“I think squash will be in Olympic in the future”- Gregory Gaultier

Gregory Gaultier Known for his imposing physical style and unrelenting stamina, Gregory Gaultier is one of the most combative players on the PSA World Tour. The Frenchman showed promise from the very start of his career, reaching the final of the World Junior Squash Championship in 2000 before losing to Karim Darwish but he made up for that by winning the 2001 British Junior Open. The enigmatic Frenchman reached the final of the World Championship in 2006 after defeating defending-champion Amr Shabana in the semi-final. Despite going two games up in the final against Australian David Palmer, Gaultier was pegged back and the match eventually ended in a 3-2 loss. He has since lost a further three World Championship finals, in 2007 against Amr Shabana, and in 2011 and 2013, on both occasions losing out to Englishman Nick Matthew. Gaultier became the first Frenchman ever to win the British Open, in 2007, defeating compatriot Thierry Lincou in the process. He also became the only Frenchman to win the Tournament of Champions when he triumphed over Nick Matthew in 2009’s final. November 2009 saw Gaultier become World No.1 for the first time, becoming only the second Frenchman to do so, after Lincou, and it would be five years later, in February 2014, before he once again top the world rankings. In 2014 he won both the Windy City Open and British Open, PSA World Series events, while also reaching the final of the Tournament of Champions and Hong Kong Open. Abhijit Ganguly speaks to Gregory Gaultier at the Calcutta Racket Club.

What ignited your interest in squash?

I fell in love with the sport when I was four years old my parents were managing a squash club.

To be a champion squash player, how much is talent and how much is hard work?

You need a bit of talent of course but without work you can’t become a champion.

How much time do you dedicate to squash every day?

I train 5-6 hours a day. It includes fitness in gym or on squash court, squash drills or matches, stretching, visualisation exercises, video analyses...

Are you optimistic about squash getting an entry into the Olympic Games in the future?

I think squash will be in Olympic in the future. They are looking to have news sports and we are positive with all the investments we did and all improvement we had in our sport it should be there.

What are your words of advice for youngster who picks up squash as a sport?

Just to enjoy and give always try hard.

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