By LEE HORTON
Gregory Gaultier added a little spice to tomorrow’s quarter final showdown with Daryl Selby with his post match comments following his win over Tarek Momen.
“Daryl played exceptionally well against Darwish, it was a massive effort for him to win, in front of his crowd, he deserves that win, but unfortunately, he’s playing me in the next round…”
Cheeky, and maybe a little bit arrogant, but Essex hero Selby refused to take the bait and reckons Gaultier has earned the right to his inner-confidence.
“Greg’s at the top of his game so I’ll allow him his cheeky bit of banter,” laughed the No13 seed from Chelmsford. “He is playing well, but so am I. I deserve my place in the last eight and I won’t be making up the numbers. ”
Selby was enjoying a well-earned rest day following his five-game battle with Darwish. “It’s great to have a day off which allows me to prepare and repair before facing Greg. I’ve had some physio and spent time in the hotel swimming pool stretching and relaxing the muscles. I’m feeling really good right now.”
The day has also allowed Selbs to catch up on a bit of washing too. “I’ve completely run out of kit so it’s just as well I’m not playing until Friday,” he smiled.
So what’s the game plan for Gaultier?
“He beat me quite easily last time out in San Francisco but I’m physically fitter and stronger now. I’ll trade shots and take the game to him and stand my ground. His record against me is superior, but I’ve beaten him too. Hopefully the home crowd will get behind me and give me a boost.”
Selby’s mental strength is a major part of his game, something he is aware of and delighted with. “I don’t get intimidated and I am confident of matching Greg. At the end of last season I was playing good, solid squash from a base of mental strength and confidence. I’m mentally as strong this season but I know have room to improve in my general play. I’m playing well, but if I can find that little extra tomorrow then I’ll be happy.”
As an escape from squash, Selbs will spend tonight watching…squash. “I’ll be courtside supporting Nick Matthew against Amr Shabana,” he added. “Watching Shabs is a joy for all squash fans and I’m no different. But Nick is in incredible shape so it will be tremendous.”