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2015 Men's PSA World Champion Gregory Gaultier

Throwback Thursday: Story of 2015 Men’s World Championships

#PSAWorldTour

The world’s greatest players will descend on Cairo next week when the 2016 Wadi Degla PSA Men’s World Championship – the biggest and most illustrious tournament on the PSA World Tour – lights up the world of squash.

The Men’s World Championship has seen a myriad of spectacular showdowns, stunning upsets and historic victories go down in the squash annals over the iconic tournament’s 40-year history – moments which have all gone towards distinguishing this event as the pinnacle tournament on the PSA World Tour calendar.

Last year’s tournament was no different – and we’re having a look back at an enthralling eight days of action as the Men’s World Championship made its debut in the United States with the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Washington hosting the showpiece event last November.

First Round Results
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Alfredo Avila (MEX) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 (31m)
Tom Richards (ENG) bt [Q] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 3-1: 12-10, 3-11, 11-8, 12-10 (62m)
James Willstrop (ENG) bt [Q] Ben Coleman (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-3, 11-6 (38m)
[16] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-1: 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-3 (62m)
[9] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [Q] Peter Creed (WAL) 3-0: 11-3, 11-5, 11-3 (32m)
[Q] Todd Harrity (USA) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-2: 11-8, 2-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-3 (63m)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt [Q] Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-8 (39m)
[5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [WC] Julian Illingworth (USA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 (25m)
[6] Simon Rösner (GER) bt [Q] Yip Tsz Fung (HKG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (35m)
Nicolas Müller (SUI) bt [Q] Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (IND) 3-1: 11-5, 2-11, 11-4, 11-9 (55m)
Ali Farag (EGY) bt [Q] Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-3 (34m)
[13] Max Lee (HKG) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-5 (50m)
Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt [11] Peter Barker (ENG) 3-1: 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 12-10 (53m)
Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Nasir Iqbal (PAK) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 11-7 (27m)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt Olli Tuominen (FIN) 3-0: 11-3, 13-11, 11-8 (29m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-4 (41m)
[4] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-9, 11-7 (26m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [Q] Shawn Delierre (CAN) 3-1: 11-6, 5-11, 11-3, 11-7 (36m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt [Q] Mohamed Reda (EGY) 3-2: 13-11, 11-6, 7-11, 4-11, 11-8 (72m)
[12] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [Q] Andrew Wagih Shoukry (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 16-14 (35m)
[14] Borja Golan (ESP) bt Alister Walker (BOT) 3-1: 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7 (61m)
Paul Coll (NZL) bt Shaun le Roux (RSA) 3-1: 11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 11-1 (59m)
Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt [Q] Charles Sharpes (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-9 (48m)
[7] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [Q] Farhan Zaman (PAK) 3-1: 11-8, 7-11, 11-1, 11-2 (42m)
[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [Q] Joe Lee (ENG) 3-2: 8-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-9 (87m)
Diego Elias (PER) bt Adrian Grant (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 11-9 (33m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt [Q] Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-5 (37m)
[15] Stephen Coppinger (RSA) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-4 (54m)
[10] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Leo Au (HKG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-9, 13-11 (69m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Zahed Mohamed (EGY) 3-1: 11-8, 11-6, 4-11, 11-8 (65m)
[Q] Karim El Hammamy (EGY) bt Declan James (ENG) 3-2: 12-10, 15-13, 3-11, 5-11, 11-4 (108m)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-1: 11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 (67m)

England’s former World No.5 Peter Barker was the biggest casualty in the opening round of the tournament as he fell to a surprise defeat against Egyptian Karim Ali Fathi.

Barker – who would retire a month later – had been struggling for form and fitness after suffering first round losses in his two previous tournaments and Fathi took full advantage, recovering from a game down to send the then 32-year-old out of his last ever World Championship.

Elsewhere, the likes of World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy, then defending champion Ramy Ashour, then World No.3 Gregory Gaultier and three-time winner Nick Matthew all sailed through to the second round.

