Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Quick work by Gaultier as injured Ashour is blown away in Windy City final

Injury comes back to rock Ramy as Greg races to Chicago title

Gregory Gaultier controls the front of the court with Ramy Ashour trapped behind
Gregory Gaultier controls the front of the court with Ramy Ashour trapped behind

Gregory Gaultier took just 25 minutes to complete a perfunctory victory in the final of the Metrosquash Windy City Open as Ramy Ashour’s injury nightmares came back to haunt him.

In reality, all Gaultier had to do was turn up on time to take the title at the University Club of Chicago.

The crowd had hoped for a classic. Instead, the Frenchman took less than half an hour to ease past a visibly hampered Ashour, whose recent run of bad luck with injuries resurface in his eighth title match-up with Gaultier, who took the match 11-7, 11-3, 11-4.

The victory gave Gaultier his first win over the Cairo superstar in nine attempts, but he celebrated in reserved fashion.

“It is tough to win in this way and it makes it hard to enjoy the victory in the same way,” said a subdued Gaultier after the match.

“It is not enjoyable when you see your opponent injured. He has had so many injuries in the past and it is a shame as he is such an unbelievable player.

“But I am happy with how I played through the whole week. I had some tough matches and of course I’m happy to win the trophy as it is these moments that we all work so hard for.”

Victory saw Gaultier add to his 25 PSA World tour titles exactly a decade after losing in his last appearing in the final at the University Club of Chicago, when he lost to Nick Matthew, and lift a trophy for the first time since the 2013 US Open in October.

Ramy hit the wall in the final
Ramy hit the wall in the final

“I’ve lost a few finals here and a few in my career and obviously I always try to change that,” he said.

“The level of competition with guys like Ramy, Nick (Matthew), Mohamed (Elshorbagy) and all the others guys is so tough that there are only small things that make the difference now.

“Without all my team at home and the support of my family and sponsors I would never be in these finals and these moments would never happen, so I’m really thankful to them.”

Speaking after the match, Ashour said: “I’m happy I reached the final today but I felt a little niggle.

“Sometimes these things get in the way of your dreams but that takes noting away from Greg’s win as he’s an incredible athlete.”

2014 Windy City Open Final:

[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-0 [3] Ramy Ashour (EGY) 11-7, 11-3, 11-4 [25 minutes]

Trophy time for Gaultier

Pictures by Marian Kraus Photography 

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