World champion aims to win big bash at the Burj
By NATHAN CLARKE
World Champion Gregory Gaultier says he cannot wait to travel to Dubai this May for the 2015/16 Dubai PSA World Series Finals when squash will take centre stage in one of the most amazing sporting locations of all time in front of the stunning Burj Khalifa.
World No.2 Gaultier has won the prestigious tournament, which brings together the top eight players in the world, on two previous occasions and was delighted to see the World Series Finals return to the PSA World Tour calendar this year after a two-year absence.
“To have the court there sitting beside the Burj Khalifa is amazing and the pictures that came out last week are incredible and I can’t wait to be there,” said Gaultier, who competes in the final PSA World Series tournament of the season, the El Gouna International, this coming week.
“I’ve never been to Dubai before so I’m excited to be going and competing. I’ll be bringing my family there and I think it will be an amazing week. It’s great for squash to have a tournament in Dubai. It’s something I think we’ve all wanted for a few years, and I have lots of friends who will be coming. I’m looking forward to seeing what it is like for real.”
Gaultier last won the event when it was staged in London in 2012 and is looking forward to competing against the very best players from the off in what he says is a tournament like no other.
Having already secured his place in the finals as one of four players alongside Mohamed Elshorbagy, Nick Matthew and Omar Mosaad, the 33-year-old will also be looking forward to competing in El Gouna in a tournamet that will be the last chance for many players to stake their claim for one of four remaining qualifying places.
“I’ve played and won the finals a few times before,” he said. “It’s a fantastic tournament and it’s intense from the first match.
“You play the best players form the first day so it’s very explosive and with it being best of three you have to be ready from the very first point. Anybody can go through the pool I think because the competition is so open.
“There are so many players that could qualify for the last few places so I think El Gouna will be interesting – there’s going to be an extra pressure on them so I’ll enjoy that.
“Nowadays the players from 5-20 and beyond all have a chance of winning big matches and making finals so the first rounds at the big tournaments are very, very tough.”
The 2016 El Gouna International takes place from April 21-24 at the Movenpick hotel El Gouna and 24-29 at the New Marina El Gouna.
About the PSA Dubai World Series Finals
The PSA Dubai World Series Finals are the season-ending climaxes to the men’s and women’s PSA World Series Tours, featuring the world’s best eight qualified players as they battle it out for the last title of the season.
Players compete for ‘Road To Dubai’ Ranking points at each PSA World Series Tournament in a bid to earn one of the coveted eight berths and a chance to compete in one of the sport’s most lucrative events.
The PSA Dubai World Series Finals brings eight players together in two groups of four. Players compete in a round-robin best-of-three series for places in the knockout semi-finals and beyond.