CWC 2016: Mathieu Castagnet beats Omar Mosaad with luck of the Irish

World No10 Mathieu Castagnet came from one game down to beat top seed Omar Mosaad in Canary Wharf Classic final

By Joel Durston

Mathieu Castagnet floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee as he defeated World No4 and top seed Omar Mosaad to claim the Canary Wharf Squash Classic final for the first time – with a little help from a surprise coaching cameo from a spectator.

The Frenchman has been in the best form of his career this season and again demonstrated all of his skills, composure and, more than anything else, his remarkable speed, to fight back from one game down to triumph 6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5.

Remarkably, he made not a single unforced error in the whole 82 minutes of the match, while also hitting 21 winners, two more than Mosaad.

“I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it. I’m so pleased to put my name on the trophy with Thierry Lincou, James Willstrop, Nick Matthew – all these top players in the world, who have been world champions,” he said.

“I’ve played James Willstrop in the quarters Omar Mosaad today and so many strong guys, so it’s a great achievement.”

“I think I haven’t quite realised it yet, because I haven’t checked my phone yet – it will be a pleasure to see so many red colours [likes on Twitter] and retweets. I’ll enjoy this time.”

Castagnet took a 6-2 lead in the first as the two felt each other out with some long, tactical rallies down the backhand side, but Mosaad fought back to claim a remarkable nine straight points, hitting with great pace, length and width.

But then, with the luck of the Irish, Castagnet was approached by a man from the Emerald Isle called Steve Richardson – even at 43, a mainstay at various events in the squash world.

It’s one of the charming aspects of the tight-knit squash community that a relative stranger does not see it as too untoward to pop up from the crowd and proffer advice – and that the player himself, the World No10 no less, happily accepts – and goes on to claim victory on a major event on the PSA tour.

Castagnet said: “I was 6-2 up in the first game and then he won nine points in a row. Then one guy came to coach me.

“I didn’t know him but I saw him in the crowd, I’ve seen him a few times on a tour, he was a professional. He is such a great guy and he asked if I want to be coached and he helped me to find good tactics.”

Alike the first, Castagnet took a big lead, 6-1, before being pegged back to 6-4. At this point, Castagnet admitted he was fearing the worst, having flashbacks to the first game.

But then two fine drop shots put him back on the front foot and he managed to close out the game 11-7.

From there on in, he went on to edge the encounter, thanks to his tireless running, fine counter-drop game and incredible consistency.

The win avenges Castagnet’s loss to Mosaad just a couple of weeks ago in the quarter-finals of the Windy City Open in Chicago – another huge four-game battle. And with both players now in the top ten, watch out for more tasty encounters between the two to come.

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