are promoting the event in partnership with England Squash, said: “Gregory is a phenomenal athlete and one of the most consistent players on the PSA World Tour and his presence at the 2016 Allam British Open is a boost for the entire event.
“He is a player that captivates the crowd every time he steps on court and we would be delighted to see him recover in time to compete in Hull and we hope that he will be at full fitness for the duration of the tournament.”
Tickets for the 2016 Allam British Squash Championships can be booked online at www.isportstore.com, by telephone on 0844 8797 949 or for more information, visit www.isportgroup.com
Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com) courtesy of PSA and IRENA VANISOVA