squash World No.1 Gregory Gaultier claimed the 2014 Allam
British Open Squash Championship title, beating England's
World Champion and World No.2 Nick Matthew in an emphatic
3-0 performance at the KC Sports Arena in Hull today.
Gaultier, who became the first ever French winner of the
prestigious 'Wimbledon of Squash' when he lifted the trophy
in 2007, was in imperious form as he reeled off the 11-3,
11-6, 11-2 victory in just 45-minutes.
It was a sweet victory for the man from Aix En Provence who
lost out to Matthew on their last three outings on the PSA
World Tour, including a dramatic defeat in the final of the
2013 World Championship in Manchester last November.
win this title is an unbelievable feeling," said Gaultier. "You
dream of these moments when you are a child and you work so
hard for them so to see them come true is amazing.
"I have played a lot of
finals during my career and been the person who does not
lift the trophy so I'm really happy to win this time.
"It's been a great week and I
feel like I have played well throughout the tournament - I
came here with a lot of motivation and I was fresh and I'm
really happy to win this famous trophy."
Speaking after the match, Sheffield's Matthew said:
"I felt really good today so
there were no excuses.
you just come up against people who were too good on the day
and that was the case with Greg today."
Matthew And Gaultier To Battle In British
Squash World Champion Nick Matthew and World No.1 Gregory
Gaultier will contest the final of the prestigious 2014
Allam British Open Squash Championship at the KC Sports
Arena in Hull, tomorrow (Sunday May 18).
(right) earned his place in the final following a gruelling
104-minute, 3-2 win over Egyptian World No.3 Mohamed
Elshorbagy while Gaultier impressed as he ruthlessly put
defending British Open Champion Ramy Ashour to the sword in
an emphatic 3-1 win.
Three-time British Open champion Matthew will be hoping
home-support propels him to glory in a repeat of the
performance that saw him beat the Frenchman 3-2 in a
dramatic finale to the 2013 World Championships in
Manchester last November - a victory that saw the
Sheffield-man claim his third World title.
pace throughout the match today was relentless and I felt
like I was running on fumes at the end," said Matthew, who's aiming for
British Open title number four.
"Mohamed is one hell of a player but I'm pleased with how I
used my experience today to get the win. The crowd were
amazing throughout the match today and they were really
supportive of both players.
(the crowd) really willed me on when I played Greg in the
World Championship final last year and pulled me over the
line so hopefully I can give them more to cheer about
(left), a British Open winner in 2007, will be hoping to
overturn his recent form against Matthew, having also lost
to out to the World No.2 in December's Hong Kong Open and
February's CASE Swedish Open.
"Nick is an unbelievable
player and he's had an amazing career,"
"He has achieved so much but
he is always still hungry and he has a real fighting spirit
which he showed today against Mohamed.
tries to the last point but I'm here to win and this
tournament is one of my main targets for the season. Winning
the title for a second time would be just as amazing as the
first so I'll give it everything tomorrow."
World's Top Four Through To British Open Semi Finals
The World's top four squash players, Gregory Gaultier, Nick Matthew, Mohamed
Elshorbagy and Ramy Ashour have progressed to the semi-finals of the 2014 Allam
British Open Squash Championships in Hull.
No.1 Gaultier (right) eased into the final four after Egyptian maestro Amr
Shabana, the four-time World Champion, was forced to retire through illness,
ending his bid to win a first British Open crown, and the Frenchman will now
take on Egypt's defending British Open champion Ramy Ashour in a mouth-watering
"I feel sorry
for Shabs (Shabana) as he's my best friend on tour and it's a shame when a match
ends this way,"
"I just hope that he will be
ok soon and come back and that we can play many more time sin the future.
playing Ramy and he's the man in form at the moment. He's won the last two
tournaments on the PSA World Series and his body is looking in great shape.
though he is the man in form I'm here to do my best and try and beat everybody
else so I'll just go back and get myself ready for tomorrow.
fresh which is good so I'll give it my best tomorrow and we will see."
Champion Nick Matthew (left) is the only remaining home hope, after Ashour
knocked out English No.2 James Willstrop, and he will face rising star Mohamed
Elshorbagy, the Bristol-based Egyptian sensation who works under the tutelage of
British Open legend Jonah Barrington.
