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Nick Matthew leads English charge in Chicago

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Nick Matthew attacks on the backhand against Borja Golan
Nick Matthew attacks on the backhand against Borja Golan

Golan makes it a tough first round but Matthew marches through with Willstrop, Barker and Selby
By NATHAN CLARKE in Chicago

Three-time world champion Nick Matthew led a four-strong contingent of English players into the second round of the 2015 Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company in Chicago earlier today (February 26, 2015) with an accomplished 3-0 win over Spaniard Borja Golan.

Matthew, 34, took 62 minutes to see off a spirited challenge from the Spanish champion, eventually prevailing 11-9, 11-6, 13-11 in a scoreline that didn’t do justice to the World No.9’s performance, and he was joined in the second round by fellow Yorkshireman James Willstrop and Essex duo Peter Barker and Daryl Selby.

551559_1792263850999579_2128268335999759729_nAdopting his typically attritional style fro the outset, Sheffield-based Matthew was matched point for point by Golan in the early exchanges.

Little separated them as Matthew took the opening game 11-9 and despite some spirited play from Golan that tested Matthew in all four corners of the court, the 32-year-old couldn’t do enough to halt the Englishman’s charge as he completed a well-earned straight-games victory.

“That was the hardest first round match I could have had,” said Matthew in the wake of the victory.

“Borja is the World No.9 so on paper it was the hardest draw possible and I’ve played him in World Series finals and semi-finals before so to have him in the first round was tough.

“I knew I had to be on my game today and while I was a little up and down in the first game I felt I played well and I was happy to get off with a 3-0 win.”

Matthew’s long-time national rival Willstrop began his campaign with a 3-1 win over Mexican qualifier Cesar Salazar.

Steve Coppinger (white shirt) and Peter Barker in the lavish University Club of Chicago
Steve Coppinger (white shirt) and Peter Barker in the lavish University Club of Chicago

 

Willstrop had been absent from the tour for five months prior to making his competitive return during February’s Swedish Open and he continued to show steady progression against World No.38 Salazar.

Earlier in the day Barker, the World No.8 from Essex, completed an impressive win over dangerous South African Stephen Coppinger while Selby, the World No.14, proved too good for wildcard Chris Hanson.

Elsewhere there were victories for Alister Walker, Cameron Pilley and Gregory Gaultier. The 6ft 4in Egyptian Omar Mosaad won a battle of the giants as he got the better of 6ft 3in German Simon Rösner in a physically-bruising match-up, winning 13-11 in the fourth game after 76 minutes.

2015 Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, University Club of Chicago, USA.

Results: Round One, Bottom Half:
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 13-11 (62m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [WC] Chris Hanson (USA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-2 (35m)
James Willstrop (ENG) bt [Q] Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-1: 11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5 (50m)
[5] Peter Barker (ENG) bt Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 3-1: 6-11, 14-13, 11-6, 11-3 (66m)
[8] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Simon Rösner (GER) 3-1: 7-11, 11-8, 12-10, 13-11 (76m)
Alister Walker (BOT) bt [Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-0: 13-11, 11-3, 11-5 (29m)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [Q] Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-0: 11-4, 11-3, 11-9 (46m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 3-0: 11-1, 11-1, 11-4 (23m)

Draw: Second Round, Top Half
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v [6] Tarek Momen (EGY)
[7] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) v [3] Amr Shabana (EGY) 

Pictures courtesy of Windy City Open and PSA 

 

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