Gaultier and Marwan Elshorbagy Seal NetSuite Open Semifinal Positions

Gaultier (r) against Cuskelly. (image: squashpics,com)
Gaultier (r) against Cuskelly. (image: squashpics,com)

The first 2016 NetSuite Open men’s semifinal is set after top seed and world No. 2 Gregory Gaultier and Egypt’s four seed Marwan Elshorbagy claimed victories on the NetSuite Challenge Court in Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco.

Elshorbagy, world No. 7, maintained his perfect record against Australia’s Cameron Pilley in the first match of the evening session. The twenty-three-year-old held off a second game come back from the World Series Finals runner up to win the match in four games.

“We both lost our concentration, but he played better in the second game and I felt that I had no game plan, then I started getting back into it,” Elshorbagy said.

“I’m very happy with how I played today and a venue like this just makes you want to keep playing. I’m looking forward to the next match.”

Two-time NetSuite Open champion Gaultier also defeated an Australian international in the form of Ryan Cuskelly, in three games.

“I was really looking forward to this match, I haven’t played Ryan for a long time,” said Gaultier.

“He is really tricky and he has really good hands, so I had to impose my pace and the conditions were cold, so I had to be on my toes with his tricky shots. I tried to stay positive because I’ve had a bit of a nightmare this season with injuries. In my career, I’ve done everything I wanted, so every time I step on court it’s all a bonus.

“I tried to step up on the ’T’, to volley as much as possible and be aggressive with my shots. If you stay too passive, then I think you put yourself under pressure, so I had to keep control of the middle area and play the best squash I can play. I’m still not at my best yet, but I’m looking forward to improving my game.”

Men’s quarterfinal results:
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [8] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 11-6 (47m)
[4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [7] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-1: 11-2, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5 (66m)