Follow us here for reports and reaction from the opening day of the inaugural Pacific Market International Bellevue Squash Classic held at Bellevue's Boys and Girls Club Hidden Valley Field House.
World No.2 Gregory Gaultier will be appearing in Bellevue 18 months after his 2015 PSA Men's World Championship triumph – and he gets his tournament under way against Omar Mosaad, the man he beat in the final to lift the iconic title.
Former World No.1 James Willstrop is also in action against Hong Kong's Max Lee, while Tarek Momen and Daryl Selby take on Gregoire Marche and Borja Golan, respectively.
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Here's the Order of Play for SQUASHTV & Eurosport Player
(All times are local PDT)
17:00  Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [Q] Omar Mosaad (EGY)
18:00 [Q] Gregoire Marche v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
19:00  Daryl Selby (ENG) v Borja Golan (ESP)
20:00 Max Lee (HKG) v  James Willstrop (ENG)
Gaultier Dispatches Mosaad to Reach Last Eight
Gregory Gaultier (left) v Omar Mosaad (right)
World No.2 Gregory Gaultier made it 24 wins in a row after the ‘French General’ overcame former World No.3 Omar Mosaad in their first round clash at the Pacific Market International Bellevue Squash Classic.
The fixture was a repeat of the 2015 PSA Men’s World Championship – which saw Gaultier prevail in Bellevue’s Meydenbauer Center to lift the sport’s biggest title – but it was Mosaad who started on the front foot this time with the ‘Hammer of Thor’ flying into a 7-1 lead.
However, the World No.32 was soon pegged back as Gaultier began to find his range, with the charismatic Frenchman playing at a fast tempo to force a tie-break, which he edged to take a one-game lead.
From there, it was a masterclass from Gaultier as he stepped it up in the second and third games, finding all four corners of the court in a blistering display which saw him drop just three further points throughout the rest of the match, sealing an 12-10, 11-2, 11-1 victory.
The 34-year-old – who will return to the top of the World Rankings if he takes his sixth successive PSA World Tour title – will line up against World No.10 Tarek Momen or compatriot Gregoire Marche for a place in the semi-finals.
“I expected a tough match, he is on his way back after having a bad season,” said Gaultier.
“I hope he’ll be back to where he was and better even. At the start I was really flat, he took me by surprise. When I was down I was thinking that I had to make him work because I hadn't put any work into his legs, which would have been a shame.
“It would have been tougher to lose that game in that way, so I tried not to think about the score and to just lengthen the rally and to stop playing loose because I was not playing accurate at all in the first few points. He was countering well, volleying well, reading the game well and I was opening up the court way too much.
“I slowed down, took my time, closed the angles and made him work. Once I started to gain a few points, I created doubt and he started to feel maybe a bit shaky and that I was going to come back. I kept my head together, and I was lucky to take the first one.
“I told myself to push a little bit, to move forward more on the 'T' because I was too far back and too passive. That's what I did, but with no rush and without trying to inject too much pace. That worked in the end.”
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 12-10, 11-2, 11-1 (35m)
Momen Halts Marche in Five
World No.10 Tarek Momen fought back from 2-1 down to seal a quarter-final berth and avoid a second straight defeat against French qualifier Gregoire Marche.
Marche – who beat Momen in their last meeting in November’s Qatar Classic to reach the quarter-finals of a World Series tournament for the first time – held two game balls in the opening game after some fine skills at the front of the court, but he squandered the lead to hand the initiative to Egypt’s Momen.
Momen looked to be on his way to doubling his advantage after going 6-3 up in the second, but World No.23 Marche fought back to take it 11-8, before a clinical showing in the third game from the 27-year-old saw him edge ahead.
PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) May 17, 2017
The momentum shifted in the fourth though, with Momen dominating on the forehand side and building on a 5-0 lead to draw level. A succession of errors from Marche at the beginning of the decider allowed Momen to pull away to 9-6, with the ball then getting lost in the netting above the court.
A short pause followed while the duo warmed another ball up – with Momen also suffering a broken string – but the Egyptian kept his focus to take two of the next three points to bring an end to a mammoth 88-minute affair.
“Last time we played I was 9-6 up in the fifth and I lost,” said Momen, who will take on World No.2 Gregory Gaultier in the next round.
