Report courtesy of PSA.
Thirty-two-year-old Gregory Gaultier ended nine years of heartbreak to win the most prestigious tournament in squash at the fifth time of asking, defeating Egyptian Omar Mosaad in the final of the 2015 PSA Men’s World Squash Championship in Bellevue, Washington Sunday.
Gaultier had tasted bitter defeat in four previous finals, none more so than in 2006 when he squandered five match balls against Australian David Palmer, but the 2015 Delaware Investments U.S. Open champion produced a masterclass performance to defeat the hard-hitting Egyptian in straight-games to seal the title and trigger scenes of emotional celebration.
“It’s unbelievable, there’s no words that can describe this feeling,” Gaultier said.
“It’s better late than never. Since I was a kid it was always my dream to win this tournament. Maybe in the past I put too much pressure on myself. I remember my first experience at twenty-three-years-old in front of the pyramids in Egypt. I had five match balls and I remember at that point I started to feel like a kind of asthma. My head was shaky and frozen.
“I couldn’t finish off the match but you always learn from losses and it was an experience. I lost four times and I kept wondering if it was ever going to happen. I just kept on believing in myself, kept on working hard. I was always disciplined.”
The current world No. 3, whose victory will propel him to the top of the PSA World Rankings come December 1st, controlled the court as he played with unrelenting determination. A huge fightback from Mosaad in the third threatened to change the complexion of the match but an exquisite drop shot to level the game at 10-10 handed the flamboyant man from Aix-en-Provence the momentum, which he used to full advantage.
“It’s my fourth time as World No.1, it’s always a target,” Gaultier continued. “I train to become the best and it’s magic when it happens. It is the cherry on the top of an amazing day and it’s amazing to share it with the people around me who work so hard as well.
“Our hearts were broken with what happened in Paris—all the French people and all around the world. So many people came to talk to me and support me about it. There should be peace in this world and respect. Whoever you are you have to give respect to people. There should be no terror and today we put on a great fight, but it was a fight with respect on and off court.”
Defeated finalist Mosaad added: “Gaultier is such an experienced player and to play against him is really hard. He played really well, put me in trouble but I think I did a good job this tournament. I’m really happy to have reached the final and I’m looking forward to my next tournament.”