World No.1 Gregory Gaultier lifted his fourth successive PSA World Tour title
after the 34-year-old defeated World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad 3-0 in the final
of the 2017 El Gouna International Squash Open, PSA World Series tournament held
in the New Marina on the banks of Egypt’s Red Sea.
Gaultier, who will lose his World No.1 ranking to Gawad next month despite the
win, fell in last year’s final to World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy. But he made
amends in the last stage of the 2017 instalment with the sort of imperious
display that has seen him lose just once this year.
charismatic Frenchman played at an unrelenting pace throughout the 51-minute
encounter and gave Gawad no chance to utilise his shot-making talents as he
powered to an 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 victory to lift his 38th career PSA World Tour
title and become the first non-Egyptian winner of the World Series tournament.
It’s Gaultier’s fourth successive PSA World Tour title after wins at the Swedish
Open, Windy City Open and British Open and his current unbeaten run of 19
matches is the longest of his glittering 17-year career.
"I knew it was going to be an unbelievable match, we're both fighting to get
that World No.1 spot," said Gaultier.
"He took it from me yesterday, so all credit to him. Being World No.1 is not
just about one tournament, it's a 12 month thing and he's always been a talented
player. This is only one match, I'm grateful to win, to be that sharp at the
moment and beat Karim.
just doing the right things, I'm quite relaxed on court and I've just been
focused on what I have to do. After Christmas I had a good break and had some
good preparation and I told myself to start from scratch again at the Tournament
of Champions. That's what I did and now things are working great for me and I'm
going to keep playing as much as I can."
The victory also sees Gaultier finish second on the Men’s PSA Road to Dubai
Standings - just five points behind Gawad despite having played one tournament
less - to qualify for a coveted berth in the season-ending PSA Dubai World
Series Finals, which take place between June 6-10 when defending champion
Gaultier will be one of the strong favourites to retain his title.
Gawad, who will take the World No.1 spot next month due to his points average
over the last 12 months being higher than Gaultier’s, admitted that he found it
difficult to focus mentally during tonight's fixture.
think my defeat today is based on two factors, one, Greg was playing incredibly
well tonight, like he’s been since the beginning of the season," said the
"The second factor is the mental point of view. The fact I heard that I was
going to be World No.1 next month last night was a great news. I tried to keep
focus, but so many people were sending me congratulations last night.
"I’m still learning. This is the first time this is happening to me, and I think
that I am gaining the experience that will allow me to not feel so much pressure
next time around. I was hoping to play my best squash here, but hopefully next
Champion Karim Abdel Gawad will become the new World No.1 in next month’s World
Rankings after he beat fellow Egyptian Fares Dessouky to reach the final of the
El Gouna International Squash Open, World Series tournament - and he will face
the man he will dethrone, Gregory Gaultier, in the title decider.
Gawad, who started the season ranked at World No.8, has been in sensational form
over the past eight months, lifting the World Championship title, Qatar Classic
title and Tournament of Champions title to surge up the rankings.
required just a quarter-final finish at last month’s British Open to take top
spot, ultimately losing to compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar in the round before,
but held his nerve on the banks of Egypt’s Red Sea to recover from a game down
against World No.9 Dessouky, beating the 22-year-old 7-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-8 to
become the fifth Egyptian to top the World Rankings.
"Today is extra special for me, reaching the finals here in El Gouna in front of
this amazing crowd is a great pleasure for me," said Gawad.
"It makes me very happy. I didn't want to think about it [the battle for World
No.1] because I've been thinking about it a bit in the last two tournaments and
it affected my way of playing so much.
"Today I just wanted to go on court, do my best and reach the finals here in El
Gouna. Winning today is a great feeling. Tomorrow is another day, I have to keep
my focus and I have to concentrate as much as I can."
Gaultier extended his unbeaten run to 18 matches, with a straight games win over
Egyptian World No.5 Marwan ElShorbagy sending the 34-year-old into a fifth
successive PSA World Tour final.
Gaultier's incredible form has seen him lose just one match in 2017, with wins
at the Swedish Open, Windy City Open and British Open over the past few months
ensuring that he became the oldest World No.1 of all time in the PSA Men’s World
Rankings for April.
And he will compete for a third straight World Series title after a 12-10, 11-4,
11-4 victory over ElShorbagy saw him through to the final against Gawad - the
last man to defeat the rampant Frenchman in January’s Tournament of Champions
been World No.1 before, for me it's just a pleasure to be there and I'm not over
the moon like the first time I became World No.1,” Gaultier said.