The pair met at the semi-final stage of the PSA World Series Finals in March
when the 23-year-old triumphed but Sheffield-based Matthew is determined to make
amends for that result and add a fourth British Open crown to his victories in
2006, 2009 and 2012.
beaten me the last two times we have played," said Matthew. "He's hungry
and has all the qualities of youth but it feels like he's been around for a long
time as he has maturity as well and is definitely the complete article.
give any consideration to me being World Champion or playing at home - he's an
incredibly tough player and I expect we'll have another hard battle tomorrow
when hopefully experience will sway it for me.
Open is the reason I became a squash player,"
"I remember going to Wembley to watch the greats like Jahsher and Jahangir Khan
and that is what inspired me to play.
feel like my week is just getting going now, I’ve not hit my stride like I need
to and I hope with the crowd tomorrow I can up it a few more levels."
squash World Champion Amr Shabana and two-time World Champion Ramy
Ashour (right) completed a delightful double for Egypt during the
second round of the 2014 Allam British Squash Open today.
Shabana, who has never won the prestigious 'Wimbledon of Squash',
was in sublime form as he overcame Frenchman Gregoire Marche 3-1
while defending British Open champion Ashour came through a tough
encounter against Dutch national champion Laurens Jan Anjema, also
The duo's success means that there will be an Egyptian presence in
all four of tomorrow's (Friday May 16) quarter-finals, as they are
joined in the final eight by World No.3 Mohamed Elshorbagy and
19-year-old qualifier Fares Dessouki, who faces the mammoth
challenge of taking on English World Champion Nick Matthew.
"It's been a long season for all of us but I'm just happy to be in
these matches and competing and to get through to the
34-year-old Shabana, who takes on World No.1 Gregory Gaultier in his
last eight match-up.
"Hopefully I can just come back tomorrow and produce some more
squash like I did today."
will have to get the better of England's James Willstrop (left), the
World No.6, in order to keep his hopes of becoming the first
Egyptian in 50 years to successfully defend the British Open crown.
"It's always good to play in England," said
"The crowd here are very knowledgable and they're getting engaged
with all the decisions which makes it exciting, and hopefully I can
see more of that this week.
"James is a big guy and I've had some great battles
with him in the past so it is definitely going to be an interesting
match to watch tomorrow."
2nd Round Top Half
Dessouki Dispatches Dark Prince In British Open Upset
qualifier Fares Dessouki (right) will compete in the quarter-finals of a PSA
World Series event for the first time in his career after he pulled off arguably
the biggest upset of the tournament so far to take out World No.9 Karim Darwish
3-2 at the 2014 Allam British Squash Open.
Dessouki, the 19-year-old World No.55, was a late entry into the competition as
the beneficiary of Tom Richards's withdrawal due to injury but the youngster
showed no sign of nerves as stunned his experienced compatriot, racing into an
early 2-0 lead before holding on to eek out a win despite a late surge from the
former World No.1.
Dessouki will now face three-time British Open champion and current World
Champion Nick Matthew in Friday's quarter-finals after the Englishman came
through a testing encounter with compatriot Daryl Selby.
"This is the biggest win in my career," said Dessouki.
"To beat a legend like Karim Darwish is huge. I dreamed of these moments when I
was young and I'm very happy that it has happened.
"My focus was up and down in the fifth game and I was very lucky because he is a
player who can finish a match from any situation so I'm very happy with this
(left), who disposed another Englishman, Joe Lee, in the first round on Monday
remains on course to win the prestigious 'Wimbledon of Squash' for the fourth
time, a win which would see him equal the record of David Palmer, Azam Khan and
"It was a huge relief to get the win tonight," said Matthew following the
"It was a bit of a topsy turvey match. We normally have very attritional matches
but it was a dead court today and we both adapted and fortunately I got the
better start in the fifth game and just saw it through."
duo Gregory Gaultier (right), the World No.1, and Gregoire Marche,
the World No.33, led the way during day two of the Allam British
Open at the KC Sports Arena in Hull as they progressed to the second
round of the prestigious PSA World Series event.
Gaultier, the tournament's number two seed, was in emphatic form as
he saw off the challenge of England's Chris Simpson 3-0 while
24-year-old qualifier Marche rallied from two games down to upset
Australian Cameron Pilley in a five game thriller.
Marche's dramatic victory came just after Columbian pocket-rocket
Miguel Angel Rodriguez had also risen from 2-0 down against
qualifier Nicolas Mueller to turn the match on its head and set the
scene for an action-packed day.
