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Gregory Gaultier wins world title for France

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Finally, Gregory Gaultier gets his hands on the world title
Finally, Gregory Gaultier gets his hands on the world title.  Picture: STEVE LINE (www.squash pics.com)

At the fifth attempt, Gaultier’s world title takes him back to the top
By NATHAN CLARKE in Seattle

 

Gregory Gaultier ended nine years of heartbreak to win the most prestigious tournament in squash at the fifth time of asking, defeating Egyptian Omar Mosaad in the final of the 2015 PSA Men’s World Squash Championship in Bellevue, Washington today (Nov 22).

Gaultier, 32, had tasted bitter defeat in four previous finals, none more so than in 2006 when he squandered five match balls against Australian David Palmer.

But here, in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, he produced a masterclass performance to defeat the hard-hitting Egyptian in straight-games to seal the title and trigger scenes of emotional celebration.

“It’s unbelievable, there’s no words that can describe this feeling,” said Gaultier.

Gregory Gaultier on the ball against tall Egyptian Omar Mosaad
Gregory Gaultier on the ball against tall Egyptian Omar Mosaad

“It’s better late than never. Since I was a kid it was always my dream to win this tournament. Maybe in the past I put too much pressure on myself. I remember my first experience at 23 years old in front of the pyramids in Egypt. I had five match balls and I remember at that point I started to feel like a kind of asthma. My head was shaky and frozen.

“I couldn’t finish off the match but you always learn from losses and it was an experience. I lost four times and I kept wondering if it was ever going to happen. I just kept on believing in myself, kept on working hard. I was always disciplined.”

The current World No.3, whose victory will propel him to the top of the PSA World Rankings come December 1st, controlled the court as he played with unrelenting determination.

Gaultier's moment of triumph
Gaultier’s moment of triumph

Gaultier was in commanding form as he won the first two games 11-6, 11-7.

A huge fightback from Mosaad in the third threatened to change the complexion of the match but an exquisite drop shot to level the game at 10-10 handed the flamboyant man from Aix-en-Provence the momentum, which he used to full advantage.

“It’s my fourth time as World No.1, it’s always a target,” added the man who triumphed in the wake of the Paris attacks in his home country.

“I train to become the best and it’s magic when it happens. It is the cherry on the top of an amazing day and it’s amazing to share it with the people around me who work so hard as well.

“Our hearts were broken with what happened in Paris – all the French people and all around the world. So many people came to talk to me and support me about it. There should be peace in this world and respect.

“Whoever you are, you have to give respect to people. There should be no terror and today we put on a great fight, but it was a fight with respect on and off court.”

Defeated finalist Mosaad added: “Gaultier is such an experienced player and to play against him is really hard. He played really well, and put me in trouble, but I think I did a good job in this tournament.

“I’m really happy to have reached the final and I’m looking forward to my next tournament.” 

PSA 2015 Men’s World Championship, Bellevue, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Final:
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [7] Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 12-10 (58m) 

Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com) courtesy of PSA

 

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2 Comments

  1. Congrats to Greg on a great match! I hate to be that guy,,, but since squashmad likes a bit of a controversy, let me get the ball rolling on this: looked like Mosaad’s pickup on match ball was good (arguably). The fact that squashtv didn’t show the replay (at all, let alone from different angles) tells me it very well may have been a good pickup…

  2. I second your comment. To me that pickup looked like it had a chance of being up. Mosaad seemed hesitant also at that point, but who knows what he was thinking. Greg’s shout of joy without first waiting for confirmation from the refs seemed to me to be an attempt to force the issue in everybody’s minds.

    Who knows what could have happened if Mosaad had another chance to win that game.

    I have seen Greg do similar fist-pumps and confident grins and walk-offs from court before after similar points, when in fact the decision then went against him. It’s a pity, because in my mind there is yet again a shadow over the genuineness of this victory, by an undeniably gifted player.

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