Magnificent Miguel Motors Past Gaultier In
Colombia's Miguel Angel Rodriguez pulled
off the biggest victory of his career, reinforcing his
credentials as a genuine top-ten player, with a dramatic and
thrilling 3-2 victory over 2014 runner-up Gregory Gaultier in
the quarter-finals of the 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of
Champions in New York today (Jan 21).
After beating World No.6 Peter Barker in a
gruelling 120-minute encounter in the second round to book his
place in the last eight of a PSA World Series for the first time
ever, Rodriguez continued his coming of age, producing a suburb
all-round display to take out the World No.2 in 88 exhilarating
The 29-year-old had failed to take even a
game off Gaultier from five previous occasions but after
breaking into the top ten for the first time this month, to
occupy the World No.8 ranking, he produced the most composed
performance of his career to take out the four-time World
Championship runner-up in emotional scenes.
"I'm really happy to be in the semi-finals
and I'm going to enjoy it,"
"I was ready to play against Greg tonight
and the strategy that I prepared with my coach David (Palmer)
paid off. I knew if I was going to play long rallies against
Greg I wasn't going to win so I tried to volley more and use the
boast and I'm very happy with the way I played.
"For me Greg is the toughest player on
tour as he's very strong and it is so difficult to win rallies
against him. I was very patient, but more offensive than I was
against Peter and I felt like it all worked."
Traditionally a crowd favourite at the
iconic Grand Central Terminal, Gaultier found himself in
reversed roles as the crowd got behind the flamboyant man from
Bogota, and he delighted the packed auditorium with an acrobatic
display that mixed unbelievable retrievals with audacious
shot-making from start to finish.
After seeing three game-ball opportunities
disappear from his hands as he went one-game down to the
Frenchman, Rodriguez would have been forgiving for doubting
himself, but he showed true character to rebound and level the
scores before going on to cause Gaultier difficulties in all
four corners of the courts.
In the decisive fifth-game Rodriguez found
himself 9-5 down but steeled for a spirited last hurrah and it
paid off, as he won six consecutive points to take the match at
the first opportunity and set up a semi-final match against
World No.4 Nick Matthew.
"I have played Nick a few times before on
tour but I have time to recover and rest so I'll be ready for
"When I lost that first game, I knew it
would be tough to come back because mentally that is so hard but
I felt good when I got that second game.
“Then I was playing very good at the start
of the fifth and I played some nice drop shots and I could feel
he was getting tired and at 9-6 I told myself that I was capable
of winning and I so pleased to come through."
Results: Quarter-finals (Bottom Half) - JP
Morgan Tournament of Champions
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt  Simon Rösner (GER) 3-1: 10-12,
11-4, 11-7, 11-6 [66m]
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt  Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-2:
11-13, 14-12, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 [88m]
Draw: Semi-finals - To Be Played Thursday
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v  Amr Shabana (EGY)
 Nick Matthew (ENG) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)