Avenging his defeat by the Egyptian earlier in the month in London, Frenchman Greg Gaultier (pic le) reclaimed his mastery over fellow former world number one Amr Shabana (pic ri) to reach the semi-finals of the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions at Grand Central Terminal in New York.
Contrasting losing to Shabana in an epic final of the ATCO PSA World Series Finals two weeks ago, Gaultier this time beat the 4 times world champion 11-9, 5-11, 11-5, 11-5 to take his semi-final place. “I wanted to peak for this tournament,” Gaultier said after the match – and he looks to be doing just that!
The 3rd seed will now face top seed Nick Matthew after the Englishman denied any Egyptian interest in the last 4 in New York by beating No7 seed Mohamed El Shorbagy in straight games 12-10, 11-7, 11-5.
Matthew, returning to the tournament squash court for the first time this past week after a two month injury hiatus, has been diligently trying to manage expectations for an immediate return to the form that kept him at the top spot in the PSA world rankings throughout 2011.
“Anybody who thinks that you can quickly return to form after being out of commission for two months doesn’t know squash,” he had said earlier in the week.