Second Round Results
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-2 (31m)
James Willstrop (ENG) bt [16] Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (41m)
[9] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [Q] Todd Harrity (USA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (38m)
[5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-1: 16-18, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 (75m)
[6] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Nicolas Müller (SUI) 3-1: 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6 (53m)
Ali Farag (EGY) bt [13] Max Lee (HKG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-7 (41m)
Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-2: 7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4 (83m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-4 (35m)
[4] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 (37m)
[12] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 14-12 (37m)
[14] Borja Golan (ESP) bt Paul Coll (NZL) 3-0: 11-9, 13-11, 11-5 (55m)
[7] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 3-2: 11-7, 10-12, 4-11, 11-8, 11-1 (75m)
[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Diego Elias (PER) 3-0: 11-6, 11-1, 17-15 (43m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt [15] Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 3-2: 6-11, 11-4, 11-8, 3-11, 11-7 (88m)
[10] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 13-11 (61m)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [Q] Karim El Hammamy (EGY) 3-0: 11-2, 11-8, 11-4 (38m)

Current World No.6 Ali Farag followed up his first round win over Denmark’s Kristian Frost Olesen with a superb victory over Hong Kong’s Max Lee, then ranked inside the world’s top 15.

Farag, who was outside the world’s top 30 at the time, put in a mature performance full of consistency as he took the win in straight games to move through to the third round stage in his maiden World Championship.

Frenchman Gregoire Marche also put in a performance that belied his ranking of World No.36 at the time as he came through a brutal 88-minute encounter with South Africa’s Stephen Coppinger to book his place in the next round.

Third Round Results
James Willstrop (ENG) bt [1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 11-4, 11-7, 10-12, 11-7 (64m)
[5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [9] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-1: 7-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-2 (74m)
Ali Farag (EGY) bt [6] Simon Rösner (GER) 3-1: 7-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-9 (78m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-3 (28m)
[4] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [12] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-1: 11-6, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7 (54m)
[7] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [14] Borja Golan (ESP) 3-1: 6-11, 11-4, 11-3, 13-11 (65m)
[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 7-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-7 (55m)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [10] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) 3-0: 13-11, 12-10, 11-5 (54m)

Round three saw former World No.1 James Willstrop roll back the years to cause one of the biggest shocks in World Championship history as he upset current incumbent ElShorbagy with the kind of impeccable performance that echoed his rise to the summit of the World Rankings three years earlier.

Willstrop, known on Tour as ‘The Marksman’, played with his trademark pinpoint accuracy and unparalleled control to rise to a 3-1 victory and consign ElShorbagy to a stunning third round defeat – just a year after the hard-hitting Egyptian had reached the final.

Matthew, Gaultier and Ashour – no doubt buoyed by ElShorbagy’s exit – all stepped up their assaults on the title, with ElShorbagy’s brother, Marwan, Karim Ali Fathi and Karim Abdel Gawad all being put to the sword.

Quarter-Final Results
James Willstrop (ENG) bt [5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 (42m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Ali Farag (EGY) 3-2: 5-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-1, 11-3 (72m)
[7] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [4] Ramy Ashour (EGY) 3-2: 11-8, 11-7, 1-11, 1-11, 11-5 (61m)
[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [2] Nick Matthew (ENG) 3-2: 5-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7 (84m)

The quarter-final stage was blown wide open after Matthew, Ashour and ‘Colombian Cannonball’ Miguel Angel Rodriguez all fell to shock defeats.

Ashour went two games behind against ‘The Hammer of Thor’ Omar Mosaad, but fought back to level the scores – only to see the injuries that have ravaged the past three years of his career bring an end to his comeback as Mosaad pushed through to reach the semi-final stage for the first time.

Matthew, meanwhile, fell to a shock defeat against Tarek Momen to ensure that the latter would take on Mosaad for a place in the final, while Gaultier and Willstrop set up a semi-final fixture after wins over Farag and Rodriguez, respectively.

Semi-Final Results
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0: 11-1, 11-8, 11-8 (50m)
[7] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [8] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-4, 11-8 (50m)

Gregory Gaultier sealed a place in his fifth World Championship final after an assured display against Willstrop saw the ‘French General’ down the Englishman in straight games.

Mosaad was also in control during his match against Momen to move through by the same scoreline to his maiden World Championship final – just three months after losing his mother and sister in a tragic car accident.

Final Result
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [7] Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 12-10 (58m)

Gaultier brought the curtain down on one of the most exciting and unpredictable World Championships in history as he ended his final heartbreak to lift the sport’s biggest prize at the fifth attempt.

The then 32-year-old had suffered four previous final defeats – the most notable seeing him surrender a 2-0 lead and four match balls to lose out to David Palmer – but he put in a masterclass against Mosaad to earn an emotional victory that would send him back to the top of the World Rankings the following month for the first time since October 2014.

Don’t miss the highlights of Gaultier and Mosaad’s showdown below!

Log in to SQUASHTV to watch more spellbinding action from the Men’s World Championships – including one of the greatest matches of all time, the 2014 final between Ashour and Mohamed ElShorbagy.

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