Gregory Gaultier, 34, has won his last six world tour titles since finishing runner-up at January’s Tournament of Champions in New York and is the overwhelming favourite to defend his crown in Dubai.
His unbeaten run, which could stretch to over 30 matches when the action commences this week in the city (June 6-10), saw him become the sport’s oldest world No1.
In an interview with Sport360.com ahead of the event, Gaultier revealed that his injury-plagued 2016 season was the driving force behind his motivation to return stronger this time around.
Two round robin groups of four will contest the $160,000 Finals at Dubai Opera and Gaultier will have his work cut out in perhaps the toughest of the four quartets.
With only two players qualifying for the semi-finals, Gaultier will be up against three former world No1s in Ramy Ashour, Mohamed El Shorbagy and James Willstrop in the best-of-three format.
Lead image by Christoper Whiteoak.