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28/09/2008
INTERNATIONAUX DE FRANCE
 

Dream Win For Gaultier In Paris

Internationaux de France
Paris, 22-27 Sep, $64k
Round One
24-Sep
Quarters
25-Sep
Semis
26-Sep
Final
27-Sep
[1] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
11/4, 11/9, 11/7 (30m)
[Q] Aaron Frankcomb (Aus)
Gregory Gaultier
11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (44m)
Renan Lavigne
Gregory Gaultier
11-6, 11-9, 11-7 (55m)
Nick Matthew
Gregory Gaultier
11-4, 9-11, 11-3, 11-5 (64m)
Borja Golan
[8] Renan Lavigne (Fra)
12/10, 11/9, 11/2 (35m)
Gregoire Marche (Fra)
[4] Nick Matthew (Eng)
10/12, 11/3, 11/9, 11/5 (67m)
Davide Bianchetti (Ita)
Nick Matthew
11-7, 11-2, 11-5 (43m)
Laurens Jan Anjema
[5] Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
11/9, 8/11, 11/7, 11/6 (55m)
[Q] Tom Richards (Eng)
Jonathan Kemp (Egy)
6/11, 11/6, 11/8, 8/11, 13/11 (68m)
[6] Borja Golan (Esp)
Borja Golan
11-8, 6-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-9 (85m)
Thierry Lincou
Borja Golan
12-10, 6-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-8 (71m)
James Willstrop
[Q] Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
11/2, 11/5, 11/9 (35m)
[3] Thierry Lincou (Fra)
Joey Barrington (Eng)
11/9, 4/11, 11/9, 11/7 (68m)
[7] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Col)
Joey Barrington
13-11, 11-8, 11-6 (47m)
James Willstrop
[Q] Chris Ryder (Eng)
10/12, 11/9, 3/11, 11/5, 11/4 (48m)
[2] James Willstrop (Eng)

23 Sep, Qualifying Finals :

Chris Ryder (Eng) bt Joan Lezaud (Fra) 11/4, 11/6, 11/6 (43m)
Tom Richards (Eng) btJulien Balbo (Fra) 9/11, 6/11, 11/2, 11/6, 11/7 (74m)
Saurav Ghosal (Ind) bt Mathieu Castagnet (Fra) 11/3, 11/7, 11/7 (50m)
Aaron Frankcomb (Aus) bt Mark Krajcsak (Hun) 13/11, 11/2, 8/11, 10/12, 11/8 (125m)


22 Sep, Qualifying Round One :

Chris Ryder (Eng) bt Yann Perrin (Fra) 6/11, 11/6, 11/2, 12/10 (65m)
Joan Lezaud (Fra) bt Jan Koukal (Cze) 14/12, 11/9, 11/8 (54m)
Julien Balbo (Fra) bt Bradley Hindle (Aus) 11/7, 13/11, 11/4 (46m)
Tom Richards (Eng) bt Romain Tenant (Fra) 11/9, 14/12, 11/3 (39m)
Mathieu Castagnet (Fra) bt Dylan Bennett (Ned) 11/13, 11/9, 11/6, 11/5 (62m)
Saurav Ghosal (Ind) bt Jesse Engelbrecht (Rsa) 11/8, 7/11, 9/11, 11/3, 11/9 (68m)
Mark Krajcsak (Hun) bt Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas) 11/9, 11/9, 11/6 (46m)
Aaron Frankcomb (Aus) bt Fabien Verseille (Fra) 11/9, 11/7, 12/14, 11/5 (84m)

Dream Win For Gaultier In Paris

France's Gregory Gaultier (left in red) provided the dream outcome for the organisers of the first major squash championship to be held in Paris since 1995 when he beat surprise Spanish opponent Borja Golan in the final of the Internationaux de France, the $62,000 5-star PSA Tour event at Stade Charlety.

Perhaps it was one match too far for underdog Golan, the sixth seed from Santiago who claimed two of the biggest scalps of his life when he beat third seed Thierry Lincou and second seed James Willstrop to reach the Paris climax.

But it was a proud Gaultier who lifted the Guy Laroche trophy after his 11-4, 9-11, 11-3, 11-5 final victory in 64 minutes - his longest match of the tournament.

