Elias and Mohamed claim the titles in Mauritius
Peru’s Diego Elias overcame the challenge of England’s Mohamed ElShorbagy in straight games to win the inaugural Necker Mauritius Open while Egypt’s Farida Mohamed claimed the RMCLUB Women’s Open title by beating top seed Tinne Gilis in five games.
The Peruvian had knocked out top seed Paul Coll in the semi-finals, and continued that fine form into the final, taking the first ten points of the match, claiming the PSA Gold title after not dropping a game all event, and added to the Qatar QTerminals Classic and Motor City Open titles that he won earlier this season.
“I want to thank everyone for coming here today and I want to thank Tournament Promoter Ramy [Mabillon] for organising this amazing tournament,” said Elias. “I love being in this atmosphere, it feels like home. I want to thank all the team, the club and Greg Gaultier for helping to organise this, as well as PSA for having a tournament here. I want to thank everyone for organising this huge event.
“I’m really happy to be the first winner of a tournament like this. Hopefully, this keeps happening every year and I can come back next year and try and win it again.”
Egypt’s World No.18 Mohamed securing the biggest title of her fledgling career, as she defeated top seed Tinne Gilis in a five-game battle.
“No one would believe that before I came here everyone wanted me to pull out of this tournament because of my leg,” said Mohamed. “I’ve been injured for a month and a half now, my hamstring and my hip. I finally found a way to fix it in the past two days. It was feeling better, but at the end my deep heat was done and I had to put ice spray on it, it went cold again and it felt so bad.
“My coach knows very well that I wanted to win this tournament very badly. Not everyone believed I could do it, so it was such a relief. It’s over and now I’m going into a break with a win. “Tinne has been playing amazing squash lately and she’s improved so much. It feels amazing to win my biggest title at the end of the season and finish this way. It’s going to give me confidence because I haven’t been in top form today and this week because of my leg as I wasn’t able train very well.”
Day Four, Semi-Finals : Elias downs top seed Coll
Peru’s Diego Elias put in a scintillating performance to overcome New Zealand’s top seed Paul Coll in straight games at the RM Club in Grand Bay, Mauritius, as the finalists were decided.
“I think I played one of the best matches I’ve ever played, so I’m supposed to be happy!” Elias said.
“Paul’s had a long and very hard season, with lots of big matches, so I thought I had a big opportunity today. He was, I guess, tired mentally from the whole season, so I just didn’t want to let it go today and I’m very happy that I played like this.
Elias will now face England’s Mohamed ElShorbagy in the final on Saturday after the second seed defeated Egypt’s Tarek Momen in a tight three-game battle, the last of which went deep into a tie-break.
“Once you get to the semi-final, you’ve got the best four players in the tournament there in the semis, which is what the tournament wants,” the English number one said.
In the Women’s event top seed Tinne Gilis continued her assault of the competition to reach a third Challenger 30 level final in as many months, as she overcame the challenge of France’s Enora Villard, and she will now face Farida Mohamed for the title after the Egyptian downed second seed Melissa Alves in four close games.
Day THREE : Top seeds through to semis in Mauritius
The third day of the Necker Mauritius Open saw the quarter finals take place the RM Club in Grand Bay, Mauritius, with the top seeds all making their way through to the last four of the men’s and women’s events.
“Baptiste played really well, he can put the ball away but it’s just whether he can have his winner/error ratio in his favour,” Coll said. “I knew that if I still played my game plan, even though I lost the first I knew I had to execute my plan a little bit better to win.”
Coll faces third seed Diego Elias in the semis after the Peruvian breezed past Mazen Hesham in just 21 minutes.
Second seed Mohamed ElShorbagy also booked his spot in the semi-finals after coming through against a Frenchman, Gregoire Marche, in four games.
“I thought the match was very high quality & played in the right spirit,” said ElShorbagy. Thanks to the crowd for coming and supporting us every day. You guys make it really special for us. It’s our first time here and on behalf of all the players, we’re absolutely loving our time here so thank you so much for supporting us all.”
ElShorbagy meets former compatriot Tarek Momen in the semis after the fourth seed beat Omar Mosaad in an all-Egyptian match.
In the Women’s event the top three seeds all made their way into the semi-finals, with Frenchwoman Melissa Alves having to fight from two games down to overcome the challenge of England’s Julianne Courtice in five.
