After four previous finals appearances in 13 Championship appearances, Frenchman Gregory Gaultier finally won the world title, after defeating Egyptian #7 seed Omar Mosaad, 3-0 at the squash World Open Championship in Bellevue. The #3 seed entering the tournament, Gaultier defeated England's James Willstrop in the semifinal round to earn a another chance at the world championship, after reaching the final last in 2013. His long, illustrious career has been marked by a #1 ranking in 2009, with two U.S. Open and two British Open titles.
While Djokovic Wins His Fourth Straight ATP Final
Novak Djokovic of Serbia defeated long-time rival Roger Federer of Switzerland to claim the year-end ATP World Finals in London, 6-3 6-4 this weekend. The victory is Djokovic's fourth straight in the event, his fifth overall since 2008, the second straight over Federer and the third overall Finals win against him. (Quite a rivalry!) It also completes a year in which he won all Grand Slams except the French, a feat he also had achieved in 2011.
After six days of competition, the 49er and 49erFX Worlds concluded with skiff class champions crowned and Olympic berths secured in Buenos Aires. On the women's 49erFX side, Italians Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich won the gold, after a solid victory in the final race, which had featured six teams with enough potential podium points. Team Brazil - Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze - finished second, with Denmark's Ida Nielsen and Marie Olson third (ahead of another Danish boat in fourth). Argentina (11th), Singapore (13th), and Canada (17th) won boat entries for Rio. For the men in the 49er class, the drama was certainly less for the gold, as New Zealanders Peter Burling and Blair Tuke had a 30-point lead into the final race. They did secure their third straight World Championship - and their 23rd straight win the the skiff class, while Nathan Outerridge and Iain Jensen of Australia overcame three other boats for the silver. Spain's Federico Alonso and Arturo Alonso secured bronze. Poland (4th), Germany (5th), and Argentina (7th) won the Olympic berths on hand.
The inaugural WBSC Premier12 concluded over the weekend in Tokyo, with South Korea taking the gold over the U.S., 8-0. The final marked the 1st time the U.S. has lost to their rivals since the 2008 Olympics in a major tournament, and came as a surprise given the Koreans' #8 ranking. With the prospect of baseball returning to the Games in 2020, the relatively new World Baseball Softball Confederation launched the tournament as the world championship, featuring the top 12-ranked teams. Participation in this Championship also included Japan (3rd place), Mexico, Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Italy, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.