Willstrop-Gaultier set up a cracking final in Punj Lloyd Squash
New Delhi: France`s Gregory Gaultier downed an erratic Egyptian Mohamed El Shorbagy while England`s James Willstrop overwhelmed compatriot Peter Barker in the semifinals of the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters Squash here Saturday.
Gaultier ended Shorbagy`s challenge in the competition, beating the 20-year-old 12-10, 11-7, 11-1 in the first semifinal at the Siri Fort Sports Complex. Willstrop bettered his 13-1 record against Barker with a 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 win in 29 minutes.
The final scheduled Sunday looks to be a gripping affair considering both Gaultier and Willstrop have had intense matches in the year and a "great rivalry" that emanated from their playing days in the junior circuit.
The Gaultier-Shorbagy match was expected to go down the wire after the Egyptian played the match of his life to upset his mentor Karim Darwish in the quarterfinals Friday. The World No.3, however, put up a flawless performance as he ran away with the match after a tight first set.
Both players engaged themselves in long rallies from the first point and showed enterprise to go for the kill in case of an opening. Gaultier got most of his points through well-placed smashes from both sides while Shorbagy hit an array of nicks and triple boasts much to the delight of the crowd.
Shorbagy was first to get the set point on 10-9 but an unforced error off his forehand gave Gaultier a lifeline. The three-time World Open runner-up made no mistake in the next two points, drawing first blood with a back hand nick.
Shorbagy lost focus from there on and some questionable calls in the second set saw his game dipping down further.
Gaultier was relentless in the third, taking a 9-0 lead and Shorbagy could only heave a sigh of relief after winning his first point on his opponent`s match ball.
The Frenchman praised Shorbagy for an impressive tournament and said the World No.8 will very soon reach the top of the rankings.
"It has been a good year for me especially after a bad start," said Gaultier, who reached his fourth final of 2011 here.
"The first set was really close and after that I was able to control the match. Shorbagy told me that he could not maintain the pace with me after that, whereas I got my range going for most part of the match. Having said that, he is a great player at 20 and I am sure he will be number one in the future," he added.
Gaultier faces a familiar opponent next in Willstrop, who did not put a foot wrong against Barker.
Willstrop is also looking forward to playing Gaultier, who share a 7-7 head-to-head record going into the summit clash.
"It is always great to play against Greg. We have our rivalry going on from the days we played in British Junior Open. I like to play the top guys and I am glad I face him in the final tomorrow," said Willstrop, who could become the new World No.1 by winning the title here.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- I eat beef, can somebody stop me?: Kiren Rijiju hits back at Naqvi
- Delhi: Visually impaired boy scores 91.4% in CBSE 12th Board exams
- MP: 14-year-old boy works as bonded labour since 2009
- UP: Man chops off wife's nose, hair for dowry
- Zee Media Exclusive: The plight of yoga expert Tejaswi Sharma
- Heat ave continues in India, death toll climbs to over 1,400
- Megastar Amitabh Bachchan slapped with Rs 1 crore notice
- Woman denied flat in Mumbai for being a Muslim
- 4 Indians in Forbes' 100 most powerful women list
- Kenyan lawyer offers to marry Barack Obama's daughter Malia
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads
- Maggi likely to face ban in India!
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads- Part II
- Salman Khan accident files burnt in Mantralaya fire
- AIB: The 'Third Gender's right to dignity'
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 to be announced today
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- Maharashtra MSBSHSE HSC Result 2015 on mahresult.nic.in
- First look: Salman Khan steals thunder in `Bajrangi Bhaijaan`
- I was misquoted, says Kiren Rijiju on 'beef' remark
- CBSE Class 10 (Class X Board) Result 2015 on cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in at 2 pm
- mahresult.nic.in updated with MSBSHSE Maharashtra HSC Class XII Result 2015
- Manmohan Singh defends himself on 2G charge, slams Modi govt for 'carbon copy' schemes
- Sonia Gandhi 'unconstitutional authority' during UPA: PM Narendra Modi
- Hours after attacking NDA govt, Manmohan Singh meets PM Narendra Modi
- Reservation stir: Five percent job quota to Gujjars unlikely, hints Rajasthan govt
- PMO website revamped, now send e-mail to PM Modi directly
- Check cbseresults.nic.in, cbse.in for CBSE Class 10 X Board Result at 2 pm
- Death toll climbs to over 1400 as intense heatwave continues in India
- GUJCET Results 2015 declared on gseb.org