7:23 am
17 Dec 2018

Gaultier Denies Historic 78-Year English British Open Double

26 Mar 2017

After world No.5 Laura Massaro triumphed in the first all-English women's final since 1991, Frenchman Gregory Gaultier defeated Nick Matthew in the men's final of the Allam British Open at the Airco Arena in Hull to deny host nation England its first double in the world's most prestigious squash event since 1939.

World No.3 Gaultier will become the oldest player ever to top the PSA World Rankings next month after the 34-year-old recovered from a game down to beat 36-year-old Yorkshireman Matthew, capturing his third British Open crown in the process.

Gaultier, the champion in 2007 and 2014, will overtake Egypt's Mohamed Elshorbagy as world No.1. Furthermore, at 34 years and three months, he will eclipse the record of women's former world No.1 Sarah Fitz-Gerald by a month after the 8-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-3 victory saw him take the iconic title.

"It was a massive day for me," said Gaultier.

"I only found out a few days ago that there were three of us who could get to No.1. I wasn't thinking about that during the week, I was focusing on playing well and executing my tactics.

"I had a great week and a great feeling on court, I was moving well and to be number one as well again at my age is an amazing feeling - it's pure pleasure."

In the women's event, Massaro became the first Englishwoman since Janet Morgan in 1951 to lift the prestigious British Open title twice after seeing off England team-mate Sarah-Jane Perry in four games.

It was the first all-English women's British Open final since Lisa Opie and Sue Wright clashed in the 1991 climax.

And it was 33-year-old Massaro, the 2013 champion, who imposed her game plan on the encounter to seal the win by an 11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6 scoreline.

"It's just unbelievable," said Massaro, who will move up to world No.2 in next month's rankings.

"When I won the British Open for the first time I was so happy. There was a little bit more pressure coming into today as I beat Nicol, who was world No.1, for my first title and at the time there was absolutely no pressure on me.

"I'm proud of myself for the week and for bouncing back because this has probably not been my best season. I'm just happy I managed to tough it out in the end and keep getting balls back and it paid off. It's a little bit different because the first one was so special."