2012

Hosts survived by beating Netherlands in Nimes!

The 1st upset in the 2012 WSF Women’s World Team Championship came before the biggest crowd surrounding one of the three ASB all-glass courts at La Parnasse Arena in Nimes where hosts France beat Netherlands in a dramatic tie which went to the wire.

The tie promised maximum drama, with Netherlands seeded 8, and France one place below – yet coming into the event after a best-ever 6th place finish in the previous championship.

French number 1 Camille Serme (le), the world No14, opened proceedings for the hosts against Natalie Grinham (ri), the Dutch champion ranked 3 places higher to beat Grinham 11-8, 11-13, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7 in 54 minutes. Coline Aumard looked to be taking France to a decisive victory when leading 2/0 and 7/0 against Orla Noom. But the Dutch number 2 staged a remarkable recovery to win the match 4-11, 1-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-4 in 45 minutes to force a decider.

Young French girl Laura Pomportes did not disappoint her team and the French crowd, beating Dutch Milou van der Heijden 11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 11-2 in 40 minutes to give France a strong chance of topping Pool H.

“It was a good win, but it would have been better if we’d won the second match,” said French national coach Philippe Signoret. “It was certainly good for our confidence and Camille’s win was especially good as she has had some disappointing results over the past three months.

“Now we must beat Germany tomorrow to top the pool, then we will probably have a very tough match with either Ireland or India – so there’s still a lot of work to do,” added Signoret.

China made history in Pool C by marking their first ever world championship win. In only their second ever appearance in the event, the 19th seeds face Spain, a more ‘traditional’ squash-playing nation which has competed in the championships since 1989.

Li Dongjin put the novices ahead with a straight games win over Marina de Juan before Xisela Aranda Nunez restored order for the former 13th placed Spain by beating Gu Jinyue in four games.

But Xiu Chen, a 24-year-old from Shanghai, played the game of her life to defeat 25-year-old Chantal Moros-Pitarch 8-11, 12-10, 11-2, 6-11, 11-8 to notch up China’s historic victory.

“Competing in this tournament gives our players a very precious opportunity to gain experience against the top players in the world,” said Wang Tao, Secretary General of the Chinese Squash Association.

“Squash is getting more and more popular in our country – especially amongst students – and all our team are studying and playing squash at Shanghai University.

“We really hope that the sport’s bid to get into the Olympic programme will be successful as it will then enable us to get more funding from the government,” added Ms Wang Tao. “We are confident that squash will then get much bigger in China.”

A major upset took place late in the day in Pool G when tenth seeds India beat Ireland, the No7 seeds, 2/1 – reversing the result of the same poll clash two years ago. Rising star Dipika Pallikal paved the way with a four-game victory over experienced Irish champion Madeline Perry – but the squad number two Joshana Chinappa let slip a 2/1 lead to allow Aisling Blake, and Ireland, back into the tie.

But teenager Anaka Alankamony held her nerve to see off Laura Mylotte 12-10, 11-3, 11-7 to give India a sensational victory.

The top four seeds England, Egypt, Malaysia and Hong Kong all earned their second 3/0 wins of the day – but only favourites England did so in three straight games match wins.

“It was an excellent start to our campaign today,” said England team coach David Campion. “The girls were in confident mood against a spirited team from Mexico and are excited about the week ahead. The three glass courts under one roof is quite impressive.”

Qualifying rounds
Pool A:
[1] ENGLAND bt [23] REPUBLIC OF KOREA 3/0
Alison Waters bt Song Sun-Mi 11-7, 11-4, 11-6
Jenny Duncalf bt Park Eun Ok 11-6, 11-3, 11-2
Sarah Kippax bt Yang Yeon-Soo 11-7, 11-5, 11-9

[1] ENGLAND bt [16] MEXICO 3/0
Laura Massaro bt Samantha Teran 11-3, 11-8, 13-11
Alison Waters bt Karla Urrutia 11-6, 11-3, 11-2
Jenny Duncalf bt Nayelly Hernandez 11-5, 11-1, 11-0

