• Grasshopper Cup 2017 • 03-07 May • Zurich •  


 TODAY at the Grasshopper Cup 2017

07-May, FINAL:

[3] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) 3-0 [5] Ali Farag (Egy)
                        11-8, 11-9, 14-12 (53m)

Greg Dominates The Tour

What an “end” of a career is Grégory Gaultier having. It reminds me of Jonathan Power who retired while being world number one. How many sportsmen managed to do something like that???

Greg just won his 23rd PSA match in a row, bless him. And he just heard his wife Veronika was expecting another baby (Nolan will be 5 in August). Life just couldn’t be better for the French number one.

Rewind to the first game, with a very good start, 3/0, that put pressure on DaddyLongLegs Farag, who played superb squash the whole game, but just couldn’t overcome that bad start, 2/5, 4/8, 6/9. After some gruelling mid-pace rallies, Ali threatened Greg 8/9, but a big push from the French, two quick rallies, and it’s 11/8 in 19m.

In the second, a better start from the Egyptian, 1/1, 2/2, 3/3, only to see the French stringing points away, 6 on the trot, 8/3, 9/6. Three uncharacteristic errors from Greg under pressure give some hope to the Egyptian camp, but it’s still Greg, 11/9 in 16m.

The third saw the Frenchman tire, and Ali taking full advantage of it, 4/1, 7/2. Surely we were on for a fourth – the crowd would have loved it and were pushing for Ali – but Greg just dug in, found some excellent length again, wrongfooted Ali with some super holds, saved three game balls from 8/10 then 11/12, to take the match/title on his second attempt, 14/12 in 14m.

I am amazed with the way I was playing, I was trying my best for the tournament, Stephan and his team do their upmost best here, the set up is unbelievable, so has been the crowd all week, from day one, and we need this kind of support in every event. All the players love to come to Zurich I think.

The crowd was very fair, it was 50/50, I heard a lot of come on Ali, and it’s good that in Europe, we support the Egyptian players, like when I was in El Gouna playing Abdel Gawad, the crowd was pretty fair there too. I feel that wherever we play, we need the crowd to support every player.

It maybe was a 3/0 match but we played over an hour, 3/0 means nothing, it could have gone either way, if he took the first game, you never know. He felt more and more comfortable, in the last game, where I was dropping a little, I was trying hard to push myself to win the extra points, to close the match, otherwise, it would have gone into another match.

You could see it yesterday, as long as the match goes on, he feels more and more comfortable. He is an unbelievable player, he is still young, 10 years younger than me I think, it makes me feel really old!

It’s amazing the way those Egyptians play, even for me who was the favourite on paper, I so admire those players, and I inspire my game from those players, you always learn, nobody is perfect, far from it, and we always try and get better and better every day: I need to look at each and every player, especially that kind of player that play sublime squash – like Ali did in the quarters, and backing up again today. All credit to him.

A thought to my wife, my biggest supporter, always watching my matches, whether is 2am or 4pm. She always makes sure she wakes up even in the middle of the night. This victory is really for her, and she is expecting, we just heard she is pregnant, and I wanted to let you know through SquashTV today.

All I did this week, even after Egypt, being sick for two weeks and under antibiotics, come back strong every day, I did it for her, I tried my best this week.

 "He was better than me in the first but at the end of that game I felt like I was getting into it and finding a way to play him. I was playing well but he came back very strong in the third.

It was a flip of a coin at the end, had I won I that game I think it would have gone to five, but there are no regrets. I've had a great week here and I'm proud of what I've achieved."

Video highlights of the Semis and Final

Women's Challenge:


Camille Serme 3-1

Nour El Tayeb

Raneem /El Welily 3-2
Laura Massaro


Camille Serme 3-0
Raneem El Welily
19/17, 11/7, 11/6

Video highlights of the Semis and Final