Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Nick Matthew off to a winning start at British Open

Wild card Joe Lee makes world champion work hard for victory
By Squash Mad Correspondent

Nick Matthew attacks the front corners against Joe Lee
Nick Matthew attacks the front corners against Joe Lee

English world champion Nick Matthew got his 2014 Allam British Open title challenge off to a winning start, dispatching compatriot Joe Lee 3-0 in his first round match at the KC Sports Arena in Hull today.

Matthew, 33, a three-time British Open champion, was made to work hard in the first by the Surrey wild card before taking it by the narrow margin of 11-9.

Lee continued to fight hard but Matthew gained the upper hand to win the next two games 11-3, 11-6. The match lasted 44 minutes and Lee will have pleased by several passages of play where he more than held his own.

Matthew will now take on World No.10 and fellow English Commonwealth Games medal hopeful Daryl Selby in the second round on Wednesday as he bids to win the prestigious ‘Wimbledon of squash’ for a fourth time.

Essex native Selby booked his place against Matthew with a 3-1 win over Indian national champion Saurav Ghosal while there was further success for the host nation as Londoner Adrian Grant, World No.24, booked his second round place at the expense of Hong Kong’s Leo Au.

“Joe showed that his all round game has improved recently and he really opened my lungs today,” said Matthew.

“He hit some great shots and when I relaxed he was on it so I’m really pleased to get that as it could have got ugly after the first game.

“I’ve got a day off tomorrow which I’ll make the most of and it’s nice to have the luxury of going home to Sheffield during this event so I’ll go back and prepare for Wednesday now.

“I’m delighted to be playing in Yorkshire so looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

Elsewhere on day one there were shocks as 27-year-old French World No.23 Mathieu Castagnet beat Spanish World No.7 Borja Golan in a dramatic 3-2 contest while Egyptian qualifier Fares Dessouki beat compatriot and World No.18 Karim Abdel Gawad 3-2.

“It’s the first time I’ve reached the second round of the British Open so I’m really happy and even more so to beat someone who is in the top 10 in the world as well,” said Castagnet.

“I think Borja was a little bit tight and nervous today and I’m just delighted to win in five matches.

“I’m really happy to be coming back on Wednesday – the first thing I need to do is change my flight and then I will prepare myself as best I can for the next match.”

Mohamed Elshorbagy, Tarek Momen and Karim Darwish completed a quartet of wins for Egypt on day one to round off the opening day’s action.

2014 Allam British Open (Men’s First Round Top Half):

[Q] Fares Dessouki (Egy) bt Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) 3-2: 11-8, 3-11, 7-11, 11-7, 9-3 (retired injured) [80m] Tarek Momen (Egy) bt [Q] Olli Tuominen (Fin) 3-1: 9-11, 11-5, 11-6, 13-11 [49m] Matthew Castagnet (Fra) bt [5] Borja Golan (Esp) 3-2: 5-11, 11-7, 11-5, 1-11, 11-6 [105m] Adrian Grant (Eng) bt [Q] Leo Au (HKG) 3-1: 11-5, 12-10, 10-12, 11-5 [90m] Daryl Selby (Eng) bt Saurav Ghosal (Ind) 3-1: 9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 [65m] [4] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt Alister Walker (Bot) 3-1: 11-6, 10-12, 11-9, 11-5 [56m] [1] Nick Matthew (Eng) bt [WC] Joe Lee (Eng) 3-0: 11-9, 11-3, 11-6 [44m] [8] Karim Darwish (Egy) v [Q] Ong Beng Hee (Mas) 3-1: 14-12, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8 [68m]

2014 Allam British Open (Men’s First Round Bottom Half, Tuesday May 13):

[3] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [Q] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)
Peter Barker (ENG) v Laurens Jan Anjema (NED)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v Omar Mosaad (EGY)
Simon Rösner (GER) v [5] James Willstrop (ENG)
[7] Amr Shabana (EGY) v [Q] Max Lee (HKG)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v [Q] Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
Chris Simpson (ENG) v [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)

Picture by Steve Line


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