Yorkshire pair ease into Brit Grand Prix quarters to renew rivalry
By Squash Mad Reporter
English pairing Nick Matthew and James Willstrop are set to renew their historic rivalry during the quarter-finals of the 2015 AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix which take place at Manchester’s National Squash Centre today (Saturday Sep 12).
The duo, who have both previously held the World No.1 ranking, have maintained an apathetic often acrimonious relationship since first clashing in 2001 with Willstrop going as far as citing his rival as ‘pretentious and vicious’ during a rivalry that has spanned two decades and produced some of the most memorable matches in the history of squash.
Separated by just three years in age and thirty miles geographically in their home county of Yorkshire the pair will do battle for the first time since the final of the 2014 Commonwealth Games – when 34-year-old three time World Champion Matthew consigned his old foe to defeat in what has been an emphatic recent streak against the 31-year-old.
Matthew saw off Chris Simpson 3-0 while Willstrop overcame Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema 3-1 to set up their last eight encounter.
“I came away with a lot of positives there from that match,” said Matthew.
“I was expecting to draw on a lot of experience today that but only really had to in that last game so I’m over the moon. I’ve had a bit of an interrupted summer but it came together on the day. I’m enjoying being healthy then tomorrow it moves on quickly so I’ve not got much time to relax.”
Willstrop said: “Its all positive and I’m happy to be playing in a quarter final against a world class operator in the form of Nick [Matthew] and it’s a big rivalry.
“You never know whats going to happen.”
Elsewhere World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy eased through his first round opponent, Wildcard Richie Fallows, to join World No.3 Gregory Gaultier, World No.4 Miguel Angel Rodriguez, Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad and Essex duo Peter Barker and Daryl Selby in the quarter-finals.
Results – AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix: First Round
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [WC] Richie Fallows (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 (32m)
 Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 11-9 (46m)
 Peter Barker (ENG) bt [Q] Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-1: 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-2 (51m)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-0: 16-14, 11-7, 11-6 (43m)
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 (53m)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-2: 8-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 11-2 (74m)
 James Willstrop (ENG) bt [Q] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 3-1: 11-8, 4-11, 11-5, 11-6 (61m)
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 (45m)
Draw – Quarter-finals
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v  Daryl Selby (ENG)
 Peter Barker (ENG) v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
 James Willstrop (ENG) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)