Gaultier, a winner here in 2012 and 2014, had been in sublime form throughout the week and reached the final without dropping a game, before exhibiting some of his best squash against Willstrop to go two games ahead on the spectacular glass showcourt on Justin Herman Plaza.
World No.19 Willstrop battled back and held three separate game balls throughout a tightly-contested third game, but the Englishman ultimately lost out on the tie-break, with Gaultier wrapping up an 11-9, 11-2, 14-12 victory to lift his first PSA World Tour title of the season.
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“I’m really happy with the way I’ve been playing this week, I’ve been playing better day after day,” said Gaultier.
The women’s final saw Massaro come up against defending champion Sobhy, who triumphed over Massaro’s compatriot, Sarah-Jane Perry, to take the honours at the inaugural Women’s event last year.
It was the Englishwoman who found her length the fastest, taking the ball early to build up a strong rhythm of hitting and she triumphed in a comfortable opening game for the loss of four points, before a strong reaction from World No.6 Sobhy saw the Harvard graduate level the scores in game two.
Massaro got her herself back in front in the third though and moved her opponent around the court well to restore her one-game cushion. Sobhy put up a real fight in the early stages of the fourth game, but an indomitable Massaro was just too strong and feathered in a forehand volley drop on her first match ball to triumph 11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7 and earn a share of the $50,000 prize purse, which is double the amount that was on offer last year.
“I’m really happy to get my hands on the title,” said Massaro.
“I don’t know how many more years I’ll be playing for it and Amanda is such a good talent coming up, so I’m glad that I managed to get one more win.”
2016 NetSuite Open – Men’s Final Result
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [WC] James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 14-12 (46m)
2016 NetSuite Open – Women’s Final Result
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [3] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-1: 11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7 (47m)
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