MATTHEW LANDS RECORD FIFTH NATIONAL TITLE – WATERS WINS HER THIRD
From DAVID HOOD in Manchester
NICK MATTHEW beat James Willstrop to win his fifth national squash title in Manchester last night (Sunday).
The world number two appeared imperious as he sealed the victory in straight games, 11/9, 11/3, 11/3 in just xx minutes. Willstrop appeared to find the going tough throughout, no doubtfeeling the effects of his gruelling 99-minute semi-final against Peter Barker on Saturday.
“That feels fantastic,“ said Matthew. “People have made a big thing about me winning five (titles), but to be honest, I don’t count them, I just want to win them.”
“James is a great competitor, and whilst he won’t make excuses, I can do it for him because he was clearly not at his best today and I have the utmost respect for him. There is a rivalry between us, the same as there is with Ramy or Greg or any of the top players, but, if that rivalry keeps putting bottoms on seats, long may it continue. The atmosphere for the last two finals has been sensational. This deserves to be an Olympic sport.“
London’s ALISON WATERS collected her third National Squash Title when defeating reigning champion Laura Massaro in a tense and often contentious match at the National Squash Centre, Manchester yesterday (Sunday).
Waters, winner of the title in 2008 and 2010, raced to a 7/1 lead in the fifth and deciding game, before Massaro ground out the points to level the score at 9/9. Waters missed the opportunity to close out the game at 10/9 and the advantage swung back to Massaro with a match point of her own at 10/11 before Waters eventually sealed the title 13/11 in the 78th minute of one of the best games of squash seen at the national arena.
“They don’t come much closer than that,” commented a breathless Waters after the match. “It was tough all the way, probably one of the best games of squash I have ever played in. I know Laura (Massaro) slipped at the death, but I’ll take that. It has been a long road back and I just want to keep winning titles and climb back up the rankings.”
15.00  Alison Waters bt Laura Massaro 11/7, 7/11, 12/10, 6/11, 13/11 (78 mins)
17.00  Nick Matthew bt  James Willstrop 11/9, 11/3, 11/3 ( 42 mins)