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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Top seed Gaultier gallops through in Grasshopper Cup

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Colombian Grasshopper Miguel Rodriguez flies through the air in Zurich
Colombian Grasshopper Miguel Rodriguez flies through the air in Zurich Picture by IRENA VANISOVA (www.squashPage.net) 

Top seed Gaultier puts on a late show to beat Cam Pilley in Zurich
By NATHAN CLARKE in Zurich

Number one seed and World No.3 Gregory Gaultier wasted no time in securing his place in the quarter-finals of the 2015 Grasshopper Cup, PSA International 70 tournament, ruthlessly dispatching Cameron Pilley 3-0 during the first day of action at Zurich’s stunning Puls 5 venue.

The 32-year-old Frenchman from Aix-en-Provence started the match slowly and it was the 6ft 3in tall Australian who raced into an 8-4 lead in the first game.

Gregory Gaultier (left) and Cam Pilley in action
Gregory Gaultier (left) and Cam Pilley in action

But Gaultier (right) showed exactly why he has remained one of the sport’s dominant players over the last decade, scoring seven unanswered points to take the opening game and set up the platform from which to dominate.

From then on the man known as ‘The General’ was in charge, and despite Pilley mounting a strong challenge in the third game to hold a 7-2 lead and take advantage of Gaultier’s impatience as he tried to get off court before midnight, it was the top seed who saw out the match 11-8, 11-7, 11-9.

“At the beginning he was on fire and I was on the back foot but I managed to regroup and find my length and play with some better variation,” said Gaultier.

“It was a tough match and obviously I’m happy to go through 3-0 especially because that was maybe the first time in my career that I’ve played that late, but you have to come prepared to deal with the conditions.

“I had a bit of a lack of concentration in the middle of the second and third games but I’m happy how I responded to get the win.”

Daryl Selby and Borja Golan battle in mid-court
Daryl Selby and Borja Golan battle in mid-court

Earlier in the day England’s Daryl Selby, the unseeded World No.15, upset the seedings by beating World No.11 Borja Golan 3-0, showing the form and skill that previously took him as high as World No.9 in the process.

Selby controlled proceedings from the start and after spending an agonising 216 minutes on court during the recent El Gouna International, the 32-year-old was relieved to complete the straight-games 13-11, 11-9, 11-5 win.

“It’s massive to get a 3-0 win against Borja in the first round,” said Selby, who beat the Spaniard 3-2 in the quarter-finals at Canary Wharf recently.

“I’ve been in good form recently and I want to finish the second half of the season strong and carry that form all the way through to the end. I’m unseeded here and took a bit of a chance as I knew whoever I got would be tough, but it paid off.”

Marche shows he can dive just as well as Rodriguez
Greg Marche shows he can dive just as well as Rodriguez

In an all-French battle, Mathieu Castagnet overcame qualifier Gregoire Marche 11-6 in the fourth game after 90 minutes.

And, in a match of similar duration, No.3 seed Miguel Angel Rodriguez squeezed past LJ Anjema 12-10 in the fourth.

Tonight, home hero Nicolas Mueller meets crowd favourite Ramy Ashour, who arrives in Zurich fresh from his triumph in El Gouna.

Grasshopper Cup (Zurich, Switzerland).

Results – First Round, Top Half:
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 (52m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [7] Borja Golan (ESP) 3-0: 13-11, 11-9, 11-5 (78m)
[8] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 4-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6 (90m)
[3] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [Q] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 3-1: 5-11, 11-6, 11-6, 12-10 (76m)

Draw – Bottom Half:
[4] Tarek Momen (EGY) v [Q] Saurav Ghosal (IND)
[WC] Reiko Peter (SUI) v [5] Simon Rösner (GER)
[6] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v [2] Ramy Ashour (EGY)

Marche was also diving in the qualifying final against Shaun Le Roux
Marche was also diving in the qualifying final against Shaun Le Roux

Scotland’s Alan Clyne upset the seedings in the final round of qualification at the 2015 Grasshopper Cup to knock out number four seed Tom Richards with a 3-1 victory to earn his place in the main draw, where he will take on powerful Egyptian Omar Mosaad in round one.

Clyne was a narrow underdog on paper but put in a solid performance to knock out the Englishman, while top seeded Saurav Ghosal, the Indian World No.23, moved into the main draw with a straightforward 3-0 win over Finland’s Olli Tuominen.

Dutch star LJ Anjema and Gregoire Marche were the remaining players to secure their place in the main draw, with Anjema now going up against live wire Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez and Marche taking on compatriot Mathieu Castagnet in a tantalising first round match-up.

Results – Qualification Finals:
[1] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [7] Olli Tuominen (FIN) 3-0: 11-6, 11-3, 11-3
[3] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt [6] Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) 3-1: 11-7, 4-11, 11-4, 11-6
[5] Alan Clyne (SCO) bt [4] Tom Richards (ENG) 3-1: 5-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6
[2] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt [8] Shaun Le Roux (RSA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-1, 11-4

Pictures courtesy of tournament website  

 

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