World Number One Matthew Surprised By England World Seeding
World number one Nick Matthew has expressed his surprise that England have been seeded to win the Men’s World Team Squash Championship later this month in Germany.
The double Commonwealth Games gold medallist from Sheffield will lead the England team in the 2011 championship in Paderborn from 21-27 August – and is currently competing in Canberra where he is defending his title in theAustralian Open.
“To be honest it was a bit of a surprise to awaken this morning to the news that we were top seeds for Paderborn,” said the 31-year-old Yorkshireman. “The team and I fully expected ourselves to be second seeds behind the defending champions Egypt.”
England, four times winners of the biennial title since 1995, finished in an all-time low fourth place in the 2009 championship after Matthew suffered an ankle injury during an early qualifying tie against Germany.
The top seeds will again line up against hosts Germany, the 16th seeds, in the Pool A qualifying group – with Spain andIreland.
In one of the strongest squads ever fielded by England, Matthew will be supported by fellow Yorkshireman James Willstrop, the world No4, and Essex duo Peter Barker and Daryl Selby, ranked 7 and 11 in the world, respectively.
Egypt, winners of the title for the second time two years ago, are the No2 seeds. The squad is expected to be led byRamy Ashour and Karim Darwish, ranked two and three, respectively, in the world.
“Much like an individual tournament, the seeding doesn’t really count for anything,” continued Matthew. “It’s how you perform on the day, and this won’t change anything in the way we prepare individually or as a team.”
The 2011 World Team Championship, featuring a record-equalling 32 nations, will be held in Germany for the first time in the event’s 44-year history
Full Pool line-up (with seeding in brackets):
POOL A: England (1), Germany (16), Spain, Ireland
POOL B: Egypt (2), New Zealand (15), Hong Kong China, Sweden
POOL C: France (3), Netherlands (14), Argentina, Korea
POOL D: Australia (4), Finland (13), Colombia, Bermuda
POOL E: Malaysia (5), Pakistan (12), Denmark, Austria
POOL F: India (6), South Africa (11), Kuwait, Hungary
POOL G: Canada (7), Mexico (10), Scotland, Namibia
POOL H: USA (8), Italy (9), Switzerland, Ukraine