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Throwback Thursday: Story of the 2017 Men’s British Open

The Allam British Open begins next week as the tournament takes place from May 15-20 at Hull’s Airco Arena.

The top players in the world will all be taking part when the tournament begins as they look to get their hands on the sport’s oldest and most prestigious title.

Here, we take a look back at the story of last year’s men’s British Open…

Results
Round One
Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (46m)
[Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) bt Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 3-0: 11-6, 6-0 retired (19m)
Simon Rösner (GER) bt [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-8 (41m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [Q] Charles Sharpes (ENG) 3-1: 11-3, 5-11, 11-5, 11-6 (41m)
[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-3 (35m)
[7] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-1: 11-9, 11-1, 9-11, 11-1 (54m)
Max Lee (HKG) bt [6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 5-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 (61m)
Diego Elias (PER) bt [Q] Nathan Lake (ENG) 3-1: 11-7, 8-11, 11-1, 11-6 (55m)
Paul Coll (NZL) bt [WC] Declan James (ENG) 3-2: 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-2, 11-5 (75m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Tom Richards (ENG) 3-2: 11-9, 10-12, 9-11, 11-1, 11-6 (78m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt James Willstrop (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 10-12, 12-10, 11-9 (71m)
[5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [Q] Zahed Mohamed (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (29m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-0 (30m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-2: 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8 (93m)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-3 (49m)
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-2: 13-11, 6-11, 11-2, 5-11, 11-6 (72m)

France’s Mathieu Castagnet pulled off the shock of round one as he knocked out England’s home hope and former World No.1 James Willstrop by an 11-9, 10-12, 12-10, 11-9 scoreline on the side courts as both players treated spectators to some absorbing rallies.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Max Lee saw off Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy as he came from 2-0 down to stage an epic comeback to win 5-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 in just over an hour on court.

Top seeds Mohamed ElShorbagy, Karim Abdel Gawad, Gregory Gaultier and Nick Matthew, meanwhile, all ensured a safe passage through to round two with wins over Fares Dessouky, Omar Mosaad, Miguel Angel Rodriguez and Borja Golan.

Round Two
[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Paul Coll (NZL) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 20-18 (62m)
[7] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-2, 11-9 (30m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-4, 11-7 (37m)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Simon Rösner (GER) 3-1: 11-7, 11-5, 5-11, 11-3 (62m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-0: 11-1, 11-3, 11-2 (31m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Max Lee (HKG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-8, 11-9 (54m)
[5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Diego Elias (PER) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 12-10 (42m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-1: 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-7 (64m)

Egypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar stunned number two seed and World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad in round two when he came from a game behind to secure a stunning 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-7 victory over his countryman.

The victory also prevented Gawad from claiming the World No.1 spot during the event.

The rest of the seeding went to plan with top seed ElShorbagy defeating England’s Daryl Selby and Matthew and Gaultier both easing through to the next round.

Quarter-finals
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [7] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-2: 11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-5 (82m)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [8] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-2: 11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6 (82m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 (35m)
[5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-2: 10-12, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 (64m)

All the seeding went to plan in the quarter-finals of the men’s event as all of the top seeds prevailed to set up mouth-watering semi-finals fixtures at the sport’s oldest tournament.

ElShorbagy defeated compatriot Ali Farag in a gruelling 82-minute battle which saw the lead constantly exchange hands before the top seed completed an 11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-5 victory.

England’s Matthew, meanwhile, defeated Egypt’s Tarek Momen and Ashour saw off Abouelghar in two more thrilling 3-2 encounters in the quarter-finals. While, Gaultier was in complete control to dispatch compatriot Castagnet in straight-games in just over half an hour on court.

Semi-finals
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5 (75m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) 3-0: 11-9 retired (20m)

Matthew condemned top seed ElShorbagy to defeat in this big 75-minute battle on court, which saw ‘The Wolf’ battle hard to earn his place in the final.

The Yorkshireman was in imperious form as he battled back from 8-6 and 7-3 down in the opening two games and then survived a resurgence from ElShorbagy – which saw the Egyptian take the third – to seal victory and reach his first World Series final since October’s U.S. Open earlier that season.

Meanwhile, Gaultier did not spend as long on court after his opponent – Ashour – was forced to retire after the first game due to injury.

Final

[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [4] Nick Matthew (ENG) 3-1: 8-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-3 (67m)

In the final, Matthew started strongly to take the first game but was unable to stop the march of the ‘French General’ as Gaultier dug in and hit his stride towards the end of the second game as he powered to an 8-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-3 victory in 67 minutes to claim his third British Open title.

The win also meant that Gaultier would make history the following month as the oldest ever World No.1.

“It was a massive day for me,” said Gaultier following his win.

“I had a great week and a great feeling on court. I was moving well and to be number one as well again at my age is an amazing feeling – it’s pure pleasure.”