Ashour & Gaultier in dream NetSuite final!

Ashour celebrated his advance to the 2013 NetSuite Open final on the night and his 26th birthday. He was serenaded after the match with "Happy Birthday" by the crowd. (photo: Andreas Hofweber)

It will be the top two seeds that contest the final of the NetSuite Open after World No1 Ramy Ashour and second-ranked Gregory Gaultier prevailed in contrasting semi-finals at the San Francisco waterfront.

2nd-seeded Frenchman Gaultier despatched England’s World No12 Daryl Selby in straight games (11-4, 11-1, 11-3) in just 25 minutes by driving the ball to perfect length and capitalising on every loose ball. After victory which takes Gaultier into his third successive PSA Tour final, and the 53rd of his career, the 30-year-old from Aix-en-Provence said: “Yes, I like the conditions – not too hot and not too cold. And the audience is good to play for.”

In the 2nd and most eagerly-awaited match of the tournament, England’s World No3 James Willstrop (ri) gave Ashour (le), who celebrated his 26th birthday, an inspiring battle. Ashour’s 11-5, 11-9, 2-11, 11-7 win in 52 minutes extends his unbeaten Tour tally to 44 matches.

As Host and promoter John Nimick said on court after the match: “These are two of the finest athletes you will ever watch and two of the best sportsmen you will ever meet. San Francisco has truly enjoyed the best of squash.”

[1] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)

[1] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [3] James Willstrop (ENG) 11-5, 11-9, 2-11, 11-7 (52m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 11-4, 11-1, 11-3 (25m)

[1] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 (44m)
[3] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 11-2, 11-1, 11-5 (36m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [4] Peter Barker (ENG) 8-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-4 (78m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Simon Rosner (GER) 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 (46m)

1st round:
[1] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO) 15-13, 11-3, 11-1 (34m)
Tom Richards (ENG) bt Adrian Grant (ENG) 11-9, 11-8, 11-13, 12-10 (74m)
Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt [Q] Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 11-7, 11-3, 11-7 (45m)
[3] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 11-4, 11-9, 3-11, 11-3 (70m)
[4] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [WC] Julian Illingworth (USA) 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (41m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (51m)
Simon Rosner (GER) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 14-12, 11-4, 11-7 (64m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 (49m)