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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Will the real Greg Gaultier please stand up

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Why Gaultier must drop his quasi-religious, touchy-feely new persona 

Will Gens byline

gregnao13

Greg Gaultier has found a fountain of good intentions and it stinks. Bring back the old Gaultier, please, the contentious, often obnoxious, overly aggressive player of the past.

The new Gaultier in the last two finals I saw him in was content to give up on the match. He has seemed to settle for getting by.

If he only knew that how he plays from here on out will determine his legacy. Right now, he looks like a petulant quitter, in fact we’ve all been on court with an opponent when losing just gives up and doesn’t even try.

If you watch the great ones, they never, ever give up. I’m trying to imagine Palmer giving up even when down 1-8, or triple world champion Nick Matthew giving up in a match.

No doubt Gaultier is a tremendous talent and I am always rooting for him to win. But when he plays in the finals like he did in the Tournament of Champions, you’re left to wonder where is the mental capacity at his level of squash to sustain a world number one ranking? (A joint ranking this month that Nick Matthew will again make his own in March).

I don’t like the Gaultier who is explaining lets and strokes to his opponents or apologising for a mishap that goes his way. I don’t like the new Gaultier who is trying to win ‘Sportsman of the Year’.

It’s ridiculous. It’s as if he’s found some sort of religion. You don’t need to do any of this, Greg, and I was embarrassed for you after your semi-final win at the ToC over Shorbagy when you were draped all over him.

Hugging him in some appreciative manner that Shorbagy tried to shake loose made the situation comical. Forget that religion you seemed to have found. Go back to your old manner. I liked it much better.

Stop apologising to your opponents, patting them with your racket on the backside, and draping yourself all over them.

Bring back the swagger and the arrogance. It suits you and your brilliant game much better.

First published on Squash Dashers and Bashers

Picture by Dan Bogosh – courtesy of naosquash.com 

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9 Comments

  1. I think Greg is TIRED. I think that what we see is a guy that is physically and mentally very very tired.
    The hugging of Shorbagy to me was just a huge sigh of relief.
    To say that his legacy will be only what comes from now on is so completely untrue.
    I hope he will get some rest and find his way back because he really is an amazing athlete.

    To think that he would give anything up without a good reason is so ignorant and to even imply that he is not among the great ones is just insulting.

    Your comments about him finding a fountain of good intentions is the the only thing stinking here.

  2. I couldn’t disagree with this article more.

    I don’t agree with the observations, dislike the tone, and reject it’s conclusion.

  3. An article written by a self-opinionated bigot, a man who certainly knows how to provoke well-deserved insults. Last year Greg put his body and unquestionable skill on the line more than any other top player. Worth bearing in mind is also the fact that he has been subjected to more decisive bad ref calls than any other player at that level, so often not starting with a ‘clean slate’ with referees due to previous situations. Take note of the respect shown by Amr Shabana towards him when he lost in the recent final, true recognition of great Gladiator. Sure Greg is emotional, he is not a robot, and I doubt that Mohamed el Shorbagy would fail to understand what a win can mean.

  4. Surprised the Squash Mad editors allowed this to be published. The petulant Gaultier of old would often lose his head during games questioning 5050 calls and go on to lose games he would otherwise have won. He would have known this was a major psychological weakness so applaud that he has obviously seeked professsional help and overcome this.
    Anyone who knows squash understands that he is one of the most physical players out there, retrieving impossible balls and covering an incredible amount of court during his games.He puts his body through hell to get to these finals and it’s unsurprising that sometimes he can’t physically push his body any further.

  5. The fact that Greg’s new approach, one which has shown much maturity and patience whilst playing, has helped move him to the very top of World squash is missed here.

  6. Weird opinion piece. Greg has finally come to a place in his life where he’s not going into melt- down and ,apparently, this is now a bad thing.

    Unbelievable athlete. What wrists.

    The writer of this piece is an ass!

  7. By contrast, if Greg Gaultier was an American, he would have been a guest at the White House, awarded a Purple Heart for every injury, a Congressional Medal of Honour for services to Sport, a guest spot on the Jay Leno Show, a Hollywood Contract, a $1 million sponsorship deal with Budweiser, and, upon retirement, a fully-funded run for President !!

  8. I think the aim of this article is bringing to attention the fact that it seems that Greg has lost his competitive edge on court. If anyone watches any of Nick Matthew’s matches he gives nothing to his opponents until he has either won or lost. He shakes hands, congratulates them and that’s it, but it’s once the match is over and done.
    What everyone is seeming to miss here is that the author is a fan who wishes for Greg to maintain his newer mental strength, but wants him to maintain a killer instinct against the top players.
    I agree and feel that Greg is showing too much admiration and respect when in battle. Ramy, Nick, James all show respect to opponents and play brutal matches but somehow can fight through those matches and be able to mentally be just as hungry for the next tough match.
    I feel that Greg has grown more mentally tough but also has grown a bit soft in the meantime. All this aside i feel these comments from readers bring in irrelevant points, some of which have nothing to do with squash itself and his play as of late.
    Yes, Greg has reached the number one ranking yet again, but I feel for him to maintain it this time for longer than his last tenure ( which was a little less than a month or so) he needs to keep the killer instinct and maintain his mental zen state which he shows in his best matches.
    He plays and shows his best when he is not engaging his opponent or the referees in a good or bad manner. When he focuses on the job at hand and shows that he will stop at nothing to win, that is Greg at his best.

  9. Kyle, of course there’s always a balance. But saying that, out of 11 matches Greg beat Nick 6 times last year – I would call that pretty competitive. Yes, some of the fifth games were one sided but I would suggest that mas more physical than mental as the article suggests.
    The tone of the article stunk – on one hand trying to make out he was a fan, and on the other saying it was ridiculous, as if he had found religion and was embarrassed for him. Disrespectful at best. If Greg’s results had not improved in the last year then, although I would still not liked the tone, I might grudgingly admit there was a point to it. But they have so there isn’t.

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