[16] MEXICO v [23] REPUBLIC OF KOREA

Pool B:
[2] EGYPT bt [24] SCOTLAND 2/0
Nour El Sherbini bt Frania Gillen-Buchert 9-11, 11-1, 13-11, 11-8
Omneya Abdel Kawy bt Alex Clark 11-2, 11-6, 11-4
Nour El Tayeb v Rosie Allan

[2] EGYPT bt [15] WALES 3/0
Raneem El Weleily bt Tesni Evans 11-4, 11-7, 11-3 (21m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy bt Deon Saffery 11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8 (30m)
Nour El Tayeb bt Hannah Davies 11-1, 11-3, 11-9 (16m)

[15] WALES v [24] SCOTLAND

Pool C:
[3] MALAYSIA bt [19] CHINA 3/0
Nicol David bt Li Dongjin 11-3, 11-8, 11-5
Low Wee Wern bt Gu Jinyue 11-3, 11-3, 11-3
Delia Arnold bt Xiu Chen 11-4, 11-0, 11-8

[14] SOUTH AFRICA bt [26] SPAIN 3/0
Siyoli Waters bt Marina de Juan 11-6, 11-5, 11-3
Milnay Louw bt Xisela Aranda Nunez 4-11, 11-6, 12-10, 14-12
Senada Haupt bt Cristina Gomez 11-6, 12-10, 11-8

[3] MALAYSIA bt [14] SOUTH AFRICA 3/0
Nicol David bt Siyoli Waters 11-5, 7-11, 11-2, 11-2
Low Wee Wern bt Diana Haynes 11-9, 11-5, 11-3
Delia Arnold bt Milnay Louw 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6

[19] CHINA bt [26] SPAIN 2/1
Li Dongjin bt Marina de Juan 11-2, 12-10, 11-9
Gu Jinyue lost to Xisela Aranda Nunez 5-11, 12-10, 7-11, 10-12
Xiu Chen bt Chantal Moros-Pitarch 8-11, 12-10, 11-2, 6-11, 11-8

[3] MALAYSIA v [26] SPAIN
[14] SOUTH AFRICA v [19] CHINA

Pool D:
[4] HONG KONG CHINA v [20] COLOMBIA
Annie Au v Silvia Angulo Rugeles
Liu Tsz-Ling v Karol Gonzalez
Tong Tsz-Wing v Ana Gabriela Porras

[13] CZECH REPUBLIC v [25] NAMIBIA
Lucie Fialova v Isabell Schnoor
Olga Ertlova v Adri Lambert
Anna Klimundova v Lucinda Rodrigues

[4] HONG KONG CHINA bt [13] CZECH REPUBLIC 3/0
Annie Au bt Lucie Fialova 11-4, 11-5, 11-8 (25m)
Joey Chan bt Olga Ertlova 8-11, 14-12, 10-12, 11-7, 11-6 (61m)
Liu Tsz-Ling bt Anna Klimundova 10-12, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-2 (43m)

[20] COLOMBIA bt [25] NAMIBIA 3/0
Silvia Angulo Rugeles bt Isabell Schnoor 11-7, 11-8, 11-6
Catalina Pelaez bt Adri Lambert 11-2, 11-4, 11-3
Ana Gabriela Porras bt Lucinda Rodrigues 11-3, 11-1, 11-4

[4] HONG KONG CHINA v [25] NAMIBIA
[13] CZECH REPUBLIC v [20] COLOMBIA

Pool E:
[5] NEW ZEALAND bt [22] JAPAN 3/0
Joelle King bt Misaki Kobayashi 11-8, 11-7, 11-1
Jaclyn Hawkes bt Chinatsu Matsui 11-6, 8-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6
Amanda Landers-Murphy bt Mayu Yamazaki 10-12, 11-2, 11-7, 11-5

[5] NEW ZEALAND bt [12] USA 3/0
Joelle King bt Natalie Grainger 11-9, 11-8, 11-5 (26m)
Jaclyn Hawkes bt Sabrina Sobhy 12-10, 11-9, 11-4 (23m)
Kylie Lindsay bt Olivia Fiechter 9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-9 (34m)

[12] USA v [22] JAPAN

Pool F:
[6] AUSTRALIA bt [18] AUSTRIA 3/0
Rachael Grinham bt Birgit Coufal 11-3, 11-3, 11-2
Donna Urquhart bt Judith Gradnitzer 11-4, 11-3, 11-1
Sarah Cardwell bt Ines Winkler 11-1, 11-1, 11-1

