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Mathieu Castagnet hits world top 10

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Mathieu Castagnet showing great touch and control
Mathieu Castagnet showing great touch and control

French ace reaches number nine as Karim Gawad climbs to 11
By NATHAN CLARKE

Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet has moved up two places to a career high ranking of World No.9 in the September PSA Men’s World Rankings – joining the elite top ten for the first time in his career.

The 29-year-old from Aix-en-Provence has steadily progressed through the rankings over the last twelve months, having been ranked at World No.19 in September 2014, with back-to-back quarter-final finishes at the Grasshopper Cup and Allam British Open in May seeing him move up into the illustrious top group.

“Making the top ten has been one of my goals and ambitions and it is a great achievement for me because it shows that anything can happen if you keep training hard,” said Castagnet.

“When you think about all the effort you put it, the training you do and the concessions you make – training when it’s raining and cold or during times like Christmas – you can question yourself but today reminds me just why I am pushing myself so hard.

“I have been training for the past eleven or twelve weeks and I want to enjoy this moment and keep my focus on my objectives. I feel in good shape and I’m ready to start the season now.”

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Pictures by IRENA VANISOVA

Castagnet will get his 2015-16 season under way at the Stars On The Bund China Open on September 3 when current World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy will also be in action.

Elshorbagy remains on top of the rankings for the 11th consecutive month as part of an unchanged top five while fellow Egyptian Omar Mosaad moves up to a career high World No.6 while the retirement of four-time World Champion Amr Shabana means Tarek Momen holds the No.10 position.

Elsewhere in the top 20 there’s upwards movement for Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad, up three places to a career-high No.11, South Africa’s Stephen Coppinger, up three places to No.14, Indian’s Saurav Ghosal, up four places to No.15 and Australian Cameron Pilley, up four places to No.16.

Rising Egyptian talent Mazen Hesham rounds out the top 20 after moving up two places to a new career high.

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