Squash World Champion Gregory Gaultier began his bid to win the lucrative season-ending PSA Dubai World Series Finals for the third time in his career with an emphatic victory over difficult German opponent Simon Rösner during the opening day of action at the tournament taking place in front of Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa.
Gaultier, who won the tournament in 2008 and 2009, lived up to his reputation as one of the strongest starters on the PSA World Tour and took full advantage of the shorter, best of three format to pile on the pressure from the off, taking the opening game for the loss of just two points.
Rösner, a serial quarter-finalist during this season’s World Series tournaments, has come within a whisker of securing his first big break-through win over the top four players on the standings and showed impressive resolved as he fought back in the second game but ultimately couldn’t find the killer blow to halt the charge of the ‘French General’, who after suffering a serious ankle-injury in January will be aiming to end his season on the highest possible note.
“It is warm out there and you expect to struggle to breath but I am fit and in good shape so I didn’t struggle with the conditions physically,” said Gaultier.
“But the conditions make the court bouncy and makes the rallies longer so you have to be careful not to be too aggressive or try and finish it off too quick – there’s a balance between patience and aggressive.
‘I was playing well and in the first especially I felt good. He was pumped up in the second and I was maybe a little passive. Playing best of three is tough because it’s hard to take your opponent into a really tough physical battle so I was happy to be able to push through and take the match in two games and enjoy the afternoon now.”
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt  Simon Rösner (GER) 2-0: 11-2, 11-9 (39m)