Gaultier Sets Off On Super Six Sortie in Belgium

28 May 09

Frenchman Gregory Gaultier marked up his 26th successive match victory in the European Individual Championships as he began his bid to win a sixth men's title in a row in the European Squash Federation event at the Flemish Squash Center in Herentals, Belgium.

The 26-year-old world number two from Aix-en-Provence despatched Russian qualifier Valery Litvinko 11-3, 11-2, 11-6 to set up a second round clash with Rasmus Nielsen, a 9/16 seed from Denmark who beat Czech teenager Petr Martin 11-4, 13-11, 11-3.

Top seed Gaultier is expected to meet English rival Nick Matthew in Saturday's final. The second seed from Sheffield, a quarter-finalist two years ago, beat Belgian qualifier Mats Raemen 11-2, 11-3, 11-5 and will now face Austrian number one Aqeel Rehman for a place in the quarter-finals.

Whilst there were no surprises in the men's competition, there was domestic delight in the women's event when tournament organiser Kim Hannes pulled off a notable upset over 5/8 seed Orla Noom to claim an unexpected place in the quarter-finals.

The 30-year-old nine-time Belgian champion, a runner-up in the European Junior Championships 12 years ago, defeated Noom, ranked 41 in the world, 11-4, 11-6, 11-1. Hannes will now face 11-time French national champion Isabelle Stoehr, the defending champion, for a place in the last four.

Top seed Natalie Grinham, the former Australian looking to win her first squash title since becoming a Dutch national 15 months ago, beat Maud Duplomb 11-4, 11-9, 11-3 and will now take on a second French opponent Camille Serme for a place in the semi-finals.

Serme, a 5/8 seed and a record three-time winner of the European Junior Championship crown, avenged her defeat by England's Victoria Lust in the Welsh Open in January by defeating the former British Junior champion 11-4, 11-6, 11-4.

Men's 1st round:
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Valery Litvinko (RUS) 11-3, 11-2, 11-6
[9/16] Rasmus Nielsen (DEN) bt Petr Martin (CZE) 11-4, 13-11, 11-3
[5/8] Adrian Grant (ENG) bt [Q] Miroslav Celler (SVK) 11-2, 11-3, 11-4
[9/16] Dylan Bennett (NED) bt Andrea Torricini (ITA) 5-11, 11-8, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7
[5/8] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt Mark Andrew Burke (BEL) 11-3, 11-3, 11-8
[9/16] Simon Rosner (GER) bt Marek Manik (SVK) 13-11, 11-8, 11-3
[9/16] Rene Mijs (NED) bt Kostyantyn Rybalchenko (UKR) 11-4, 11-2, 11-8
[3/4] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [Q] Alexandre Benassi (BEL) 11-3, 11-4, 11-4
[3/4] Thierry Lincou (FRA) bt [Q] Stefaan Vereecke (BEL) 11-6, 11-5, 11-3
[9/16] Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) bt Lukas Jelinek (CZE) 12-10, 11-6, 11-4
[5/8] Borja Golan (ESP) bt Rusian Sorochynskvi (UKR) 11-7, 11-7, 11-1
[9/16] Piedro Schweertman (NED) bt Marton Szaboky (HUN) 11-4, 11-1, 11-9
[5/8] Renan Lavigne (FRA) bt Alexei Severinov (RUS) 11-3, 11-4, 11-6
[9/16] Jose Facchini (ITA) bt Sam van Brusselen (BEL) 11-3, 11-4, 11-5
[9/16] Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt Carl-Johan Lofvenborg (SWE) 7-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-5
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [Q] Mats Raemen (BEL) 11-2, 11-3, 11-5

Women's 2nd round:
[1] Natalie Grinham (NED) bt [9/16] Maud Duplomb (FRA) 11-4, 11-9, 11-3
[5/8] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [9/16] Victoria Lust (ENG) 11-4, 11-6, 11-4
[9/16] Kim Hannes (BEL) bt [5/8] Orla Noom (NED) 11-4, 11-6, 11-1
[3/4] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) bt [9/16] Linda Hruzikova (SVK) 11-8, 11-3, 11-7
[3/4] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) bt [9/16] Celia Allamargot (FRA) 11-2, 11-3, 11-3
[5/8] Manuela Manetta (ITA) bt [9/16] Birgit Coufal (AUT) 11-9, 11-3, 11-7
[5/8] Annelize Naude (NED) bt [9/16] Annabel Romedenne (BEL) 11-8, 11-8, 11-9
[2] Laura Lengthorn-Massaro (ENG) bt [9/16] Sina Wall (GER) 11-8, 11-5, 11-3