French number three seed Mathieu Castagnet capped a brilliant week in London by beating the top seed Omar Mosaad to win the Canary Wharf Squash Classic final.
Before a packed crowd in East Wintergarden, both players served up a superb display of high-quality squash.
In each round the 5ft 10in tall Castagnet overcame giant opponents, Joe Lee (6ft 3in), James Willstrop (6ft 4in), Cameron Pilley (6ft 3in) and finally blunting the blows of Mosaad (6ft 4in).
It was Castagnet who walked tall after a dynamic performance in which he recovered from losing the first game and dominated long spells of the match.
For Mosaad, it was his 12th match in less than three weeks, having finished runner-up in Colombia and reaching the semi-finals in Chicago. Understandably, he occasionally looked a little tired but still summoned up the enormous power which has earned him the nickname of The Hammer Of Thor.
Castagnet had one simple game plan – to keep getting back as many balls as possible. In several rallies, Mosaad fired in a succession of attempted kill shots only to find Castagnet returning his efforts with interest.
He is more, much more, than a simple runner and retriever. He has improved his quality in all areas of the court and his counter-drops often caused Mosaad problems.
Castagnet began brightly and raced into a 6-2 lead only for Mosaad to win nine points in a row to win the game. The 29-year-old Frenchman quickly regrouped and built a 6-1 lead in the second. This time he withstood all that Mosaad could throw at him and drew level at one game all.
The crucial third game was even all the way but Castagnet won four points in a row from 8-7 down to strike a major psychological blow to the 27-year-old Egyptian.
Mosaad led 4-3 in the fourth game but Castagnet broke his spirit with a massive run of six consecutive points.
After a flurry of exchanges, Mosaad claimed one more point and the outcome was decided on a penalty stroke with a tired shot down the middle of the court.
A delighted Castagnet followed French legend Thierry Lincou to have his name on the Canary Wharf trophy. It was a milestone performance in a career that clearly promises so much more.
A delighted Castagnet said: “I can’t believe I have won this title. This is such a prestigious tournament and to put my name on the trophy with players like Thierry Lincou, James Willstrop and Nick Matthew – some of the best players in the world – is a great pleasure for me and a huge achievement.
“Omar and I had a great battle in Chicago a few weeks ago when he won 3-1 but today it was my turn. I tried to be more aggressive and play to the front of the court and force mistakes from him.
“This is such a great tournament with this wonderful venue full up with squash fans. Thank you for cheering for me. I will definitely be back next year.”
M70 Canary Wharf Squash Classic, East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf, London.
(3) Mathieu Castagnet (France) beat
(1) Omar Mosaad (Egypt)
6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5
Follow The Wharf on Twitter @the_wharf .
Keep up to date with all our articles on Facebook .