“If you win, you deserve to be there, and if you lose then you deserve to go
down in the rankings, that's how it works.
"All I care about is having a good time and having fun on the court, that is why
I keep playing. The day I feel irritated or frustrated that I have to go back to
training or if I don't take pleasure on the court then I will stop. I'm still
hungry, I still want to win more titles and I still have something left in the
tank to do good things before I put the racket into my wardrobe.”
six of the 2017 El Gouna International Squash Open saw both matches scheduled
for the glass court - situated at New Marina on Egypt’s Red Sea - moved to the
new squash complex in El Gouna due to unexpected rainfall, with World Champion
Karim Abdel Gawad and World No.9 Fares Dessouky ensuring that at least one
Egyptian will reach the final on home soil.
The new squash complex, which only finished construction in the weeks leading up
to the tournament and hosted the qualifying stages and some of the early main
draw fixtures, saw Gawad take on German No.1 Simon Rösner on the traditional
pair matched each other point-for-point for the majority of the 52-minute
encounter, with Gawad’s big-game experience and the roar of his home crowd
seeing him prevail in the crucial points to claim an 13-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-2
"When I heard that we were transferred, I was a bit frustrated," admitted Gawad,
who will overtake Gregory Gaultier at the summit of the World Rankings if he
reaches the final of the World Series tournament.
"I hadn’t seen the complex at all, I had no idea what the court felt like, and I
was really worried as Simon had played two matches there, when I hadn’t even
seen the place.
On the bus coming here, I told myself that all conditions were part of the game,
that when you want to be a top player, you have to adapt to what the game throws
at you. And I told myself, forget about the conditions, just get on with it.
"The fact it was a small venue had some advantages, there was a lot of support
for me I felt, and they really helped at the times I really needed support. So
being here had positives and negatives, I just had to deal with the negatives to
overcome them and finally win against a tough opponent."
stands between Gawad and a place in the final after the 22-year-old overcame
Peruvian two-time World Junior Champion Diego Elias in a feisty clash, which saw
both player’s engaged in a heated discussion as they walked off court after the
culmination of an acrimonious encounter.
The match started on the glass court - with both players taking a game apiece -
before play was delayed for almost an hour due to the rain.
the match relocated to the complex, Elias held four game balls in the third
game, but squandered them to a resurgent Dessouky, and he held his nerve to
triumph in a dramatic fourth-game tie-break to take it 11-7, 7-11, 12-10, 12-10
in a mammoth 127 minutes, taking into account the delay.
They join fellow Egyptian Marwan ElShorbagy and Frenchman Gaultier in the
semi-final stage, which will take place on April 13.
World No.5 Marwan ElShorbagy claimed a second successive victory over older
brother and defending champion Mohamed to set up a semi-final clash with World
No.1 Gregory Gaultier in the 2017 El Gouna International Squash Open, World
Marwan claimed his first ever win over his Mohamed during February’s Windy City
Open, resulting in an outpouring of emotion from both brothers in Chicago.
And lightning struck twice in El Gouna as Marwan outfought and outplayed his
brother – who looked well of the pace – with an impeccable display seeing the
23-year-old Egyptian prevail in just 24 minutes by an 11-5, 11-2, 11-4 scoreline.
today it was a little bit different than the first time I beat him, the first
time I beat him was the hardest time for me,” said Marwan.
“I was thinking about it too much when I was leading in the fourth and fifth
games in Chicago. Today it was a bit different because I didn’t want to let the
emotions go to my head. Of course the emotions were still there, but maybe I was
dealing with it better.
I was focused from the first point to the last one.
"This is probably the best match I’ve played all season. Today couldn’t have
gone any better for me, but I think it was a bad day at the office for him. It’s
a big win for me, but I can’t celebrate it. It’s been a tough season for him,
he’ll come back stronger though I’m sure. He just needs a good break.”
Marwan and Gaultier will face off in a repeat of the Windy City Open final, with
Gaultier overcoming New Zealand’s Paul Coll by a 3-1 margin to extend his
unbeaten run to 17 matches.
Frenchman, who is targeting a fourth PSA World Tour title in a row, had an
almost metronomic quality about him in the early stages as he dominated the
court, with the ‘French General’ going two games ahead.
