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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Squash world rises to all-French contest in Seattle

Alan Thatcher
Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad, the Kent Open and co-promoter of the Canary Wharf Classic. Launched the Squash 200 Partnership to build clubs of the future. Talks a bit.

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Gregory Gaultier and Mathieu Castagnet dined with squash legend Jahangir Khan
Gregory Gaultier and Mathieu Castagnet dined with squash legend Jahangir Khan in Seattle

Gregory Gaultier meets Lucas Serme in World Championship first round


Of all the fascinating match-ups in the first round of the 2015 PSA Men’s World Championships, an all-French contest is sure to be the most emotional occasion.

tweet-665305363500011521-2Following Friday night’s atrocities in Paris, we are sure to see a standing ovation when compatriots Gregory Gaultier and Lucas Serme take to the court today at 1pm US time.

The two men train together in Prague, and were thousands of miles away from their French roots when terrorists struck in Paris. 

It will be difficult for both men to concentrate on their squash at such a time, but I am sure their professionalism will transcend the occasion.

On his Facebook page, Gaultier posted: “My thoughts go to all the families and friends of the victims. Pray for all of them.”

He also encouraged his followers to light a candle for the victims and the wounded, the families of the victims. “Spread this message to all your directory to show that French solidarity is stronger than violence.”

There are several fascinating match-ups in the first round.

 Top seed Mohamed Elshorbagy meets Alfredo Avila of Mexico, with 15 Egyptians in the main draw. 

Perhaps the most widely-anticipated match-up on Monday sees reigning champion Ramy Ashour meet rising star Mazen Hesham, a match guaranteed to showcase every drop of Egyptian flair. 

Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly, who has been in outstanding form recently, meets India’s No.16 seed Saurav Ghosal.

Australian number one, Cameron Pilley, meets number two seed Nick Matthew, who will be returning to action after missing the Qatar Classic through injury.

Welshman Peter Creed downed top ranked American challenger Christopher Gordon in the final round of qualification. Creed came through a tough 84-minute battle to overcome Gordon and consign him to the same fate as compatriot Chris Hanson, who fell at the last qualifying hurdle to Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu of India.

These defeats mean that Todd Harrity is the only home-talent to progress through the qualification rounds and reach the main draw of the prestigious tournament, which is taking place in the United States for the first time ever.

Harrity will now face Scotland’s Alan Clyne in the first round, while Creed will take on World No.8 Mathieu Castagnet when the main draw action gets under way today (Sunday, November 15) at the Maydenbauer Centre.

PSA Men’s World Championship, Maydenbauer Centre, Bellevue, Washington, USA.

Qualifying Finals:
[1] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt [26] James Huang (TPE) 3-1: 11-3, 6-11, 11-5, 11-8 (59m)
[6] Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt [31] Shehab Essam (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 11-5 (59m)
[4] Joe Lee (ENG) bt [20] Reiko Peter (SUI) 3-0: 11-7, 11-2, 11-7 (35m)
[7] Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (IND) bt [23] Chris Hanson (USA) 3-0: 11-4, 12-10, 11-4 (32m)
[15] Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) bt Lance Beddoes (NZL) 3-0: 11-4, 12-10, 11-1 (37m)
[16] Farhan Zaman (PAK) bt [32] George Parker (ENG) 3-2: 11-3, 10-12, 11-8, 10-12, 11-6 (61m)
[13] Todd Harrity (USA) bt [21] Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 12-10, 11-4 (35m)
[9] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) bt [24] Shahier Razik (CAN) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (33m)
[19] Peter Creed (WAL) bt [10] Christopher Gordon (USA) 3-1: 11-7, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5 (84m)
[11] Charles Sharpes (ENG) bt [25] Steven Finitsis (AUS) 3-2: 11-8, 13-15, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7 (84m)
[27] Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP) bt [14] Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-4 (32m)
[12] Ben Coleman (ENG) bt Evan Williams (NZL) 3-0: 12-10, 11-7, 11-8 (51m)
[5] Henrik Mustonen (FIN) bt [29] Nathan Lake (ENG) 3-1: 8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-3 (52m)
[28] Karim El Hammamy (EGY) bt [3] Rex Hedrick (AUS) 3-0: 12-10, 11-9, 11-8 (64m)
[8] Mohamed Reda (EGY) bt Thoboki Mohohlo (RSA)3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-2 (25m)
[18] Andrew Wagih Shoukry (EGY) bt [2] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 (34m)

Draw – First Round:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v Alfredo Avila (MEX)
Tom Richards (ENG) v [Q] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED)
James Willstrop (ENG) v [Q] Ben Coleman (ENG)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v [16] Saurav Ghosal (IND)
[9] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [Q] Peter Creed (WAL)
Alan Clyne (SCO) v [Q] Todd Harrity (USA)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) [Q] Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP)
[WC] Julian Illingworth (USA) v [5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
[6] Simon Rösner (GER) v [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v [Q] Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (IND)
Ali Farag (EGY) v [Q] Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN)
Greg Lobban (SCO) v [13] Max Lee (HKG)
[11] Peter Barker (ENG) v Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
Nasir Iqbal (PAK) v Fares Dessouki (EGY)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) v Olli Tuominen (FIN)
Lucas Serme (FRA) v [3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
[4] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [Q] Shawn Delierre (CAN)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) v [Q] Mohamed Reda (EGY)
[Q] Andrew Wagih Shoukry (EGY) v [12] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
[14] Borja Golan (ESP) v Alister Walker (BOT)
Shaun Le Roux (RSA) v Paul Coll (NZL)
Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) v [Q] Charles Sharpes (ENG)
[Q] Farhan Zaman (PAK) v [7] Omar Mosaad (EGY)
[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) v [Q] Joe Lee (ENG)
Adrian Grant (ENG) v Diego Elias (PER)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [Q] Henrik Mustonen (FIN)
Chris Simpson (ENG) v [15] Stephen Coppinger (RSA)
[10] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) v Leo Au (HKG)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v Zahed Mohamed (EGY)
Declan James (ENG) v [Q] Karim El Hammamy (EGY)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [2] Nick Matthew (ENG) 


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  1. Alan,

    Such a brutal and vicious assault on defenseless law abiding citizens of any diverse and pluralistic nation cannot and will not stand. Our hearts and minds are with Parisiennes, France and the Global community which shares their values of ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’!

    Our thoughts are with those Squash Players from Paris and France!

    The very best to those greatest of Racket Athletes assembled in Seattle – a part of the World that I lived in and had some of my most enjoyable moments on the Squash Court! And the extended Khan Family!

    Alan, thanks for your reports from all over the World of Squash!


    • Ferez
      Thank you for your kind words. Sport has the power to transcend such appalling acts. We saw this with the launch and growth of World Squash Day, which was conceived following the terrible acts of 9/11.
      The squash world is like a global village, with a bedrock of care, support and respect among all those who play and love the game.
      I know the French players will benefit from enormous support from their fellow professionals and all those involved in the game.
      Best wishes,

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