PSA Day 1 Round Up – 7 June 2022

 PSA Day 1 Round Up – 7 June 2022


Mauritius is hosting a PSA World Tour event for the first time – the Necker Mauritius Open 2022 Presented by Beachcomber Resort & Hotels – and Grégory Gaultier made the headlines on the opening day. After retiring at the end of 2021, the former World Champion and World No.1 is making a one-off return in a club that is close to his heart, and he overcame England’s George Parker to qualify for the last 16.

In October 2021, that was inside the RMClub Mauritius’ glass court that Grégory Gaultier announced he was putting an end to a glittering and 20+ year long squash professional career, which pinnacle was his triumph at the World Championing in 2015. Fittingly, that’s also where he made a one-off return: being a very close friend of event’s promoter Rémy Mabillon, he’s been involved in its organization and feels at home in Mauritius.


Grégory Gaultier (in white) had to dig in but came out as the victor against George Parker

“I’m glad to have one more chance to play on this court tomorrow,” the Frenchman said after beating World No.33 George Parker from England in round 1, in four hard-fought games. “There were ups and downs, but I’m happy with what I was able to produce in some parts of the match. George Parker is a player who has great athleticism, and as soon as I lost my accuracy I had to make an effort to go around him, which was tough. I believe this is a match which is gonna help me to be ready for tomorrow’s.” At the start, both players were feeling each other out, then Gaultier – who no longer appears in the world rankings but has a wildcard in this tournament – was more decisive in the business end of the first game and took the lead, 11-7. After a breathtaking tie-break, the second one had a peculiar ending: while being 14-13 down, the Englishman thought the game was over and came out of the court. He was handed a penalty point by South African referee Mike Collins, which meant 15-13 and 2-love to Gaultier … However, the 39-year old had a dip at the beginning of the third, then he came short after making a big push to claw back and Parker reduced the deficit, 11-8. The Englishman carried the momentum in game 4, in such an extent that we thought it had shifted in his favour. At 7-3 down, Grégory Gaultier proved us wrong though. “At that point, I took the time to regroup and play point by point,” he said to us a few minutes after the match. “I quickly came back to 7-5 which was a big boost, while he lost a bif of focus and made a few errors.” The Frenchman converted his third match ball, booking his ticket for the last 16 to the delight of the local crowd.

On Wednesday (5:30pm local time), he will face Egypt’s Mazen Hesham, who’s been enjoying the best season of his career and went up to World No.8. “I’ve never lost to him, but it’s been a long time since we haven’t met and he’s a great player,” said Grégory Gaultier. “I’ve been helping the organizing committee, who did an amazing job to make this event as successful as possible. But once the tournament started, I focused in the competition and tomorrow (Wednesday), I’ll go on court to win as I always do.”


Reunion Island’s Sébastien Bonmalais (foreground) will meet training partner Baptiste Masotti for a place in the quarters

In the seven other matches of the day, the higher ranked player prevailed – see results below. Among them there was former World No.1 James Willstrop, currently ranked 25, who will challenge his new fellow Englishman and World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy. It was a good day at the office for the French contingent, with wins from not only Gaultier but also World No.39 Lucas Serme and World No.36 Sébastien Bonmalais, who dispatched Egyptian Mazen Gamal – World No.59 – in four games and will meet training partner and World No.26 Baptiste Masotti in the last 16. “We’re going to put our friendship aside while we are on court, and at least we know that one of us will make it to the quarterfinals,” smiled the player from Reunion Island after his victory. Seeds 1 to 8 had a bye in the first round and will kick off their campaign on Wednesday: besides those we have mentionned above – Mohamed ElShorbagy, Mazen Hesham and Baptiste Masotti – there are World No.2 Paul Coll, former World Champion and World No.6 Tarek Momen as well as World No.5 Diego Elias, World No.9 Marwan ElShorbagy and another Frenchman, World No.13 Grégoire Marche.