A resurgent Coll halved the deficit with victory in the third, but Gaultier soon
found his way back on top again to close out an 11-6, 11-6, 11-13, 11-6 victory,
reaching his seventh consecutive PSA World Tour semi-final.
"I felt a bit flat tonight," said Gaultier.
the first two games, I made the good choices on court, but I should have won in
three. He plays at such a pace and I feel I fell into his pace instead of
pushing and forcing mine a bit.
"When you are a bit too confident, you can fall in the trap of getting a bit too
passive and not aggressive enough. I just didn’t push myself enough. I have a
lot of time for Paul. He is one of the players that have improved the most. He
managed to break James [Willstrop] and other players in the top 10."
Egyptian duo Karim Abdel Gawad and Fares Dessouky gave the home fans at El
Gouna’s New Marina plenty to cheer about after they claimed respective wins over
Spain’s Borja Golan and Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly on the fourth day of main draw
action at the 2017 El Gouna International Squash Open, World Series tournament.
Champion Gawad lost out to Golan in their last meeting during February’s Windy
City Open - a defeat which put a big dent in the 25-year-old’s attempts to reach
World No.1 - but recovered from a game down in Egypt to claim a 9-11, 11-1,
11-8, 11-5 victory in 61 minutes.
"I didn't play my best in the last couple of tournaments, so mentally I really
needed to focus in this tournament," Gawad said.
"I needed to have a good start in the beginning, especially against Borja. I
just played him [in the Windy City Open] and lost to him in Chicago and, for me,
he's one of the toughest players to play.
"I suffer playing my attacking game against him because he has very good
counter-drops at the front of the court. Mentally, I just wanted to have a good
start today, I wanted to win today and I wanted to keep the performance that
I've had since August. I'm really glad to get through to the quarters here,
especially in Egypt."
will line up against German No.1 Simon Rösner for a place in the semi-finals
after Rösner claimed a comfortable 3-0 victory over Egyptian qualifier Karim Ali
Meanwhile, Dessouky moved into the last eight courtesy of a 3-0 triumph over
Australian No.1 Ryan Cuskelly.
Dessouky, who reached the semi-finals of the World Series tournament last year,
caused one of the biggest shocks of the tournament in round one with a superb
scalp over three-time World Champion Nick Matthew and he picked up where left
off against ‘The Wolf’ to come through in straight games against Cuskelly,
beating the World No.14 11-9, 11-7, 1-11, 11-8.
lost my concentration in the match a couple of times,” Dessouky admitted.
“I didn’t start well today then from 9-7 at the end, I started playing well and
I won the first game 11-9. In the second, I played really well, I was focused,
then I lost concentration again in the third.
“I went off court and said to myself that I had to give it everything, I had to
win the game. He wasn’t going to give me any cheap points to grab the win."
Two-time World Junior Champion Diego Elias will meet Dessouky in the
quarter-finals after the Peruvian got the better of Mexico’s Cesar Salazar,
beating the World No.20 in straight games.
The duo - roommates for this tournament - played some fast and furious squash,
with Elias displaying some fine retrieval skills to prevail by an 11-9, 13-11,
11-4 margin - earning his place in the quarter-finals of a World Series
tournament for the first time in his fledgling career.
made me retrieve all of his shots is determination," 20-year-old Elias revealed.
"I have been losing in first round and second round matches that I should have
won. I have been training very hard, so I am now ready for long matches, long
rallies. It doesn’t matter if a match goes to five, I am ready. I can play those
intense rallies because I trust my fitness, and I know I can recover."
Zealand’s World No.13 Paul Coll claimed one of the biggest scalps of his career
after he defeated former World No.1 James Willstrop to reach the quarter-finals
of the 2017 El Gouna International Squash Open, World Series tournament held in
Coll, 24, played his trademark game to retrieve everything Willstrop threw at
him courtesy of his electric pace before finishing off any openings courtesy of
solid, straight hitting.
"I'm extremely happy right now,” said Coll after his 11-4, 11-8, 11-7 victory.
“I grew up watching James so just to be competing at the same level as him is
special – but to beat him is amazing, I'm ecstatic.
“When we played in New York [at the Tournament of Champions] he outplayed me and
I learnt a lot from that one. I got sucked into playing his pace and his lines –
and he's the best in the world at that. It was a lesson and I went away and made
the changes that I needed to make sure I improved."
