One of the most charismatic players ever to pick up a squash racket has been absent from the PSA Tour for the past 10 months – but former World No.1 and World Champion Gregory Gaultier is hoping to return to court this coming season.
The 36-year-old has been on the sidelines ever since limping off court with a knee injury after a mammoth five-game epic against World No.1 Ali Farag at the U.S. Open last October, and he recently detailed the gruelling rehabilitation process in a two-part interview with the PSA.
Gaultier stopped short of giving an exact date for his comeback but did admit that he is coming back to win trophies, not just to show up.
The Frenchman – who in 2017 became the oldest World No.1 in the sport’s history – is a warrior and his return to the PSA Tour will certainly create a lot of intrigue when the new season gets under way.
But after such a significant injury at this stage of his career, what can we realistically expect from the man dubbed the ‘French General’? We asked our panel of experts for their views.
Nicol David – Former World No.1 & Eight-Time World Champion
“I do hope Greg will have fully recovered and is back on his feet willing to fight again.
“All I wish for him always is that his body is healthy and fine. That is my main concern for him, and it is up to him when he is willing to put that body into action again completely.”
Joey Barrington – SQUASHTV Lead Commentator
“The French General is looking to make a comeback after a season and a half out from a horrendous double knee surgery.
“Up until that happened, he was still giving everyone else a really hard time, even the very top players and was finishing consistently in the top four. Class doesn’t disappear, if Gaultier is able to get his mobility to a certain level, the hunger will be there.
“There’s certainly not a lack of hunger, technically he is great, tactically he has got better and mentally he’s got stronger and stronger as he’s got older. For me, he won’t have an issue getting back into the top 10 and back into the top eight.
“If he gets a clear run, I don’t see him not pushing on from the top eight to the top five again. But I definitely see him getting back into the top eight with a successful comeback if he can get that knee nice and healthy.”
Sarah Fitz-Gerald – Former World No.1 and Five-Time World Champion
“It will be good to have him back.
“He is always good to watch and he keeps the younger players and Egyptians on their toes.
“If his recovery is good, he could be a force again as he’s got the experience, knowledge and determination.”
Lee Drew – SQUASHTV Commentator and PSA Referee and Refereeing Director
“I hope so, the tour is a very exciting place with the French General around.
“His charisma will work the crowd into a frenzy, and he will cause upsets in the draw for sure. I think the squash world is ready and willing for a final and extended exciting hurrah from Gaultier.”
Laura Massaro – Former World No.1 and World Champion
“I expect him to come back with a bang.
“If he's fit and strong then he will be a hand full for anyone to deal with. I cannot imagine he would come back if he wasn't playing at the level he was at pre-injury.
“I’m excited to see him back on tour and to see him challenging for big titles again.”
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