Tuesday, November 28, 2023

I want my name alongside Jonah’s says Mohamed Elshorbagy

Gregory Gaultier lunges into the front left corner against Miguel Rodriguez
Gregory Gaultier lunges into the front left corner against Miguel Rodriguez

Egyptian top seed meets Gregory Gaultier in British Open final

Top seed Mohamed Elshorbagy meets reigning champion Gregory Gaultier in the final of the Allam British Open. Both looked in ominous form as they took out Nick Matthew and Miguel Angel Rodriguez respectively in the semi-finals.

Defending champion Gaultier looked in superb form as he dispatched dangerous Colombian World No.5 Rodriguez in the semi-finals of the 2015 Allam British Open in Hull’s Airco Arena today (May 16) to keep alive his hopes of winning the prestigious title for the third time.

The enigmatic Frenchman, who won the ‘Wimbledon of Squash’ in 2007 and 2014, has cruised through the tournament without dropping a single game and took just under an hour to see off the acrobatic man from Bogota 3-0 to set up a title-decider with World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy.

Gaultier has lost his last two encounters with the Bristol-based Egyptian, including the final of the 2014 Hong Kong Open, but after overcoming a troubling Achilles-tendon issue that has hampered his recent tournaments the 32-year-old is relishing the chance to contest his first PSA World Series final since that defeat in the far east.

“Last year he (Mohamed) took my number one spot,” said Gaultier.

“He’s a fantastic player and he deserves to be up there but tomorrow it’s match time and you take the chance to win when you get it and I’ll be giving it 200 per cent to win.

“I lost the last few times we played so I’m happy to have a rematch and I want to finish the season on a positive note.”

Mohamed Elshorbagy gets in front of Nick Matthew
Mohamed Elshorbagy gets in front of Nick Matthew

Elshorbagy booked his place in the final courtesy of a 3-1 win over 2014 runner-up and three-time champion Nick Matthew as he aims to win his second PSA World Series title of the year to add to January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.

“The British Open is special for everyone,” said the 24-year-old.

“You always want to have your name on that prestigious trophy. For me, I want it a bit more because I have Jonah [Barrington] as my coach who is like my father figure as well, who has won it six times, so I am determined to get my name on there beside his.”

PSA World Series. Allam British Open, Hull, England:

Men’s semi-finals:

[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egy) beat [3] Nick Matthew (Eng) 11-7, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5 (54m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [4] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 11-9, 11-3, 11-9 (57m)

Draw – Final (To Be Played May 17)
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)

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Pictures by STEVE LINE www.squashpics.com


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