China champions overcome surprise finalists after a week of mayhem on a rooftop court in Shanghai
By NATHAN CLARKE
Gregory Gaultier and Raneem El Welily won the China Open finals to bring the curtain down on an astonishing week of squash that produced a plethora of shock results in the first major tournament of the season.
Gaultier overcame surprise finalist Marwan Elshorbagy and newly crowned PSA Women’s World No.1 El Welily got her tenure as squash’s top-ranked female player off to the perfect start by defeating compatriot Nouran Gohar 3-0 in the final of the 2015 Stars On The Bund China Open PSA W50 tournament.
Gohar had reached the final after a succession of upset victories, including an impressive 3-1 win over former World No.1 Nicol David, but El Welily reinforced just why she now tops the rankings with an assured performance that sees her collect a fourth major title so far in 2015.
The 26-year-old from Alexandria overcame her 17-year-old challenger in just 32 minutes to take the title for the loss of just one game during the entire tournament.
“I’m vert glad with how I started the season and how I was focused and steady throughout the tournament,” said El Welily.
“I won today against a real fighter that will soon break into the top 10 and make Egypt proud as well as my other team mates so I’m very pleased.
“It’s been a crazy time lately so thanks to everyone who sent me messages and wishes.”
In the men’s tournament World No.3 Gregory Gaultier saw off Marwan Elshorbagy to pick up the 30th tour title of his career courtesy of a comfortable 3-0 victory.
“I’m very happy to win the first tournament after the summer training break,” said Gaultier.
“Thanks to my team back home for the work they have done for me during the summer to get me ready for the season, my family, sponsors and all the people who supported me and the event.”
Gregory Gaultier told his fans on Facebook: Happy to win the first tournament after the summer training. Many thanks to franco, fabrice and katelyn and their team, sponsors, to have done such a great job
Thanks to the peninsula to have made us feel really confortable and gave us the opportunity to play with such a view on shanghai. Thanks to seca academy to have hosted the other matches. Thanks to my team back home for the work they have done for me during the summer, my familly, sponsors and all the poeple who supported me and the event, philippe for the words in between games and the french community who also came
As follow some pictures of the last day and few with all the kids and future champions from china that i had the pleasure to play with when i arrived on the first day.
See you soon Shanghai, I am off tonight to see my familly.
2015 Stars On The Bund China Open
PSA W50 – Final:
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-0: 13-11, 11-9, 11-7 (32m)
PSA M100 – Final:
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) v 3-0: 11-6, 11-2, 11-4 (40m)
Pictures courtesy of PSA and via social media