Coline Aumard’s career came to an end as she retired from the sport following defeat to her good friend and top seed Tinne Gilis, the Belgian winning in straight games.
“I knew this was going to be Coline’s last tournament and it’s mixed feelings that I’m her last match on the PSA World Tour. I’m honoured in one way, but very sad on the other side, because I don’t want her to leave!” Gilis said.
Aumard said: “Of course, it’s very hard to find words right now but I think you can see how happy I am to be here. I mean, it’s happy tears, you know?
Egypt’s Farida Mohamed won the other match of the day in the women’s event, beating Frenchwoman Marie Stephan in straight games, while Enora Villard received a walkover through to the last four after Scotland’s Lisa Aitken had to withdraw from their quarter final due to illness.
Day TWO : Gaultier bids farewell as Mosaad produces the only R2 upset
The second round of the Necker Mauritius Open was an emotional one as Frenchman Gregory Gaultier made his final bow, losing out to Egypt’s Mazen Hesham at the RM Club in his last ever match on the PSA World Tour.
With the crowd in his favour, Gaultier took the first game 14-12but Hesham took the next three to advance to a quarter-final against third seed Diego Elias.
“Thanks everyone for the support, said Gaultier. Obviously, it was a tough day for me. Mazen was playing some good squash and I haven’t played for quite a while and I couldn’t see the ball, my movement was way too off but I did what I could,” the Frenchman admitted.
“I tried to hang in the rallies, but obviously my fitness wasn’t adjusting at all. I’m of course disappointed to have been unable to perform a bit better than that, but it is what it is and I did what I could on the day and it’s been a pleasure to be on this beautiful court. Thanks so much, it was an honour to play my last match and let’s enjoy the rest of the week with some more action.
“It was my last match on the PSA Tour, but I try to keep playing for fun. It’s always a pleasure to step on court. It’s like a drug, I wish there was no age, I wish I had another leg but obviously I’ll keep on playing because I love the sport way too much. As long as I can step on court, even if I’m totally broken, I will still be hitting some balls.”
Another former World No.1 and World Champion, Mohamed ElShorbagy, notched up his first victory as an England player as he overcame new compatriot James Willstrop in straight games to set up a quarter-final against Frenchman Gregoire Marche.
The only surprise of the day’s play came in the opening men’s match as Omar Mosaad knocked out fifth seed Marwan ElShorbagy in a hotly-fought contest, coming from a game down to advance to a quarter-final against third seed Tarek Momen.
The second round of the Women’s event saw the top eight seeds all safely navigate their way into the quarter-finals.
Day ONE : Wildcard Gaultier back with a bang in Mauritius
The return of the ‘French General’ was a victorious one at the RM Club in Grand Bay, Mauritius, as wildcard Gregory Gaultier overcame the challenge of England’s George Parker to make the second round – the only upset as seven 9/16 seeds also won through.
Gaultier, who has continued to train in Prague following his retirement in 2021, took the first two games against Parker, who recovered to take the third but let an 8-5 lead slip in the fourth as Gaultier fought back to clim the victory.
“It’s a pleasure to be here, of course, I was planning my retirement here but we had to postpone the event, the last two years, we came here and had a good party and we came to the agreement with the team to have one more go so I’m happy to be back on court,” Gaultier said after his win.
The last match of the evening saw another former World No.1 in action, as England’s James Willstrop had to fight back from a game down to defeat India’s Ramit Tandon in a pulsating contest to end the night’s play, setting up a second round match with fellow former World No.1, and new English compatriot, Mohamed ElShorbagy for a place in the last eight.
“You have to battle away, I didn’t feel too bad at times, but he’s very good in the middle areas and in the front of the court so you’re going to feel a bit uncomfortable again someone like him, he’s so prolific at the front so you’ve got to ride this phase,” said Willstrop.
In the RMCLUB Women’s Open the opening match of the tournament sprang a surprise, as Singapore’s World No.123 Au Yeong Wai Yhann defeated England’s Torrie Malik in a five-game battle. to set up a meeting with 7th seed Marie Stephan of France
Elsewhere, there were wins for the British quartet of Alicia Mead, Lucy Beecroft, Millie Tomlinson, and Georgia Adderley.