• Tournament of Champions 2010 • 20-28 Jan, New York • 

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TODAY at the ToC - Thu 29th Jan 2009
Framboise reports from New York, Steve in Whitley Bay, UK ...

[4] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) bt [10] Nick Matthew (Eng)
                            11/9, 2/11, 11/8, 11/4 (62m)


If the Frenchman didn’t start well again this final – must be something in the French Water – and went down 7/2, he soon reassessed, and took a game that was to become crucial 11/9 in 17 minutes.

The enormous work that Nick force him to do in that opening game cost him the second one really, but after that “I never looked back” stated Greg, and we could see him relentlessly getting more and more lethal at the front.

And even if Nick got close, very close in the third, 8/8, it seemed that it was the Englishman who was doing all the hard work, all the running, all the retrieving, and that it was Greg who was systematically cashing the point in the end….

When Greg was making one step, Nick was making four, and a bit like Ramy, Greg seemed to find astonishing shots out of nowhere, that Nick killed himself getting back. Not only frustrating, but also very tiring…

Greg's strategy paid off in the fourth, where the Englishman still had all his will, determination and heart, but the legs gave up on him.

It was a hard match with gruelling and lengthy rallies, played by two gentlemen friends who offered the spectators a superb entertainment, and in their speech to the crowd afterwards, they both expressed their hope to see the squash becoming an Olympic discipline.

Well, what they produced tonight was of the highest standard, and surely, SURELY shows how our sport produces Champions worthy of the Olympic Values.

Good work, boys, good work…

"This is my fourth final in a row, which proves that I’m getting more consistent, and this is really very positive to me, and I’m happy with the way I played both physically and mentally.

"Yesterday Nick and I were training together, and we were telling each other, “come on, one more push, and we’ll be playing against each other tomorrow, and I was so happy to actually see him coming back, he definitely deserves to be back in the top rankings.

"I think I raised my game this week round after round, but today, again, because of the accumulation of matches, I had again trouble starting, at every match, I had to find my marks again, and I had trouble dominating the rallies. But I happy to come back into the game, to find a solution, and avoid to lose a game for nothing.

"Nick was so patient today, and so was I. It was hard on there, there was some false pace, then suddenly, we were playing very fast, and I had to work so hard to empty his energy tank!

"And but once I had a 2/1 lead, I could see that he had a drop in energy. So I pushed as hard as I could, without getting impatient, trying to build up the rallies. Nick made me play so hard tonight, he really gave me a hard time…! We had to fight for every rally, for every shot, and I guess that’s why squash is such a great sport…

"We the players are so grateful to the sponsors, without them, we wouldn’t be here, in this great venue, and we hope that the spectators enjoyed the match. And I really want to thank PSALive for providing footage to French Televisions, and you SquashSite for your day in day out coverage.

"How not to thank my sponsors, Adidas and Dunlop, my team, Mathieu, my osteopath, whose been taking care of my body, the National Coaches, my sparring partners, Galifi, Thierry, Renan, and all the young players from the French Excellence Centre in Aix en Provence. It’s such a pleasure to take this victory, for me of course, but especially for all of them, because on your own, you can’t construct much…

"And of course, thanks for the daily support of my family and girlfriend….

"This is for me such an honour for me to win this event, I’ve been coming here since I was a kid, and to put my name next to the Greats, Peter Nicol, Jonathan Power, Shabana, is something special for me.

This is such a dream for me to win a tournament in such great conditions, and I would advise French Squash lovers, or from anywhere really, if you want and enjoy a tournament, this is one you cannot miss."

"The only advantage of not playing in this event for a couple of years made me realise how badly I missed it, and made me realise that it’s definitely one of my favourite events. John Nimick and his team are doing such a great job, they allow us to play in great conditions, allows you Fram, to work in good condition and provide your coverage, allows my family, who I thank for coming by the way, to support me, and enjoy the event…

"Today, I wish we could calculate how much we are running during an event, because I have the feeling I covered quite a distance today… But it’s all credit to him, he has become so good in that channel along the side wall… And I tried to step up, and vary the shots, he kept pushing me right back…

"I think we are two of the strongest players physically, but today, he really ground me down, and not many people can do that. And that’s supposed to be my strength, so I’m going to work on that as soon as I get home…

"Having the qualities I have on the physicality side is a great chance, and a plus, of course, but I’ve been working a lot on my all court strategy, and if it’s a work in progress, I believe that I’ve improved my angles and my touch to the front, and I have more weapons in my game.

"But of course, you’ve got to improve all the time, and you’ve got to keep working all the time, but then again, that’s what I do every day, no change there…

"I had my chances today, I just didn’t seize them, and in the end, he outplayed me, and fully deserved to win. I think Greg played superbly this week, and that, from the first round, and he fully deserve this victory…"

"This year we had five new sponsors, and thanks to them, and especially to JP Morgan for their extraordinary support they have offered us this week, we had 24 out of the 26 top players in the world…

Thanks to all of your New York spectators, we had our best tickets sale EVER and for the players, for such great matches!

Thanks to you all…

"We want to thank JP Morgan and all the sponsors for supporting our sport, this ToC was such a great event, but then again, we didn’t expect anything less from a place such as this.
John Nimick and his team has done a wonderful job, and with the support of you sponsors, we hope to see bigger and bigger events here…"

The Media centre at Grand Central


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