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