The third day of main draw action also saw the Bristol-based ElShorbagy
brothers, Mohamed and Marwan , progress and they will go head-to-head for the
first time since February’s Windy City Open, which saw Marwan claim his first
ever win over his older brother, resulting in emotional scenes at the University
Club of Chicago.
Mohamed, the World No.3 and defending champion, edged his way past fellow
Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar, prevailing 11-9 in the fifth game of an intense
encounter that had seen Abouelghar - who stunned World Champion Karim Abdel
Gawad in last month’s British Open - fight back from two games down.
meanwhile, claimed a comfortable 3-0 win over Australian World No.17 Cameron
Pilley to add to his win over former World No.3 Omar Mosaad in round one.
“Last time we played in Chicago it was very emotional, it was the first time
that he had beaten me,” said Mohamed.
“It was a big day for us and the family, but other than that it's going to be
the first time that we've played together in Egypt. It's going to be a new
experience for us to handle, it's going to be an interesting match, but I think
we'll both give it our best.
“Whoever plays better on the day will come out on top in the end, I'm sure.”
French World No.1 Gregory Gaultier made it 16 matches unbeaten after he
continued his sensational form in 2017 to ease past Egyptian qualifier Mazen
Hesham, setting up a quarter-final meeting with Coll.
Gaultier, the oldest ever World No.1 at 34, has lifted the Swedish Open, Windy
City Open and British Open titles in recent months and dominated Hesham, the
former World No.13 who was making his comeback from a seven-month injury layoff,
to win in just 24 minutes.
“I knew I had to be on my toes with Mazen because he puts the ball away really
quickly,” said Gaultier.
“He’s come back from a nasty injury, so as it was his first tournament back I
could see from the beginning that he was moving a bit roughly. I had to stretch
him a lot and make him do a lot of work by injecting enough pace to avoid giving
him enough time to put the ball away."
Fares Dessouky announced his arrival as a
bonafide top 10 player after a superb victory
over three-time World Champion Nick Matthew on
the second day of the 2017 El Gouna
International Squash Open, World Series
tournament – a month after he lost out to the
Englishman in the final of the Canary Wharf
Dessouky twice fell behind to the 36-year-old
veteran, but an impressive fightback in the
fourth and fifth games saw the tide turn in the
World No.9’s favour and he battled to a 10-12,
11-4, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6 triumph in El Gouna’s New
Marina to record one of the biggest wins of his
"I’m very happy with the win, last time it was a
close game and I lost it 3-1,” said Dessouky, a
semi-finalist here last year.
“He’s very experienced and today I don’t know
how I won. The crowd was always behind me from
the first point, so that was a great thing for
me today. It gave me a push and I kept on going
from the first point to the end of the game.
“I love playing here and I always dream of
winning this tournament. I didn’t play well in
Al Ahram, so I hope to play well here and
achieve more than the semi-final. I’m just
thinking about things step-by-step. It’s always
great to be here playing in front of this great
compatriot, World No.6 Ali Farag, couldn’t
follow him into the second round after a
surprise defeat to Peruvian World No.22 Diego
Elias, two-time World Junior Champion, has
struggled to translate his junior success into
senior triumphs, but looked to have turned a
corner in his still fledging career as he put in
a mature and focused performance to overturn a
recent, and painful, losing streak against Farag.
In their last two meetings, Elias found himself
on the wrong side of a 3-2 scoreline – having
squandered 2-1 game leads on both occasions –
but turned the tables as he took advantage of a
misfiring Farag early on to secure a huge win
that takes him through to meet Mexican Cesar
Salazar in the second round.
“I knew it was going to be a very tough match
because I lost to him 3-2 the last two times,”
“Those two defeats really hurt – I was 2-1 up in
both – so I was very determined today to try and
turn it around and I'm really happy. I knew the
crowd would be behind him but I stuck to my plan
and kept my focus.
“I came in with a plan and it worked. I have
been on Tour for a few years now and lost a lot
of very tough matches. I feel like I know how to
deal with the situation much better now and I'm
really looking forward to playing Cesar in the
World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad bounced back
from a disappointing second round exit at last
month’s Allam British Open with a 3-0 win over
compatriot Zahed Mohamed.
Gawad, the World No.2 who could top the World
Rankings next month if results go his way in El
Gouna, claimed an 11-8, 11-9, 11-9 victory to
set up a second round clash with Spain’s Borja
Golan - the former World No.5 who scalped Gawad
during February’s Windy City Open.
