Mamut English Open 2007

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15-18 December 2007


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England World Team Champions
Head For  Sheffield

Men's Draw
Women's Draw

Willstrop Prevails In All-Yorkshire Mamut English Open Final

British national champion James Willstrop completed a remarkable hat-trick of international squash titles on home soil when he beat
England team-mate Nick Matthew in an all-Yorkshire final of the Mamut English Open at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield

Winner of the Canary Wharf Classic in London in March and the Prince English Grand Prix in Birmingham in September, the 24-year-old world No6 recovered from a game down to upset higher-ranked Matthew, the England No1, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6 to claim the eighth PSA Tour title of his career.

Only days earlier the pair had played alongside each other in India - leading England to a spectacular triumph over Australia in the final of the Men's World Team Championship, to successfully defend the sport's most prestigious world team trophy.

But in the 5-star PSA Tour event, hosted by Sheffield City Council, it was back to being opponents that was to complete an eventful year for both players.

Matthew, born and raised in Sheffield, took an early lead in the first game - but Willstrop fought back to draw level before the home hero clinched the final two points to win the game and establish the opening advantage.  In a similar pattern in the second, Willstrop moved ahead - and Matthew drew level before Willstrop re-established his advantage to take the game.

The pace moved up a couple of notches in the next two games - with Willstrop taking early leads, then running away from five-all in the fourth to clinch the match after 75 minutes.

The encounter was the pair's 15th Tour meeting since 2001, with the pre-match career head-to-head tally poised at 7-7.  The victory also ended a three-match winning sequence for Matthew over Willstrop - including the US Open final in September, which the Sheffield star won in straight games. 

"I've definitely been struggling a bit with Nick of late - he's had the upper hand in recent matches," conceded the tall 24-year-old from Leeds afterwards.  "So I'm very pleased to have reversed that today - on a big occasion and in a big tournament in our home county!

"We both had to push - and we knew that - but I just managed to produce the win.  I was very pleased with way I played."

Matthew denied that it was better to lose to a friend:  "I like him a lot, but I'd rather lose to anyone else, to be honest!  There is a massive, if respectful, rivalry between us.  We both want to be Yorkshire number one, England number one - and world number one!" said Matthew, now runner-up in his home town for the second time, after being beaten in the 2005 final.

After Matthew overtook Willstrop in the December world rankings, this success in the final PSA Tour event of the year could reverse the situation and see Willstrop back as the top-ranked Englishman in the first list of the New Year.

 . Final

 . Semi Finals
. Quarter Finals
 . First Round
 . Final Qualifying
 . 1st Round Qualifying

. Previews

Tim Garner Previews

. 2006 Competition Pages



James Willstrop wins the 2007 English Open

James Willstrop beats England team-mate Peter Barker

Nick Matthew puts out the injured John White


James Willstrop beating Renan Lavigne in the quarter-finals

John White fights through problems with a pinched nerve in his lower back to beat Shahier Razik 

2007 English Open
Men's Draw

Round One 
15th Dec
16th Dec
17th Dec
18th Dec
[1] James Willstrop (Eng)
11/5 15/13 4/11 11/6 (58)

Davide Bianchetti (Ita)
James Willstrop
11/6 11/5 9/11 11/8
Renan Lavigne

James Willstrop
11-10 (2-0), 11-5, 4-11, 11-1 (49m)
Peter Barker

James Willstrop
9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6 (72m)
Nick Matthew
[7] Renan Lavigne (Fra)
11/4 11/3 11/5 (30)
[Q] Scott Handley (Eng)
[4] Peter Barker (Eng)
11/5 13/11 11/7 (60)
Daryl Selby (Eng)
Peter Barker
11/5 11/3 11/1

 Chris Ryder
[5] Alex Gough (Wal)
6/11 12/10 11/1 12/14 15/13 (69)
[Q] Chris Ryder (Eng)
Chris Simpson (Eng)
11-6, 11-5, 11-4 (27m) 
[6] Shahier Razik (Can)
Shahier Razik
11/2 11/8 12/14 11/9
John White
John White
11-7, 11-6, 11-4 (38m)
Nick Matthew
[Q] Jan Koukal (Cze)
11/8 11/9 11/9 (32)
[3] John White (Sco)
Jonathan Kemp (Eng)
6/11 11/7 7/11 11/5 11/5 (42)
[8] Bradley Ball (Eng)
Jonathan Kemp
11/9 11/7 11/4
Nick Matthew
[Q] AlexStait (Eng)
11/6 11/2 11/1 (23)
[2] Nick Matthew (Eng)


