11:31 pm
13 Jun 2024

Gregory Gaultier Retains ATCO Super Series Finals Trophy

18 Mar 2009

Gaultier pictured with Ziad Al-Turki

France's Gregory Gaultier successfully defended his ATCO Super Series Finals squash title when he beat compatriot Thierry Lincou in the final of the flagship $110,000 PSA Tour event being staged for the first time at The Queen's Club in London.

The world No3 from Aix-en-Provence - who became the first player for eight years to retain the prestigious crown - maintained his stunning form of the past four days to clinch an 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5 victory in the first final in the 16-year history of the event to feature two fellow countrymen.

The dramatic 63-minute encounter constantly had the capacity crowd on the edge of their seats as the two players played out a series of lengthy rallies which included some of the most explosive shot-making of the tournament.

Among the spectators was The Queen's Club Patron, the Duchess of Gloucester, who presented Gaultier with the champion's trophy.

"I can't think about whether I am the best in the world right now," said 26-year-old Gaultier when asked if he felt he could make the top spot. "I just want to win as many tournaments as I can and then I can get to the number one.

"But it is totally true that I did feel as if I was flying this week. And today I won because I wanted it more," added the Frenchman who now boasts 16 PSA Tour titles.

The gripping and often good-humoured final provided a fitting finale to a week which has seen the event give Squash a dynamic makeover and provide a platform for the sport to outline why it believes the International Olympic Committee should give it Olympic status for the 2016 Games.

Ziad Al-Turki, Vice-Chairman of sponsors the ATCO Group and Chairman of the Professional Squash Association, said: "It has been great to introduce the squash family to these outstanding players. They are incredible athletes who deserve nothing but the best, which is why we are pushing to get squash into the Olympics, so they can get the recognition they deserve."

Gaultier praised Al-Turki's efforts in revolutionising the sport in this country and abroad, saying: "Ziad has been a huge boost to the sport and us as players. Let's hope squash continues to grow as fast as it is now."

In the earlier play-off for third place, world number one Karim Darwish beat his top-ranked predecessor and fellow Egyptian Amr Shabana 11-8, 11-9, 11-5.

[4] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [7] Thierry Lincou (FRA) 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5 (63m)

Third place play-off:
[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt [2] Amr Shabana (EGY) 11-8, 11-9, 11-5 (31m)