"It's very important to come back, mentally and
physically, after playing so many tournaments
this season," Gawad said.
"I had a tough loss in the British Open, but
it's part of the game and you have to try to
learn from it and try to move on and play your
best squash possible in the next tournament."
Australian No.1 Ryan Cuskelly defeated Egyptian
qualifier Mohamed Reda to claim a second round
berth against Dessouky, while World No.10 Simon
Rösner and Karim Ali Fathi will go head-to-head
after they beat Raphael Kandra and Saurav Ghosal,
No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy got his El Gouna International Squash Open tournament
off to a winning start after the 2016 champion overcame Frenchman Mathieu
Castagnet on day one of the World Series tournament staged in El Gouna’s New
ElShorbagy was making his first PSA World Tour appearance since losing his World
No.1 spot to Castagnet’s compatriot, Gregory Gaultier, and the 26-year-old came
out on top to prevail by an 11-9, 11-7, 13-11 margin.
“I've been World No.1 for 28 months and I enjoyed every single minute and every
single day of it,” said ElShorbagy, who will take on Mohamed Abouelghar in the
“I felt free from pressure today and I have nothing to lose. I can enjoy my
squash again, I haven't enjoyed it this whole season.
“At the British Open, I felt like I was back mentally, my hunger was back, my
passion was back, but this time, knowing I have absolutely nothing to lose,
there is no pressure on me.
It's just about enjoying my game and I'll see how it goes. My main goal this
week is to enjoy my game."
World No.13 Mazen Hesham - whose injury issues have seen him fall outside the
world’s top 50 - stepped up his return from a seven month absence with a superb
3-1 win over World No.11 Tarek Momen.
Hesham, the 23-year-old from Cairo, became one of the most popular players on
the PSA World Tour after a breakthrough 2015/16 campaign and, speaking after his
11-9, 11-13, 12-10, 11-8 win over Momen, says he is delighted to be back.
"Tarek was the worst draw I could have had, he twists you, he tests your body
like nobody else, he flicks the ball all over the place, wrong foots you, then
plays a strong basic game,” said Hesham.
“But then again, I came on court with no pressure. Sometimes, it just works out
fine. I’m just so happy I’m healthy.”
will face Gaultier in the next round after the 34-year-old Frenchman extended
his unbeaten run to 15 matches courtesy of a 3-0 victory over tournament
wildcard Marwan Tarek.
Gaultier, the 2016 runner-up, was pushed hard by British Junior Under 17
champion Tarek, but soon took command as he closed out a 11-6, 11-2, 11-6
triumph to progress to the next round.
"I don't think about the big picture, I just think about having a good time and
enjoying every practice on the Tour," said Gaultier.
"A few months ago I was really down mentally because of too many injuries in
2016 and being away from the squash court can frustrate you.
"But if you take it positively, it gives you the anger to come back and this is
what I tried to prove when I came back in January."
World No.1 James Willstrop is also through after he scraped past Colombian
Miguel Angel Rodriguez in five games, with New Zealand’s World No.13 Paul Coll
awaiting him for a place in the last eight after he dispatched English qualifier
Australia’s Cameron Pilley claimed his first win on Egyptian soil since 2010
over New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson to set up a meeting with World No.5 Marwan
ElShorbagy - who overcame former World No.3 Omar Mosaad.
Defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy says that he is excited to respond
to the challenge of losing his World No.1 ranking earlier this month as he looks
to capture his second successive title at the El Gouna International Squash Open
- the World Series tournament taking place in El Gouna’s New Marina between
It will be the first time since December 2015 that current World No.3 ElShorbagy
has not topped the World Rankings heading into a tournament after a loss of
form, combined with mental and physical fatigue, saw him concede top spot to
Frenchman Gregory Gaultier after the 34-year-old’s title win at last month’s
Allam British Open.
But ElShorbagy, who sat atop the World Rankings for a total of 28 months since
first reaching World No.1 in November 2014, admits that the loss of that ranking
has resulted in the pressure being lifted as he targets a second World Series
title of the season.
"To know that this is the first tournament I will play since 2015 that I haven’t
been World No.1 is actually something that I’m proud of at 26 years of age,"
said the Bristol-based Egyptian, who has also slipped below World Champion Karim
Abdel Gawad in the rankings.