"It is a great feeling to qualify, especially at this tournament,
because it is one of the biggest on the tour,"
"It is just a
great feeling to play in it and I go up against [Amr] Shabana in the
next round who, for me, is one of the best players in the world, so
I hope I can be as good as I was today and maybe I can go through to
"During my match I
was thinking about the previous match between Nicolas Mueller and
Miguel Angel Rodriguez, when Miguel came back from 2-0 down, so I
kept fighting and thankfully it worked."
In a day full of shocks, Dutch national champion Laurens Jan Anjema
remains in contention for honours after England's World No.8 Peter
Barker retired through injury but there were no issues for defending
British Open Champion Ramy Ashour, as the sublimely talented
Egyptian was in commanding form getting past compatriot Marwan
"It's obviously the last tournament of the season so everyone is
saying that there is one big push left and everyone wants to give
Ashour said afterwards.
can see how tough the matches are from first rounds in tournaments
now which shows how strong the game has become.
“You don't want to
spend your summer not being very happy or satisfied with yourself or
your performance. Everyone wants to give 100% and every match counts
so being in the second round is a big step and hopefully I can keep
on taking those steps."
Elsewhere, Egyptians Omar Mossad and Amr Shabana successfully booked
their second round berths while English World No.6 James Willstrop
(left) came through arguably the toughest match of the day against
German Simon Rösner.
Round Top Half click on images for larger view
World Champion Of To Winning Start At British Open
squash World Champion Nick Matthew (right) got his 2014 Allam
British Open title challenge off to a winning start, dispatching
compatriot Joe Lee 3-0 in his first round match at the KC Sports
Arena in Hull today.
33-year-old Matthew, a three-time British Open champion, will now
take on World No.10 and fellow English Commonwealth Games medal
hopeful Daryl Selby in the second round on Wednesday as he bids to
win the prestigious 'Wimbledon of squash' for a fourth time.
Essex native Selby booked his place against Matthew with a 3-1 win
over Indian national champion Saurav Ghosal while there was further
success for the host nation as Londoner Adrian Grant, World No.24,
booked his second round place at the expense of Hong Kong's Leo Au.
"Joe showed that his all round game has improved recently and he
really opened my lungs today," said Matthew.
"He hit some great shots and when I relaxed he was on it so I'm
really pleased to get that as it could have got ugly after the first
"I've got a day off tomorrow which I'll make the most of and
it's nice to have the luxury of going home to Sheffield during this
event so I'll go back and prepare for Wednesday now.
"I'm delighted to be playing in Yorkshire so looking forward to
the challenge ahead."
on day one there were shocks as 27-year-old French World No.23
Mathieu Castagnet (left) beat Spanish World No.7 Borja Golan in a
dramatic 3-2 contest while Egyptian qualifier Fares Dessouki beat
compatriot and World No.18 Karim Abdel Gawad 3-2.
"It's the first time I've reached the second round of the
British Open so I'm really happy and even more so to beat someone
who is in the top 10 in the world as well," said Castagnet.
"I think Borja was a little bit tight and nervous today and I'm
just delighted to win in five matches.
"I'm really happy to be coming back on Wednesday - the first
thing I need to do is change my flight and then I will prepare
myself as best I can for the next match."
Mohamed Elshorbagy, Tarek Momen and Karim Darwish completed a
quartet of wins for Egypt on day one to round off the opening day's
Following two days
of intense qualification action at the University Of Hull, the main
draw for the 2014 Allam British Open is now complete.
Egyptian World No.19
Marwan Elshorbagy led the way during qualification as eight hopefuls
earned their berths in the 32-man draw for the main event which gets
underway at the KC Sports Stadium, Hull on Monday May 12, but there
was no joy for home hopes Alan Clyne of Scotland or
Englishman Charles Sharpes as they bowed out in straight games
Joining Elshorbagy in the main draw were fellow Egyptian Fares
Dessouki, Hong Kong duo Leo Au and Max Lee, Swiss national champion
Nicolas Mueller, Malaysian Ong Beng Hee, Olli Tuominen of Finland
and Frenchman Gregoire Marche.
The $150k PSA World
Series Platinum event will see the likes of English World Champion
Nick Matthew, current World No.1 Gregory Gaultier of France and
defending Allam British Open Champion Ramy Ashour, the Egyptian
World No.4, battle it out to win the prestigious title dubbed the
"Wimbledon" of squash.