After a thrilling finish in the last qualifying event for the 2017 PSA Dubai World Series Finals at El Gouna, Egypt, 2016 defending champion Gregory Gaultier of France kept alive hopes of a fourth PSA World Series Finals title in a row when he heads to Dubai in June.
Gaultier, known as “The General”, defeated Karim Abdel Gawad to take his 38th career PSA World Tour title in El Gouna, and became the first non-Egyptian winner of the tournament.
Gaultier is among a star studded line up of players who are now packing their bags for Dubai, where the top eight ranked male and female players in the PSA Road to Dubai rankings will contest the PSA Dubai World Series Finals from June 6-10 at Dubai Opera.
Gaultier is in blistering form, winning the last three qualification events, and his current unbeaten run of 19 matches is the longest of his glittering 17-year career.
Although he will surrender the world number one position next month to Gawad, who finished the qualification race in first place just five points clear of Gaultier, the 34 year old’s recent form sees him come to Dubai as the favourite to defend the title he won last year.
Egypt’s impressive dominance of squash continues, claiming four of the eight qualification places. Former world number one Mohamed Elshorbagy finished in third position with his brother Marwan, the PSA Men’s Young Player of the Year in 2016, in fourth. Another former world number one Ramy Ashour finished in equal seventh despite battling injuries throughout the year.
England’s former world number one Nick Matthew also had an injury interrupted season, but still managed two runner-up finishes and qualified in fifth. His countryman James Willstrop, also a former world number one, came in in sixth. Germany’s Simon Rosner made five quarter finals throughout the season and finished in equal seventh with Ashour.
The women’s line-up was finalised in March and will feature world number one Nour El Sherbini of Egypt, defending champion Laura Massaro of England, France’s Camille Serme, eight-time World Champion Nicol David of Malaysia, Egypt’s Raneem El Welily and Nouran Gohar, and England’s Sarah-Jane Perry and Alison Waters.