[6] AUSTRALIA bt [11] CANADA 3/0
Rachael Grinham bt Samantha Cornett 10-12, 11-8, 11-3, 11-3 (38m)
Donna Urquhart bt Alexandra Norman 9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8 (36m)
Melody Francis bt Susannah King 4-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-5 (28m)

[11] CANADA v [18] AUSTRIA

Pool G:
[7] IRELAND v [17] ARGENTINA
Madeline Perry v Antonella Falcione
Aisling Blake v Cecilia Cerquetti
Laura Mylotte v Fernanda Rocha

[10] INDIA bt [7] IRELAND 2/1
Dipika Pallikal bt Madeline Perry 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8
Joshana Chinappa lost to Aisling Blake 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 9-11
Anaka Alankamony bt Laura Mylotte 12-10, 11-3, 11-7

[10] INDIA v [17] ARGENTINA

Pool H:
[8] NETHERLANDS bt [21] GERMANY 3/0
Natalie Grinham bt Pamela Hathway 11-4, 11-6, 11-5
Orla Noom bt Franziska Hennes 11-7, 12-14, 11-5, 11-1
Milou van der Heijden bt Annika Wiese 11-7, 11-3, 11-4

[9] FRANCE bt [8] NETHERLANDS 2/1
Camille Serme bt Natalie Grinham 11-8, 11-13, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7 (54m)
Coline Aumard lost to Orla Noom 11-4, 11-1, 9-11, 4-11, 4-11 (45m)
Laura Pomportes bt Milou van der Heijden 11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 11-2 (40m)

[9] FRANCE v [21] GERMANY


Hosts France aim to shine in Nimes World Team Championship!

Hosts France, who recorded a best-ever 6th place in the previous championship yet are seeded 9 are bidding to reach the last 8 again next week in the 18th staging of the biennial in the 2012 WSF Women’s World Team Championship in Nimes.

A record 26 nations will take part in the 2012 championship which is being hosted by Fédération Française de Squash from 12-17 November, and staged in France for the 1st time in its 33-year history.

The championship in Nimes will be held at the 8-court Club des Costières, and at La Parnasse Arena – where history will be made with action taking place simultaneously on 3 new state-of-the-art ASB all-glass show courts.

France will be led by Camille Serme, the 23-year-old world No14 who will be joined in the squad by world No41 Coline Aumard and championship debutantes Maud Duplomb and Laura Pomportes, ranked 71 & 63, respectively.

French team coach Philippe Signoret is looking forward to the championship: “Two years ago, in New Zealand, France achieved its best ranking with sixth place. The fact that the competition is organized in France adds an additional pressure for the team.

“It will be a pleasure to watch the girls progress in front of a French audience, which is rare for internationals events.”

France will begin their campaign in Pool H, where they will line up against Germany and Netherlands, the No8 seeds. Netherlands are led by world No11 Natalie Grinham. The former Australian is making her fourth appearance in the championship – but has not competed since 2004, and is unbeaten in the event since making her debut in 2000!

England have been named as top seeds, with 2008 champions Egypt as second seeds and Malaysia expected to finish third for the fourth time in a row..

Signoret admits that France will face some stiff opposition: “England will have a great team with players ranked in the top 10. Malaysia will also be strong, with Nicol David, the world number one and her compatriot Low Wee Wern (the world No11),” said Signoret.

“Egypt also has a strong potential. However, there are other teams that could surprise us, I am thinking about Ireland, who beat us in the European Championship.

“Our first goal is to achieve the quarter-finals and, only at this moment, we could think about the podium.”

Pool line-ups (with seeding in brackets):
Pool A: [1] England, [16] Scotland, [23] Republic of Korea
Pool B: [2] Egypt, [15] Wales, [24] Mexico
Pool C: [3] Malaysia, [14] South Africa, [19] China, [26] Spain
Pool D: [4] Hong Kong China, [13] Czech Republic, [20] Colombia, [25] Namibia
Pool E: [5] New Zealand, [12] USA, [22] Japan
Pool F: [6] Australia, [11] Canada, [18] Austria
Pool G: [7] Ireland, [10] India, [17] Argentina
Pool H: [8] Netherlands, [9] France, [21] Germany


Gaultier grabs quick victory in Mexico!