"I didn't expect to play Borja, I prepared myself for Thierry or James, so I had to stay vigilant at all times, and never to relax, as he was seizing all the opportunities," the 25-year-old top seed from Aix-en-Provence said afterwards.

"I was dead from my match with Nick (Matthew) yesterday - the efforts I had to produce to beat him emptied me of most of my resources, and I just couldn't put any pace on the ball.

"I'm so happy that the Federation had put so many efforts into this event, and I hope that we'll play again here next year, and I hope that we'll have more of the top 10. This year, we were lucky enough to have four out of 10, but it would be nice to have all the best players next time," added Gaultier, now winner of 13 PSA Tour titles.

Golan was proud of his achievements in Paris:  "Sometimes, you play squash with your head, and sometimes with your heart.  I think that today I played too much with my heart, and not enough with my head! And Greg played just too well today, he played at a different level, I tried my best, but he was faster than I was, he was more accurate, and that made the difference.

"This week has been just incredible - even in my dreams I didn't imagine such a tournament for me. I guess it must the reward for years of hard training - but beating Thierry and James, two idols of mine, is just a dream.  And the atmosphere here, it was just incredible for a squash player.  I'm so happy, so proud to be here."

Borja Battles Into Paris Final

Borja Golan (left) kept up his giant-killing run in the Internationaux de France when he battled for 71 minutes to beat world number three James Willstrop to reach the final of the $62,000 5-star PSA Tour event in Paris.

The sixth-seeded Spaniard will face local favourite Gregory Gaultier in the climax of the first major squash championship to be held in the French capital since 1995. In a repeat of the final of the last Internationaux de France, in Antibes in 2002, the Frenchman toppled Englishman Nick Matthew in straight games.

Golan, the 25-year-old world No23 from Santiago DC, upset France's former world number one Thierry Lincou for the first time in the previous round - describing it as "the best win of my career".

The Spaniard survived two tie-break games as he defeated Willstrop, the second seed, 12-10, 6-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-8.

"I think that, without a doubt, this is the best tournament, and the best performance I ever did in my life," Golan explained afterwards. "And I've got a lot of hopes for tomorrow's match against Greg.

"Tonight, I tried to keep James under pressure - like I did yesterday with Thierry - but by playing more in the front that I did against Thierry, because I knew that James was struggling with his injury, and that he had problem moving to the front to get my drop shots," added Golan - now in the 23rd PSA Tour final of his career, and the fourth this year.

Willstrop, playing his first tournament since sustaining an ankle injury in training, refused to blame his setback: "My ankle can't be an issue, no excuses," said the 25-year-old England number one.

"This was a great match, a really good match. Borja has improved a lot, and I'm happy to have played such a match. He played really well."

In their first meeting since Gaultier (right) played stunning squash to put out Matthew in December's World Open final in Bermuda, the 25-year-old from Aix-en-Provence was again in impressive form, beating the fourth seed from Sheffield 11-6, 11-9, 11-7.

"What made the difference today was that Greg was more mentally tuned in," said Matthew, who underwent shoulder surgery in January. "This was definitely my first big match of the year, and I felt really like a beginner player coming to his first semi-final!

"This was a great experience for me, it's all in the head, as we all know, and mentally today, I was up and down."

Gaultier, winner of the ATCO Super Series Finals title for the first time this year, is celebrating the 28th Tour final appearance of his career.

Golan Reaches New Heights In Paris

In what he described as "the best win of my career", Spaniard Borja Golan (left background) upset local hero Thierry Lincou in a dramatic five-game encounter in the Internationaux de France to reach the semi-finals of the $62,000 5-star PSA Tour event in Paris.

Golan, the sixth seed from Santiago DC, will now face England's second seed James Willstrop in one semi-final, while local interest in the event will now be led exclusively by Gregory Gaultier in the other, where the top seed takes on Englishman Nick Matthew, the fourth seed.

The final match of the day in the first major squash championship to be held in the French capital since 1995 saw third seed Lincou 4-7 down in the deciding game as underdog Golan looked the likely shock winner.

But, to the delight of the packed partisan crowd at Stade Charlety, Lincou won five points in a row to put the former world number one from Marseille back on track.

Then, match-ball down, the Frenchman hit the ball back at himself - and Golan celebrated his golden success.

"Right now, I feel nothing - this is the best win of my career. Sometimes, things are actually possible," exclaimed the 25-year-old Spanish number one.

