Former World No.1 Gregory Gaultier announced his return to the PSA World Tour with a bang as he went the distance with Egypt’s former World No.3 Omar Mosaad before booking his place in the last 16 of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.
15 months ago the ‘French General’ suffered a serious knee injury at the 2018 U.S. Open and since has been sidelined from action. However, Gaultier announced his comeback with typical charisma as he came from 2-1 down against the Egyptian.
Gaultier, who returned to action at the WSF Men’s World Team Championship last month, took the first game, before Mosaad began to exert his control on proceedings, drawing level and then taking the third on the tie-break.
The 37-year-old soon hit his groove again though and then there was no stopping him, as with the packed out crowd inside Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall firmly on his side, Gaultier pushed himself to the finish line to close out an emphatic 11-7, 8-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-9 win with a celebration to match.
PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) January 11, 2020
“It’s a dream, I’m like a kid again!” said Gaultier.
“When you are broke for 15 months and you’ve got people telling you that you will never come back and you will never do any sport again in your life, I was like ‘I think you’re talking to the wrong person’.
“I kept working hard and believing that I could make it. At some point I had to say ‘let’s do it, let’s play’. I was training through the pain and then suddenly the pain started to settle down, it’s not quite there yet but I managed to play at a kind of decent level. I’m not at where I was two years ago but I think there’s a chance and I still have potential to come back and do some good things for squash.
“You can’t imagine the feeling when you can’t play squash anymore. I’m moving much better than two weeks ago, the matches I had in D.C. really helped me – I had to start somewhere. Every match I could play I used it. Every time I can go on court it’s a bonus.”
Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-2: 11-7, 8-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-9 (78m)