Frenchman Greg Gaultier (le) took the 22nd PSA World Tour squash title of his career at the inaugural Abierto Mexicano de Raquetas – but the Frenchman’s 21-minute victory over world No11 Omar Mosaad (ri) in Mexico was his quickest title triumph on record, by a significant margin!

The PSA International 70 championship is the biggest Tour event ever to be held in Mexico – and was staged in spectacular style on an all-glass court sited in the Plaza de los Martires in Toluca, overlooked by the city’s historic cathedral.

World No3 Gaultier reached the final – his third in a row on the Tour – in stunning form. After arriving in Mexico fresh from victory in the NetSuite Open in San Francisco, the 29-year-old from Aix-en-Provence conceded just two games en-route to the Toluca climax.

By contrast, Egyptian Mosaad was taken to five games in his two previous matches – 1st beating No2 seed Karim Darwish in a 64-minute quarter-final upset, then overcoming German No1 Simon Rosner in a 75-minute semi.

The experienced Gaultier clearly took full advantage – crushing the tall 24-year-old from Cairo 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 to extend his unbeaten run over Mosaad to four wins in 30 months.

Over the past 11 years, Gaultier has won PSA Tour titles all over the globe, from home soil in France through to the USA, Qatar, Pakistan, Macau and now Mexico. At least ten of his final victories have taken more than an hour – one recorded at 84 minutes – but his Toluca triumph is the first achieved in less than half an hour!

Final:
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (21m)

Semi-finals:
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [4] Peter Barker (ENG) 11-1, 11-4, 11-1 (37m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Simon Rosner (GER) 9-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (75m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) 7-11, 11-5, 13-11, 11-4 (76m)
[4] Peter Barker (ENG) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 11-8, 7-11, 11-3, 11-6 (50m)
Simon Rosner (GER) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 11-7, 5-11, 12-10, 12-10 (64m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [2] Karim Darwish (EGY) 9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 2-11, 12-10 (64m)

1st round:
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Saurav Ghosal (IND) 11-1, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9 (72m)
Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 11-8, 11-9, 11-4 (34m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt [Q] Olli Tuominen (FIN) 18-16, 11-5, 7-11, 13-15, 11-3 (60m)
[4] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [Q] Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) 11-5, 6-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-4 (61m)
Borja Golan (ESP) bt [3] Amr Shabana (EGY) 11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 6-3 ret. (39m)
Simon Rosner (GER) bt [Q] Chris Simpson (ENG) 11-13, 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7 (70m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Alfredo Avila (MEX) 11-9, 11-7, 11-6 (49m)
[2] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt Alister Walker (BOT) 11-5, 12-10, 13-11 (35m)


Wee Wern takes China Open title!

Low Wee Wern retains her China Open title after beating Joelle King in a marathon final. After clinching an unexpected straight-games win over No.4 seed Kasey Brown of Australia in the semi-final, the Malaysian came from behind twice in the final to defeat King 11-9 in the deciding fifth game.

Wee Wern started the event with a strong win over experienced Rachael Grinham, before taking five games to overcome Omneya Abdel Kawy, the Egyptian who had dismissed top seed Jenny Duncalf in the first round.

King put up a strong fight in search of her 7th WSA title and has been enjoying some of the best form of her career to date after impressive campaigns in recent months. This form looked to continue as she first defeated Sarah Kippax, followed by No.3 seed Annie Au and No.5 seed Alison Waters on her way to the final.

After the match, Wee Wern spoke of winning the biggest event of her career. She said: “The feeling has not sunk in yet. To be able to win a WSA Gold tournament is just amazing. It’s my first time playing in the final of such a big event, and to be able to win it, even if it’s 11-9 in the fifth, it’s my best one so far!

