French ace beats world No.1 Elshorbagy to reach semi-finals
By NATHAN CLARKE – Squash Mad Correspondent in Manchester
French World No.15 Mathieu Castagnet pulled off one of the biggest wins of his career, and the biggest upset of recent times, to defeat World No.1 and 2014 World Championship runner-up Mohamed Elshorbagy in the quarter-finals of the AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix in Manchester.
Castagnet, the 28-year-old from Aix-en-Provence, stunned the 23-year-old Bristol-based Egyptian with a dogged performance, coming from one game down to complete an impressive 3-1 victory which delighted the capacity crowd at the National Squash Centre.
“That is the best win of my career so far without doubt,” said Castagnet. “Always during my career I have had people telling me that I’d never make it and that I wasn’t good enough and today I just beat the World No.1 so I am really delighted with the result.
“He didn’t play his best tonight but this win proves to me that I can maybe be a top ten player and I am looking forward to playing again tomorrow.”
Castagnet will now face Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez, the highest ranked South American player of all time, in the semi-finals where the victor will face either England’s three-time World Champion Nick Matthew or French World No.2 Gregory Gaultier, the man Matthew beat to glory in two of those finals.
“Against Greg it’s safe to say you have to play at the very top of your games,” said Matthew.
“He’s number two in the world and he’s hungry to end the season with a title, as am I, so I’m looking forward to the match.”
Gaultier overcame England’s Peter Barker in a one-sided contest, triumphing 11-3, 11-4, 11-2. In an all-English quarter-final, Matthew took 77 minutes to overcome Daryl Selby.
Londoner Adrian Waller was looking for another big performance the day after beating Spain’s Borja Golan. After losing a tight opening game 13-11 against Rodriguez, Waller won the second 11-7, but the Colombian took control in the third to power through 11-2. The fourth game was much closer, but again the Colombian opened up a lead that proved decisive.
AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix,Quarter-finals:
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt  Peter Barker (ENG) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-2 [43m]
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt  Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 11-4, 7-11, 11-5 [77m]
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 13-11, 7-11, 11-2, 11-7 [54m]
 Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt  Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 7-11, 11-9, 11-1, 12-10 [66m]
Semi-finals (Sunday, December 7):
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v  Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
Picture courtesy of PSA