"It makes me realise that I have already achieved so much in my career, when I
still hopefully have many years left in me to try and achieve more.
"I haven’t been playing as well as I have been over the last two seasons, but I
am a human being before being an athlete and the amount of finals and World
Series tournaments I have won while carrying the pressure of being World No.1
has made me play more matches than everyone else over the past two years.
"It left me feeling very tired mentally and physically since the start of this
season and I couldn’t get things together. But I feel I am starting to find my
form and my hunger is definitely back again.
"Now I have a very different challenge in my career that I haven’t had before
and I’m really excited to see how I can respond to it. The only positive thing
about the challenge is that I will play free from pressure for the first time
since I got to World No.1 because I have nothing to lose. I hope this will bring
the best out of me again."
Last year’s final saw ElShorbagy fight back from two games down to defeat
Gaultier, with a partizan crowd cheering him on to victory at the third attempt
after successive final defeats to long-term rival Ramy Ashour in 2014 and 2015.
And ElShorbagy paid tribute to the Egyptian crowd while also praising the
atmosphere around the tournament.
"The crowd was amazing last year, especially in the final," ElShorbagy said.
"But at the same time, I did feel pressured and nervous and felt that I couldn’t
lose the final, so it didn’t make me relax for a second during the match.
However, I was very proud with how I was able to make a huge comeback in that
"Playing in El Gouna is special as it’s an amazing event. It’s always a good mix
as you have the pressure of the matches, but at the same time it’s easy to relax
after the matches and take your mind off things."
ElShorbagy begins his title defence against French World No.26 Mathieu Castagnet,
with a potential rematch with Gaultier on the cards if both players make it
through to the semi-final stage.
Qualification for the El Gouna International Squash Open is held between April
5-6, while the main draw begins on April 7.
No.1 Gregory Gaultier will head to the upcoming El Gouna International Squash
Open - staged between April 7-14 - in the midst of some of his best ever form,
one year after his controversial final defeat to former World No.1 Mohamed
ElShorbagy on Egypt’s Red Sea.
The 34-year-old Frenchman has been in stunning form of late, going 14 matches
unbeaten and capturing three Tour titles in a row at the Swedish Open, Windy
City Open and British Open - the latter of which saw him overtake ElShorbagy at
the summit of the World Rankings to become the oldest World No.1 of all time.
Gaultier’s last appearance in Egypt saw the 2015 World Champion forced to pull
out at the semi-final stage of the PSA Men’s World Championship in November, but
he is firing on all cylinders this time around as he aims to lift a third World
Series crown in succession.
"I’m very confident at the moment and hope I can carry on with the same positive
dynamic," said Gaultier.
"I have been training hard since I got back from my last injury in the World
Championship. I take really good care of my body with lots of work with all my
physios and coaches. That’s really the key in between tournaments for me to stay
as fresh as possible.
"At my age there is no more pressure. I just play as hard as I can and take as
much pleasure as possible during my matches and during the events."
Gaultier led defending champion ElShorbagy by two games in last year’s final,
but a virtuoso fightback from the 26-year-old Egyptian saw him bring the match
back to all square in front of a passionate home crowd.
The match then ended in controversial style when ElShorbagy appeared to have
spoken during one of Gaultier’s serves before slotting the ball into the nick,
putting himself match ball up, despite Gaultier’s remonstrations with the
"I just served and he spoke after I finished my swing, which stopped me
totally," revealed Gaultier.
"I looked at him, but then he played that ball. I couldn’t react at all, but
what happened, happened. I tried to explain the situation to the referee, but he
couldn't hear me or wasn't trying to.
"You are not supposed to talk to your opponent during a rally. It was at a
crucial time and I was really frustrated, but that’s the way it is. I should
have dealt better with it for the next point, that's how I see it.
"I would have liked to win of course as I have never won before in El Gouna in
that fantastic venue, but overall we had a fantastic match. Mohamed was playing
great squash and did well to come back.
"My regret probably was to have let it slip from being 2-0 up, I barely lose in
this situation. All these situations you face in your career need to be analysed
so you deal with it better in the future."
The qualifying stage for the El Gouna International Squash Open takes place
between April 5-6, with the main draw beginning on April 7 and lasting up until
the final on April 14.
Gaultier will line up against tournament wildcard Marwan Tarek in the opening
round and the ‘French General’ is seeded to face ElShorbagy in the last four for
a place in the final.