Egyptian hops to first win over Gregory Gaultier to lift Zurich title
By NATHAN CLARKE in Zurich
Egyptian Marwan ElShorbagy emerged victorious in the finale of the 2016 Grasshopper Cup to defeat French World No.2 and 2015 tournament winner Gregory Gaultier to lift the biggest title off his career to date and record his first ever win over the current World Champion in the process.
In front of a capacity crowd inside Zurich’s Puls5 venue, the 22-year-old Elshorbagy, who had reached the final without dropping a game, faced off against Gaultier in a match the 33-year-old was expected to win having won all three previous meetings between the pair – with Elshorbagy never having taken a game from the ‘French General’.
True to form it was Gaultier who took the early impetus as he nullified the Egyptian in the opening game, taking it 11-6.
But in the second game the match was flipped upside down as Elshorbagy upped his levels to pressure the Frenchman and gain a foothold in proceedings. After taking the second 13-11, ElShorbagy then found himself ahead after taking the third 11-9.
Gaultier found himself on the defensive during the fourth and managed to edge ahead at the business end to force a decisive fifth game but it was ElShorbagy who commanded it, playing relaxed, attacking squash to seal the biggest win of his life.
“This is the biggest win of my career. I’m not sure what to say. I’m just over the moon,” said ElShorbagy.
“To beat the world champion is something I will never forget. I’ve been training very hard recently and there have been a lot of people, coaches, friends and family that have been pushing me and their support is vital.
“I loved every single second of being here and it was a great tournament. Squash is nothing without the crowd and they have been excellent this week and I can’t wait to be back here next year.”
Marwan’s big brother Mohamed Tweeted: “Words can not express how proud I am of my brother! His win made me more proud than I ever felt.”
PSA M70 Grasshopper Cup, Puls 5, Zurich, Switzerland.
Final (April 17, 2016):
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt  Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-2: 6-11, 13-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6 (66m)
Pictures courtesy of PSA