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Throwback Thursday: Story of the 2017 Men’s El Gouna International

Tomorrow sees the start of the El Gouna International main draw, with a whole host of PSA World Tour stars taking part in the tournament on the banks of Egypt’s Red Sea in Hurghada for the next World Series event on the PSA World Tour calendar.

We take a look back at last year’s men’s El Gouna tournament, where the French General disrupted the Egyptian order at the tournament.

Round One
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-9, 11-7 (38m)
[5] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 3-2: 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9 (94m)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [Q] Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-2: 6-11, 5-11, 11-3, 13-11, 11-9 (97m)
Paul Coll (NZL) bt [Q] Tom Richards (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 11-3 (40m)
[6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 13-11, 11-5 (43m)
[Q] Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 11-13, 12-10, 11-8 (53m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 13-11 (43m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [WC] Marwan Tarek (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-2, 11-6 (31m)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt [Q] Mohamed Reda (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 (34m)
[8] Simon Rösner (GER) bt [Q] Raphael Kandra (GER) 3-0: 11-6, 12-10, 11-8 (46m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 10-12, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9 (63m)
[Q] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-1: 5-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-9 (71m)
Diego Elias (PER) bt [7] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 12-10, 11-8 (55m)
Borja Golan (ESP) bt [LL] Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 (44m)
Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt [4] Nick Matthew (ENG) 3-2: 10-12, 11-4, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6 (76m)
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Zahed Mohamed (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-9, 11-9 (46m)

Egypt’s Fares Dessouky caused the upset of the first round as he overturned a 2-1 deficit to defeat three-time World Champion Nick Matthew.

The Egyptian twice fell behind the then-36-year-old veteran, but an impressive fightback in the fourth and fifth games saw the tide turn in Dessouky’s favour as he recorded one of the biggest wins of his career.

Meanwhile, 2016 champion Mohamed ElShorbagy got his tournament off to a winning start as he overcame Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet on day one of the World Series tournament.

Round Two
[6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-4 (33m)
Paul Coll (NZL) bt [5] James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-7 (64m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-2: 11-6, 11-9, 10-12, 2-11, 11-9 (74m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-0: 11-2, 11-2, 11-3 (24m)
Diego Elias (PER) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-0: 11-9, 13-11, 11-4 (51m)
[8] Simon Rösner (GER) bt [Q] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-8 (38m)
Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-1: 11-9, 11-7, 1-11, 11-8 (60m)
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 3-1: 9-11, 11-1, 11-8, 11-5 (61m)

The upsets continued in round two as New Zealand’s Paul Coll claimed one of the biggest scalps of his career, defeating former World No.1 James Willstrop to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament.

Coll played his trademark game to retrieve everything Willstrop threw at him courtesy of his electric pace before he finished off any openings courtesy of solid, straight hitting.

Bristol-based brothers Mohamed and Marwan ElShorbagy also progressed to set up a quarter-final meeting, after defeating Mohamed Abouelghar and Cameron Pilley, respectively.

Quarter-finals
[6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-2, 11-4 (24m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Paul Coll (NZL) 3-1: 11-6, 11-6, 11-13, 11-6 (72m)
Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Diego Elias (PER) 3-1: 11-7, 7-11, 12-10, 12-10 (127m)
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [8] Simon Rösner (GER) 3-1: 13-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-2 (52m)

Marwan claimed a second successive victory over elder brother and defending champion Mohamed as he outplayed his sibling with an impeccable display to prevail in just 24 minutes.

Frenchman Gregory Gaultier also progressed after overcoming New Zealand’s Coll by a 3-1 margin to extend his unbeaten run to 17 matches.

Semi-finals
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0: 12-10, 11-4, 11-4 (51m)
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-1: 7-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-8 (61m)

World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad and Gaultier set up a final clash after they defeated Fares Dessouky and Marwan ElShorbagy, respectively.

Gawad confirmed his World No.1 ranking for the next month after defeating Dessouky by a 3-1 scoreline in 61 minutes. While Gaultier progressed over ElShorbagy in straight games to reach his fifth successive PSA World Tour final.

Final
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (51m)

Gaultier lifted his fourth successive PSA World Tour title after the 34-year-old defeated World Champion Gawad 3-0 in the final.

The charismatic Frenchman played at an unrelenting pace throughout the 51-minute encounter and gave Gawad no chance to utilise his shot-making talents as he powered to an 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 victory to lift his 38th career PSA World Tour title and become the first non-Egyptian winner of the World Series tournament.

“I knew it was going to be an unbelievable match,” said Gaultier following his win.

“I’m just doing the right things, I’m quite relaxed on court and I’ve just been focused on what I have to do. After Christmas I had a good break and had some good preparation and I told myself to start from scratch again at the Tournament of Champions. That’s what I did and now things are working great for me and I’m going to keep playing as much as I can.”

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