GAULTIER AND EL WELILY CLAIM 2017 WINDY CITY OPEN TITLES

Courtesy of PSA

French World No.3 Gregory Gaultier picked up the 36th title of his PSA World Tour career by defeating Marwan ElShorbagy 3-1 to win the 2017 Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company – while Egyptian Women’s World No.3 Raneem El Welily added the 2017 title to her 2015 and 2016 crowns with a 3-1 win over Nour Sl Sherbini.

Gaultier, competing in a 75th PSA career final, has been in scintillating form so far in 2017. After finishing as runner-up at January’s Tournament of Champions and winning the Swedish Open in February he proved too much for ElShorbagy, the 23-year-old appearing in a World Series tournament final for the first time in his career.

The Frenchman started slowly, looking nervous as he struggled to settle in the opener which went the way of a composed looking ElShorbagy. But Gaultier’s big game experience came to the fore as he pushed on to secure the honours and his 13th PSA World Series title 5-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-4.

“I am really happy – it’s amazing to win these kind of major titles so it will be nice to see my name on this beautiful trophy once again,” said Gaultier, who also won here in 2014.

“It is a lovely place to play and I have been coming here for a long time. I have a lot of friends here and have always enjoyed coming back.

“Today he caused me a lot of trouble in the first game. He has got a lot of confidence from this week winning some big matches, especially from beating his brother. He proved this week that he is a top player – he came through five tough matches to reach this stage which was a tougher week than me.

“I had to find a solution and to put more pace into it and get in control because when I was playing at his rhythm he was just a better player than me.”

El Welily meanwhile, in a repeat of the 2016 final, put in the best performance of her year so far to stop World No.1 El Sherbini 10-12, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7.

The World No.3 played superb squash from the off, using her backhand drop with devastation to punish any lose play from El Sherbini. Despite losing a close first game 10-12 it looked comfortable for El Welily as she returned to the form that took her to World No.1 in 2015.

“She (El Sherbini) played really well in the first game and I wasn’t sharp enough,” said El Welily.

“Half way through the first game I started to find my spots and my angles. Even though I lost that first game, I knew that I was on my way to find the right plan. I’m really happy to win today, it’s fantastic.

“Chicago is my lucky city and I’m always happy to be here.”

“I’m very happy. Very glad with how I performed after a tough match yesterday – I didn’t expect to play that well.

“Winning three times in a row is so unlike me – I’m happy Imaaged to do that.”

Results – Final: 2017 Men’s Windy City Open
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [5] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 5-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-4 (51m)

Results – Final: 2017 Women’s Windy City Open
[3] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 3-1: 10-12, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (42m)