Final:
[6] Low Wee Wern (MAS) v [7] Joelle King (NZL) 6-11, 11-4, 3-11, 11-3, 11-9 (71m)

Semi-finals:
[6] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt [4] Kasey Brown (AUS) 12-10, 11-7, 11-5 (39m)
[7] Joelle King (NZL) bt [5] Alison Waters (ENG) 12-10, 11-4, 11-6 (40m)

Quarter-finals:
[6] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt [Q] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 8-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-6, 11-9 (75m)
[4] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt [Q] Aisling Blake (IRL) 11-9, 11-7, 11-5 (49m)
[7] Joelle King (NZL) bt [3] Annie Au (HKG) 11-4, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 (61m)
[5] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [1] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) 7-11, 11-4, 11-1, 8-11, 13-11 (78m)

1st round:
[Q] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 13-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6 (58m)
[6] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt Rachael Grinham (AUS) 7-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-8 (52m)
[4] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt Li Dongjin (CHN) 9-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-3 (40m)
[Q] Aisling Blake (IRL) bt [8] Camille Serme (FRA) 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 1-11, 12-10 (59m)
[7] Joelle King (NZL) bt [Q] Sarah Kippax (ENG) 11-7, 12-10, 11-7 (60m)
[3] Annie Au (HKG) bt Donna Urquhart (AUS) 11-4, 8-11, 2-11, 11-9, 11-7 (42m)
[5] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [Q] Joey Chan (HKG) 11-6, 8-11, 11-2, 9-11, 11-4 (53m)
[1] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt Samantha Teran (MEX) w/o


World Squash Day set up biggest sports match!

The sport of Squash is claiming a world record for the biggest sports match in history. More than 40,000 players registered to take part in the World Squash Day Challenge, which demonstrated global support for the sport’s 2020 Olympic bid.

More than 800 clubs from over 70 nations joined in, with players representing Team Squash and Team 2020.

World Squash Day founder Alan Thatcher said: “Hundreds of pictures have been uploaded to websites and Facebook pages showing large numbers of happy, smiling people doing what they love best, enjoying the thrill of playing one of the world’s most physically-demanding sports. “The pictures also showed the lifelong friendships, great sportsmanship and sheer fun that this game delivers.”

Women’s world champion Nicol David set a great example. The Malaysian cycled round her home city of Amsterdam to visit every squash club, and also waved banners outside some of the city’s most iconic buildings.

Other former world champions, including Australians Vicki Cardwell and Michelle Martin, joined the action as more than 50 clubs participated Down Under.

Leading Egyptian stars Nour El Sherbini and Raneem El Weleily also played a special WSD challenge match in Alexandria.

World Squash Day was also celebrated in some exotic locations, with Reunion Island hosting a team from Mauritius. Frenchman Thierry Lincou, who hails from Reunion, beat fellow former world champion David Palmer in a match to mark World Squash Day.

One of the biggest events took place at the Tanglin Club in Singapore, where they joined forces with the British Club and Hollandse Club to stage 188 matches.

A 24-hour marathon in Slovenia attracted more than 300 players; 334 matches took place over 15 centres in the Czech Republic; and Gravelines in France featured 122 competitors. Results were also posted from Zimbabwe, Peking University in China, and from various clubs in the Caribbean.

Around 750 youngsters from the inner-city of Johannesburg, townships of Soweto and Alexandra – among numerous around the world who would benefit from Olympic inclusion beyond 2020 – had a fun-filled day as they joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Squash Day through their annual Egolisquash Festival.

A huge event in Hong Kong was followed by a flash mob dance in the heart of the city, which attracted national media attention.

Upwards of 150 clubs were involved in England, with big numbers also recorded in Canada, USA and throughout Asia and Europe.

There was a raft of messages of support, including one from double Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes, while WSF President N Ramachandran summed up his delight by saying:

“Our sport cares about promoting itself. It cares deeply about our Olympic aspirations and developing and innovating.

“World Squash Day is a superb illustration of this.”


Aziz took Valencia title!

Omar Abdel Aziz (le) ended the run of qualifier Harinder Pal Sandhu (ri) as the 29-year-old Egyptian world No41 beat the 6 years younger Indian in straight games 11-8, 12-10, 11-8. Aziz needed 65 minutes to claim his 5th PSA Tour event victory in his career.

