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Marwan ElShorbagy after his 2016 Grasshopper Cup victory

Throwback Thursday: Story of 2016 Grasshopper Cup


Zurich’s Puls5 will host a superb line-up when the 2017 Grasshopper Cup takes place between May 3-7, with the world’s top four players set to battle it out in the PSA M100 tournament.

The Grasshopper Cup features a prize fund of $100,000 for the first time in the tournament’s 38-year history and has attracted one of its strongest ever draws, with 2015 champion Gregory Gaultier, World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad, World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy and World No.4 Nick Matthew all involved.

Last year’s instalment saw a number of surprise results entertain squash fans in all four corners of the globe – relive all of the action below!

First Round Results
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 3-1: 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5 (53m)
[WC] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt [8] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-2: 10-12, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7 (95m)
[7] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Leo Au (HKG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 (35m)
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [3] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-0: 14-12, 11-9, 11-9 (63m)
[4] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-0: 11-8, 11-9, 11-5 (42m)
[5] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-2: 6-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-6 (69m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt [6] James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 (40m)
[2] Simon Rösner (GER) bt [Q] Paul Coll (NZL) 3-0: 11-8, 11-9, 11-5 (60m)

The opening round of the tournament saw three seeds culled, with former World No.1 James Willstrop falling to a shock defeat against Frenchman Gregoire Marche.

Willstrop, ranked outside of the world’s top 10 at the time, has shown glimpses of his best ever form at times this season, but was powerless to prevent a rampant Marche from surging to the win in straight games.

Number three seed Mathieu Castagnet also missed out on a place in the last eight after he lost to England’s Chris Simpson, while eighth seed Ryan Cuskelly fell to tournament wildcard Nicolas Mueller.

Quarter-Final Results
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [WC] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-0: 11-4, 11-2, 11-7 (37m)
[7] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-1: 9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-5 (54m)
[4] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [5] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 (42m)
[2] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 16-14 (86m)

Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy signalled his intention to mount a title challenge with a 3-0 win over the hard-hitting Australian Cameron Pilley.

ElShorbagy seized every opportunity to attack against against an out-of-sorts Pilley to set up a semi-final meeting with German No.1 Simon Rösner, who came through a bruising 86-minute clash with Marche.

Top seed Gaultier was also victorious in his quarter-final fixture, with a 3-0 win over Nicolas Mueller seeing him into the last four, where Egypt’s Ali Farag awaited after he defeated Simpson.

Semi-Final Results
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [7] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-1: 11-5, 11-8, 5-11, 12-10 (61m)
[4] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [2] Simon Rösner (GER) 3-0: 15-13, 11-7, 11-5 (58m)

Defending champion Gaultier moved into his second successive Grasshopper Cup final after the ‘French General’ came through the challenge of Farag, overturning a game ball in the fourth to prevail on the tie-break.

Meanwhile, then World No.12 ElShorbagy earned his spot in his biggest Tour final up to that point with victory over 2015 runner-up Rösner.

Final Result
[4] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-2: 6-11, 13-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6 (66m)

Despite going a game down to a seemingly invincible Gaultier, ElShorbagy rallied to prevail in a thrilling five-game battle, lifting his biggest ever title.

The 23-year-old went on to capture the Houston Open crown the following month and would reach the world’s top five a year later.

Head to SQUASHTV to watch more matches from the Grasshopper Cup – including the 2014 final between the legendary Amr Shabana and Tarek Momen.

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