"I really tried to put him under pressure with my volleying, cross-courting a lot. But, most of all, I concentrated on my length - because with Thierry, if your length is not perfect, he volleys everything. So first, I was thinking about perfect length, and then, I tried and attacked more than I normally do.

"This is an incredible feeling - it's like a dream come true. But also, I know that he lost here, in front of his home crowd, and that I feel for him, I know what it is to lose when you are home, and he must be feeling terrible," added Golan.

The ten times French National champion clearly felt under pressure: "I was far too stressed, the expectations from everybody, and I so wanted to do well. It's a shame, because yesterday I was feeling really good, and today too I thought, and I really wanted to go to the end," explained Lincou.

"And that desire to please people, to respond to their expectations. I have the feeling I didn't show enough tonight. Borja didn't put a foot wrong the whole match. He was hungrier than me for victory."

In a close encounter earlier in the day, James Willstrop beat England team-mate Joey Barrington 13-11, 11-8, 11-6 - and is now one match away from his seventh final in eight successive PSA Tour ranking events.

An all-French clash saw Gregory Gaultier prevail 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 over eighth seed Renan Lavigne to set up the predicted semi-final against English rival Nick Matthew, the fourth seed who beat Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema, the No5 seed, 11-7, 11-2, 11-5.

Barrington Bursts Into Paris Quarters

England’s Joey Barrington pulled off the only surprise on the opening day of main draw action in the Internationaux de France when he upset Miguel Angel Rodriguez, the seventh seed from Colombia, to reach the quarter-finals of the $62,000 5-star PSA Tour event in Paris.

With three Frenchmen already through to the last eight of the first major squash championship to be held in the French capital since 1995, Barrington’s unexpected success also brings the English quarter-final count to three – and both rival nationalities are certain to feature in the semi-finals!

Barrington, eight places below the Colombian in the world rankings, recovered from losing the second game to beat the new world No20 11-9, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7 in 68 minutes.

The 28-year-old from Somerset will now face England team-mate James Willstrop for a place in the last four. Willstrop, glad to be back on the Tour after sustaining an ankle injury in training, twice had to come back from behind before claiming a 10-12, 11-9, 3-11, 11-5, 11-4 victory over English qualifier Chris Ryder, the former World University champion from Wolverhampton.

Favourite Gregory Gaultier (left) delighted the local crowds with an 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 win in just 30 minutes over Aaron Frankcomb, the Australian who 24 hours earlier survived the longest match recorded on the PSA Tour this year to win his qualifying final in 125 minutes!

World No2 Gaultier, from Aix-en-Provence, now takes on fellow countryman Renan Lavigne. In a battle between the oldest and youngest players in the draw, 33-year-old Lavigne took 35 minutes to overcome 18-year-old Gregoire Marche, the European Junior Champion, 12-10, 11-9, 11-2.




French Fried In Paris


All three local bids for success in the qualifying finals of the Internationaux de France failed as two Englishmen, one Indian and an Australian joined the main draw of the $62,000 5-star PSA Tour event in Paris - the first major squash championship to be held in the French capital since 1995.

England’s Chris Ryder and Tom Richards were the first to make the opening round of the Gallic equivalent of the British Open – and both overcame French opposition. Ryder, from Wolverhampton, beat Joan Lezaud 11-4, 11-6, 11-6, while Richards, from Surrey, had to fight back from two games down to topple Julien Balbo 9-11, 6-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-7 in 74 minutes.

Ryder will now meet compatriot James Willstrop, the second seed from Yorkshire who is making his first PSA Tour appearance since May after recovering from an ankle injury.

But in the longest match recorded on the PSA Tour this year, Australia’s Aaron Frankcomb battled for 125 minutes to overcome the number one Hungarian Mark Krajcsak 13-11, 11-2, 8-11, 10-12, 11-8.

The 23-year-old from Hobart now takes on Gregory Gaultier, the French number one who is seeded to win his first Tour title on home soil since claiming the French Open crown in Antibes exactly six years ago.

France’s last hope for success in the Internationaux qualifiers was Mathieu Castagnet. But the 21-year-old from Le Mans went down 11-3, 11-7, 11-7 to four-time Indian champion Saurav Ghosal, surprise winner of the Ornano International Open title in the French city of Bordeaux earlier in the month.