disappointed to lose, there was a nice momentum in the third,
but at 8/8, my ball was called not up, but it was a good shot,
that really killed the rhythm for me.
I’m going to go home now and work hard for the British Open, I
really want to win it again. For the past months, I have been
struggling with that Achilles injury, and we couldn’t find what
was wrong, so I was not able to train properly. But now, I have
a few weeks before Hull, and I’m going to train as much as I
I arrived having done a lot of physical stuff but not enough
racquet work, the fitness was paramount for my recovery. But
now, I have lost a bit of the racquet skills, and that was I
feel I missed tonight. Plus each time I was lifting the ball, I
wasn’t able to control it as I wanted because of the heavy wind,
it seemed to get out of court.
I feel that tonight, I was not aggressive enough when I was up
in the score, I didn’t attack enough. But I’m not going to
complain, because I was playing Ramy who had such a bad time
with his injuries, I’m truly happy the man is back, he is a
great guy and the sport needs him, like it needs Nick, I hope
he’ll have a speedy recovery. Well done to Ramy for coming back,
I hope he’ll have a great match against Mohamed tomorrow…
 Ramy Ashour
(Egy) 3-1  Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
7/11, 11/9, 11/9, 11/9 (64m)
RAMY STRIKES AGAIN
as well come clean, my money was on Greg, 3/0 tonight, which
proves once again that I know F.A about squash, as Nick would
say. I thought ok, Ramy has had three hard matches, he is bound
to feel the joints acing, plus if Greg was not that ready for a
SuperManBionicLeg Ramy in Qatar – who wins the Worlds after not
playing for 6 months?? – he would be today.
And it looked like I was right to start with. A bit of a strange
warm up for Ramy, not his usual routine, a Greg errorless in the
first game, literally, ready Ramy’s game to perfection, an
extremely patient Frenchman that leads the whole way, not much,
1, 2 points, but enough to be calm, 11/7 Greg in 12m.
Ramy, 2 errors, plus 3 strokes, that 5 points for Greg, who only
had to score 6….
second is much better for Ramy, 3/0. The rallies are right away
more intense, longer, but still played at a much slower pace
than normally those two evolve at. Greg won’t be shaken, 3/3,
4/4, 5/5, 7/7, 8/8. We have been playing for 25m when Greg plays
his first error. Ramy still take the game, 11/9, but again, 3
errors plus 2 strokes, that’s 5 free points for Greg, while Greg
conceded up to then only 1 in two games!
The third is the perfect mirror of the second, as close as, but
the rallies are much shorter, as Ramy has now fully downloaded
the “I shall find the perfect height for my backhand crosscourt
lobs and make them irretrievable” file, and Greg finally starts
to make as many errors as Ramy, 3 each. 11/9 for Ramy, the
crowd, the kids, nice atmosphere out there…
I’m sorry to report that the 4th will be about the same than the
previous two. But this time, instead of Ramy being up 10/8,
losing the point on a stroke each time at that to got to 10/9,
this time as I was saying, we are at 9/9.
A powerful backhand kill drive for Ramy, 10/9 match ball, and a
monstrous rally to finish, endless, sooooo intense, so
relentless, nearly slow pace, neither wanting to make the error…
But weirdly enough, Greg loses the match.. on a tin, 11/9.
really came out firing in the first game. He was fresh, as he
had a 25m game, mine was an hour, he was up for it and I had to
react to that, I had to push. He nearly didn’t make errors
today, that’s the kind of player he is, he is an incredible
At the beginning, Greg and myself we were rushing to get on
court really, we did a 30m warm up in about 10m! I was even
foaming as the ref called 15s!!!!! It was not comfortable, but
it didn’t affect us I think. Well, like the rest, you have to
adapt to the circumstances.
Normally Greg comes out firing, very fast, but today, he was
very relaxed, so I had to really dig in and react to his shots.
It took me the whole first game to understand what he was up to,
how to react to it, and he took the first game.
was really guessing my shots today, 5 or 6 times, I was playing
the shot, and he was right behind me, I was surprised every
time! I wish I had like mirrors behind to keep an eye on where
he was, it was kind of funny, he was predicting my shots, and he
got it right so many times!
Yesterday, I was troubled with the movement, I kept diving
because I was avoiding using the leg, today, it was another
problem I was dealing with. Each day brings a new issue you have
to deal with. I was under pressure, I wanted to do well, I
didn’t want to have wasted on those days, weeks, months, for
I don’t consider Mohamed as a “young player” anymore! He is the
World No.1 and he's the toughest player out there. Everyone else
is hanging on to him and trying to dig their teeth into him so I
know he'll be under pressure tomorrow but I will be under
pressure as well.
I really want to do my best tomorrow. I'm grateful for what I've
achieve so far but I want more and I'm going to fight for it
with every breath.