Manchester holds its breath as Matthew and Elshorbagy book Brit GP final shootout
By Squash Mad Reporter
Defending champion Nick Matthew, the 35-year-old from Sheffield, will take on 24-year-old World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy in the final of the 2015 AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix after the Egyptian came through an epic encounter with World No.3 Gregory Gaultier at Manchester’s National Squash Centre.
Elshorbagy prevailed 3-2 in a gruelling 95-minute battle with Gaultier, recording his fifth consecutive win over the charismatic Frenchman, and will now take on Matthew for the 15th time – with honours even so far between the duo.
They last met in the semi-finals of the Allam British Open in May when Elshorbagy triumphed 3-1 over Matthew, whom he cited as ‘past his peak’ ahead of their 2014 World Championship semi-final clash, and he’ll be hoping to record another win over the man from Sheffield in a mouth-watering title decider (Monday September 14).
“I am really happy I am playing another final, my first final here in the Grand Prix,” said Elshorbagy.
“Another final with Nick and we always have big matches. He probably had an easier draw than me but if there was a time I could play those tough matches and be up for it physically, its when I’m 24 years old.
“I have no excuses for tomorrow. I know I’m going to be hopefully fresh and I’m going to be ready for it and give it my all tomorrow.”
Matthew secured his place in a third consecutive British Grand Prix final, where he’ll be gunning for a third consecutive title, courtesy of an assured 3-0 win over Karim Abdel Gawad.
“I think I played really well today,” said Matthew.
“I think I’ve played better each day. Karim offered a different challenge to my other opponents. I’ve never played him before and with his silky skills he presented a totally different challenge and I never felt totally settled.
“I’m looking forward to the final tomorrow and I just feel happy to be on court and doing justice to myself.”
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt  Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-2 : 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8 (95m)
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 13-11 (48m)