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Gregory Gaultier

Gaultier and Watanabe Named May PSA Players of the Month

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Two more titles for the in-form World No.1 Gregory Gaultier have seen him named the PSA Men’s Player of the Month for May, while Japan’s World No.103 Satomi Watanabe has claimed the Women’s award after she lifted her maiden Tour crown.

34-year-old Gaultier – who yesterday broke his own record as the oldest World No.1 after overtaking Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad atop the World Rankings – prevailed over World No.5 Ali Farag in the finals of the Grasshopper Cup and Bellevue Classic to make it six titles in a row.

The charismatic ‘French General’ has been in sublime form throughout 2017, with his sole defeat this year coming to Gawad in the final of January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.

And he looked unbeatable throughout May as he surged to both the Grasshopper Cup and Bellevue Classic titles without dropping a single game to bring his incredible unbeaten run up to 27 matches – resulting in the Frenchman being named the PSA Men’s Player of the Month for the second time in three months.

Satomi Watanabe after her win at the Nissan Open

Meanwhile, Watanabe became the first Japanese player ever to be bestowed with the PSA Women’s Player of the Month award after she defeated Deon Saffery to lift the Nissan Open title.

After beginning the month with a runner-up finish on the ninth leg of the Malaysian Tour, Watanabe pressed on in her next tournament as she opened up with a shock win over top seed Vanessa Chu, who was ranked 138 places above Watanabe.

Ooi Kah Yan and Ka Yi Lee were also put to the sword by Watanabe in the following rounds, before she defeated Saffery 15-13 in a nail-biting fifth-game tie-break to take the title.

Watanabe’s triumph also ensured that she moved up 93 places in the World Rankings and she will occupy the World No.103 spot for June.

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