Crashing forehand drive from
Tkmomen</a> to set up the cross court nick!! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/smash?src=hash">#smash</a> <a href="https://t.co/QUdGtsCqn2">pic.twitter.com/QUdGtsCqn2</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) May 17, 2017
“Then the ball and my strings broke at 9-6 up in the fifth [today] and it was very hard for me to shut it off, but I'm happy to get the win today because he has played some really good squash. I haven't seen him play this well since Qatar actually.
“Honestly, it wasn't about the fifth game, it was about the other two games he won. I was up in all of them and every time I had a good lead he somehow fought his way back and played some ridiculous squash. I was very cautious at the end for this not to happen because every time I got a lead, it was just gone in a second.
“I think that this will be the sixth or seventh time that I will have played Greg [Gaultier] this year, so it's started to feel a bit like practice now, it's not a match anymore. I'll just try to recover as much as possible, it's a good thing that I have a day off tomorrow so I can be fresh for the next day.
“I’ve played Greg a few times now, so I know what I should be doing. It's hard to implement the game plan against him, but I know what it is and I have to just see how it goes.”
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-2: 12-10, 8-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-7 (88m)
Golan in Fine Form to Dispatch Selby
Borja Golan (right) v Daryl Selby (left)
Spain’s former World No.5 Borja Golan put in a dominant display to overcome England’s Daryl Selby in straight games – setting up a quarter-final meeting with either James Willstrop or Max Lee in the process.
Golan has struggled with injuries this season – with a herniated disc keeping him out of action between September-December – but ‘El Toro’ played some of his best squash to keep Selby at arm’s length.
The 34-year-old attacked well when given the opportunity and had the better of Selby in the front of the court as he rose to an 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 triumph in 41 minutes.
“We've played many times since the juniors, Daryl is such a talented player,” said Golan.
“Technically, he is unbelievable so it's really difficult to read his shots. Today, I think the difference was that I was moving a bit better than him, but he's still a dangerous player. I tried to be on my toes all the time to win the points.
“When you are not injured you enjoy this game because we don't have many more years to day so every tournament you manage to enjoy more than when you were 20. You have to give 100 per cent and it's really nice to be in that position to play your game.”
Borja Golan (ESP) bt  Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 (41m)
Willstrop Takes Out Lee
James Willstrop (right) v Max Lee (left)
Former World No.1 James Willstrop earned his place in the quarter-finals of a PSA World Tour event for the first time since February after he came back from a game down to see off Hong Kong’s Max Lee.
Willstrop, 33, has suffered a dip in form lately and was up against a dangerous opponent in Lee, but the Yorkshireman prevailed in five games to set up a quarter-final clash with Spain’s Borja Golan.
"That's just class from
james_willstrop</a>" - wonderful deception from <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheMarksman?src=hash">#TheMarksman</a> <a href="https://t.co/5F9kwm2tbi">pic.twitter.com/5F9kwm2tbi</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) May 17, 2017
“I think the match was good quality, we both played well and both had our phases where it didn’t work out,” said Willstrop.
“It was solid and he was the favourite at 9-7 [in the fifth], I was up against it. I had to dig in and have faith in what I was doing. I’m very pleased to come away with the win.
“I just had to keep it as simple as I could really, once you start clouding your head with loads of thoughts it makes it worse. I only think about what I’m out there trying to do and I simplify it rather than think about how many points I’ve got to win.
“It’s not very easy, but you’ve got to forget about the scoreboard as much as possible.”
Lee weathered an early storm to go ahead in the opener, but Willstrop – known on Tour as ‘The Marksman’ after his accurate shot-making – controlled the tempo more in the second to bring the match back to all square, while his inch-perfect length saw him add the third game to his tally to take the lead for the first time.
Some impressive retrieving from World No.18 Lee saw him take the fourth games for the loss of four points to set up a nail-biting fifth game where both Lee and Willstrop went toe-to-toe in a dramatic climax to the 73-minute fixture.
Despite Lee pushing ahead to a two-point cushion at 9-7 up, Willstrop managed to hold his nerve to take the next four points and close out the victory.
 James Willstrop (ENG) bt Max Lee (HKG) 3-2: 9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 4-11, 11-9 (73m)