A women’s tournament – the RMClub Women’s Open 2022 Presented by Expression Networks (Challenger 30, $30,000) – is also held and begun on Tuesday. Like in the men’s draw, seeds 1 to 8, including World No.15 and favorite Tinne Gilis will start their campaign on Wednesday. Added to the entry list after a late withdrawal, Mauritian No.1 Vanessa Florens bowed to German champion and World No.75 Saskia Beinhard. “It’s tough against girls of such calibre, they play much faster than me and I don’t have time to settle. But I still managed to get a few points and most importantly to enjoy myself on court,” she said after the match. Tomorrow, we will have a eye on the last 16 clash between two former top 20 players: England’s Millie Tomlinson and Frenchwoman Coline Aumard, who is playing her latest tournament and will be moving to Mauritius soon, where she will be in charge of developing the RM Squash Academy.


Maurician number 1 Vanessa Florens bowed in the first round of the women’s tournament on Tuesday

Results – First round, Tuesday the 7th of June

Necker Mauritius Open 2022 Presented by Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels (Gold, $110,000)

[9/16] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Yahya Elnawasany (EGY): 3-0 (11-4, 11-9, 11-5)
[9/16] Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT): 3-0 (11-4, 11-7, 11-5)
[9/16] Sébastien Bonmalais (FRA) bt Mazen Gamal (EGY): 3-1 (11-3, 10-12, 11-4, 11-4)
[9/16] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Martin Svec (CZE): 3-0 (11-7, 11-3, 11-7)
[WC] Grégory Gaultier (FRA) bt [9/16] George Parker (ENG): 3-1 (11-7, 15-13, 8-11, 11-9)
[9/16] Karim El Hammamy (EGY) bt Rui Soares (POR): 3-1 (12-10, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6)
[9/16] Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) bt Faraz Khan (USA): 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 12-10)
[9/16] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Ramit Tandon (IND): 3-1 (5-11, 11-4, 11-7, 12-10)

RMClub Women’s Open 2022 Presented by Expression Networks LLC (Challenger 30, $30,000)

Au Yeong Wai Yhann (SIN) bt [9/16] Torrie Malik (ENG): 3-2 (4-11, 11-9, 14-12, 4-11, 11-8)
[9/16] Karina Tyma (POL) bt Ingy Hammouda (EGY): 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-9)
[9/16] Georgia Adderley (SCO) bt Malak Fathy (EGY): 3-0 (11-4, 12-10, 11-4)
[9/16] Saskia Beinhard (GER) bt Vanessa Florens (FRA): 3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-2)
[9/16] Nadeen Kotb (EGY) bt Jelena Dutina (SER): 3-0 (11-3, 11-4, 11-5)
[9/16] Alicia Mead (ENG) bt Ninon Lemarchand (FRA): 3-0 (11-5, 11-1, 11-5)
[9/16] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) bt Nour Ramy (EGY): 3-0 (7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-3)
[9/16] Lucy Beecroft (ENG) bt Kara Lincou (FRA): 3-0 (11-3, 11-6, 11-3)

Schedule – round of 16, Wednesday the 8th of June (local time, GMT+4)

Necker Mauritius Open 2022 Presented by Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels (Gold, $110,000)

12pm: [6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) – [9/16] Omar Mosaad (EGY)
1pm: [4] Tarek Momen (EGY) – [9/16] Lucas Serme (FRA)
2pm: [3] Diego Elias (PER) – [9/16] Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
3pm: [8] Baptiste Masotti (FRA) – [9/16] Sébastien Bonmalais (FRA)
5:30pm: [6] Mazen Hesham (EGY) – [WC] Grégory Gaultier (FRA)
6:30pm: [7] Gregoire Marche (FRA) – [9/16] Karim El Hammamy (EGY)
7:30pm: [2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) – [9/16] James Willstrop (ENG)
8:30pm: [1] Paul Coll (NZL) – [9/16] Dimitri Steinmann (SUI)

RMClub Women’s Open 2022 Presented by Expression Networks LLC (Challenger 30, $30,000)

12pm: [7] Marie Stephan (FRA) – Au Yeong Wai Yhann (SIN)
1pm: [6] Enora Villard (FRA) – [9/16] Karina Tyma (POL)
2pm: [3] Farida Mohamed (EGY) – [9/16] Georgia Adderley (SCO)
3pm: [8] Julianne Courtice (ENG) – [9/16] Saskia Beinhard (GER)
5:30pm: [4] Lisa Aitken (SCO) – [9/16] Nadeen Kotb (EGY)
6:30pm: [1] Tinne Gilis (BEL) – [9/16] Alicia Mead (ENG)
7:30pm: [5] Coline Aumard (FRA) – [9/16] Millie Tomlinson (ENG)