Ramy Ashour Wins Historic British Open
26 May 2013
RESULTS: PSA World Series Allam British
Open, Hull, England
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8 (64m)
Today's sensational climax of the 2013
Allam British Open Squash Championships, the fourth PSA
World Series event of the year staged on an all-glass court
erected on the pitch of soon-to-be English Premier League
football club Hull City, saw Ramy Ashour make
history by becoming the first Egyptian in 47 years to win the
sport's prestigious title.
Despite having produced world champions,
world number ones and currently five players in the PSA men's
world top ten, Egypt has not boasted a British Open champion
since 1966 - when the legendary AA AbouTaleb won the
trophy for the third year in a row in London.
Undefeated since losing the 2012 final in
London exactly a year ago, Ashour was firm favourite to have his
name inscribed on the trophy this year. But the top seed dropped
his first game of the tournament as French rival Gregory
Gaultier took an early lead in the final of the first
staging of the event in Yorkshire since 1974.
Gaultier, the first French winner of the
title in 2007, tried to continue where he had left off in the
second - but was unable to take the ball as early as previously
with Ashour become more patient on the attack.
As the Egyptian forced the Frenchman into
making more errors, Ashour grew in confidence and finished the
second on his first game ball to draw level.
Gaultier started the third with more
aggression with 25-year-old Ashour making a few uncharacteristic
errors. At 7-5 to Gaultier, it looked as if the match was
swinging back in his favour - but a few patient rallies and
errors from the world number three got Ashour back on track at
10-7 and again the Egyptian closed out the game at the first
Ashour built up a 6-3 lead in the fourth
as his opponent began to show signs of fatigue. But a series of
unforced errors from the Cairo king saw Gaultier win four points
in a row to lead the game for the first time.
Ashour regrouped to reclaim the lead and
after both players put the ball out of the court in successive
rallies, Ashour clinched his first match-ball with a deft
forehand shot into the nick to win 7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8 in 64
After shaking his opponent's hand and
seeing Gaultier out of the court, Ashour leapt into the air in
celebration before falling to the ground to kiss the floor -
where he stayed for several minutes, clearly tearful with
When asked to express his feelings,
several minutes later, the new champion said: "There's a famous
quote: the game is just a game - it's what you play for that
"I've been preparing for eight weeks for
this tournament - but I've had lots of hard times over the last
two weeks, so I'm really proud of myself for what I've achieved.
"Winning this prestigious title is one of
the happiest moments of my life, if not the happiest," continued
the exuberant Ashour, now winner of his 41st PSA Tour match in a
row, and his eighth successive title.
"I've experienced waking up in the morning
every day with a heavy heart and a heavy spirit. There have been
a lot of distractions. But I've learnt a lot from the last
couple of weeks.
"Winning this title is really big for me.
It's something I will always remember," the new British Open
A disconsolate Gaultier said: "I'm very
disappointed. I did what I could. I wanted to win so much.
"But Ramy played better today and he
thoroughly deserved it.
"Hopefully next time I will come back
stronger. I really want to win this title again," concluded the
30-year-old from Aix-en-Provence.