Final:
[4] Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) bt [Q] Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) 11-8, 12-10, 11-8 (65m)

Semi-finals:
[Q] Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) bt [3] Chris Ryder (ENG) 5-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 (80m)
[4] Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) bt Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) 11-9, 11-6, 13-11 (55m)

Quarter-finals:
[Q] Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) bt [1] Adrian Grant (ENG) 11-7, 5-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-5 (120m)
[3] Chris Ryder (ENG) bt [Q] Davide Bianchetti (ITA) 7-11, 3-11, 12-10, 11-5, 0-1 ret.
[4] Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) bt Steven Finitsis (AUS) 11-5, 11-4, 11-8
Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) bt Rasmus Nielsen (DEN) 11-7, 11-8, 11-2

1st round:
[1] Adrian Grant (ENG) bt Raphael Kandra (GER) 11-7, 11-6, 11-8
[Q] Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) bt Charles Sharpes (ENG) 11-7, 11-3, 4-11, 11-4
[Q] Davide Bianchetti (ITA) bt Amr Khaled Khalifa (EGY) 11-8, 14-12, 11-2
[3] Chris Ryder (ENG) bt Ivan Yuen (MAS) 11-9, 11-7, 11-9
[4] Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) bt Alejandro Garbi Caro (ESP) 12-10, 11-4, 11-7
Steven Finitsis (AUS) bt [Q] Jens Schoor (GER) 11-4, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5
Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) bt [Q] Joel Hinds (ENG) 11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 11-13, 11-9
Rasmus Nielsen (DEN) bt [2] Alan Clyne (SCO) 11-9, 16-14, 7-11, 9-11, 11-9


Netsuite Open Final 2012 (part 1)

Check out the final of the Netsuite Open Final 2012 (part 1) when Greg Gaultier is on fire to beat Nick Matthew in straight games …


Gaultier grabs Golden Gate glory!

Frenchman Greg Gaultier (front) beat world No2 Nick Matthew (back) from England in the final of the NetSuite Open in San Francisco, USA.

Throughout the match, Gaultier kept Matthew’s strength – cutting the ball off at mid-court – at bay, while simultaneously controlling his own tempo.

Gaultier was simply unstoppable, putting his astounding quickness and relentless attacking style to full effect to overcome Matthew 11-7, 13-11, 11-9 after 62 minutes of play.

“I managed not to play too fast all the time; to mix the rhythm by hitting some high balls to take control of the T,” said the newly-crowned champion, now winner of 21 PSA Tour titles.

Perhaps the most impressive difference with Gaultier was his ability to maintain his composure – not only when referee decisions didn’t go his way but, in particular, when Matthew succeeded in closing gaps midway through each game. He credits a new perspective on life after becoming a father for the first time eight weeks ago.

“I realise life is not only squash, and that was all my life before,” explained the 29-year-old Frenchman. “I always put squash into one box and it was only it. And when you win life is beautiful, and when you lose it’s the end of the world. So now it gives me a great balance.

“There’s other things important in life. It gives me wings and has changed my attitude as well. It makes me more calm on court. I’m a really happy dad, and my girlfriend is really doing well. As long as Nolan is healthy, I’m happy. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Final:
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [2] Nick Matthew (ENG) 11-7, 13-11, 11-9 (62m)

Semi-finals:
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Amr Shabana (EGY) 11-7, 12-10, 11-8 (43m)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [4] Peter Barker (ENG) 11-7, 11-5, 6-11, 11-6 (56m)

Quarter-finals:
Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [1] James Willstrop (ENG) 11-8, 11-8, 11-9 (53m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10 (58m)
[4] Peter Barker (ENG) bt Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 (47m)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 11-6, 12-10, 11-4 (53m)

1st round:
[1] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO) 11-4, 11-9, 11-9 (34m)
Amr Shabana (EGY) bt Alister Walker (BOT) 11-8, 5-11, 11-3, 11-5 (49m)
Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 11-7, 11-3, 11-7 (32m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 11-4, 7-11, 11-1, 11-1 (52m)
[4] Peter Barker (ENG) bt Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY) 11-6, 11-4, 11-3 (33m)
Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt [Q] Chris Simpson (ENG) 11-8, 11-4, 11-9 (48m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Martin Knight (NZL) 12-10, 11-7, 11-4 (50m)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Julian Illingworth (USA) 11-8, 11-9, 11-3 (53m)

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