Qualifying finals line-up:
Stacey Ross (ENG) bt Jan Koukal (CZE)
14/12, 10/12, 11/7, 11/3 (53m)
Scott Handley (ENG) bt Tom Richards (ENG)
11/9, 11/8, 11/13, 11/13, 11/3
Alex Stait (ENG) bt Aaron Frankcomb (AUS)
11/8, 11/5, 9/11, 11/7 (70m)
Chris Ryder (ENG) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
11/5, 11/4, 11/8 (52m)

1st qualifying round:
Stacey Ross (ENG) bt Shaun le Roux (ENG)  11-0, 11-5, 11-5
Jan Koukal (CZE) bt Yann Perrin (FRA)  11-9, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8
Scott Handley (ENG) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)  11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 4-11, 11-8
Tom Richards (ENG) bt Jonathan Harford (ENG)  11-1, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8
Alex Stait (ENG) bt Mark Krajcsak (HUN)  11-5, 11-7, 11-9
Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) bt James Snell (ENG)  11-3, 11-9, 11-7
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt Adam Fuller (ENG)  11-10 (2-0), 11-6, 5-11, 10-11 (0-2), 11-6
Chris Ryder (ENG) bt Eddie Charlton (ENG) 11-5, 11-5, 11-6

Rafael Alarcon (Bra), Stacey Ross (Eng), Chris Ryder (Eng), Scott Handley (Eng), Aaron Frankcomb (Aus), Jon Harford (Eng), Mark Krajcsak (Hun), Jan Koukal (Cze), Ryan Cuskelly (Aus), Mathieu Castagnet (Fra), Alex Stait (Eng), Tom Richards (Eng), Shaun Le Roux (Eng), James Snell (Eng), Adam Fuller (Eng)

Women's English Open
BSPA UK Grand Prix
[1] Vanessa Atkinson (Ned)
11/3, 11/3, 11/7 (27m)
Jeannine Cowie (Eng)
Vanessa Atkinson
11/3 11/3 11/7
Laura Hill

Vanessa Atkinson
11/7 11/9 11/9 (27m)
 Lauren Briggs
Deon Saffery (Wal)
[3/4] Laura Hill (Eng)
[3/4] Becky Botwright (Eng)
11/7, 11/6, 11/4 (19m)
Rachel Willmot (Eng)
Becky Botwright
11/7 11/6 11/4
 Lauren Briggs
Victoria Lust (Eng)
 8/11, 11/7, 10/12, 11/5, 11/3 (44m)
[2] Lauren Briggs (Eng)

Willstrop & Matthew Set Up Dream
Sheffield Final

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Top seeds Nick Matthew and James Willstrop - England team-mates ranked five and six, respectively, in the world - will meet in a dream all-Yorkshire final of the Mamut English Open after surviving the semi-finals of the 5-star PSA Tour squash event at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

Willstrop, the favourite from Leeds, faced fourth seed Peter Barker - the third member of the England squad which lifted the Men's World Team Championship title in India only five days ago. 

Barker, who made his world championship debut for England in Chennai - and confidently clinched the winning rubber in the dramatic final against Australia - had a good run to reach the semi-finals in Sheffield, but went down 11-10 (2-0), 11-5, 4-11, 11-1 to Willstrop in 49 minutes.

The 24-year-old Essex - who acknowledged earlier that his win in the world final decider was "easily the best moment of my career so far" - was not too downhearted by his English Open loss: 

"I'm not too down on myself.  The win in India was fantastic, probably beyond my expectations.  I'm very happy, though a bit disappointed today," said Barker.

Later, Sheffield's own Nick Matthew extended his straight-games-winning run in the event by beating Scotland's John White, the No3 seed, 11-7, 11-6, 11-4.  Though clearly not moving quite as well as normal, after sustaining a back injury in the quarter-finals, White tested the local star before succumbing in 38 minutes.

""It's never that comfortable playing John," said Matthew afterwards of his renowned hard-hitting opponent.  "But he came back well after last night."

When asked if he and Willstrop were great rivals on court, despite coming from the same county, Matthew replied:  "It's healthy, friendly rivalry.  But very competitive too.

"Tactically I've got it right against him for the last couple of games - so hopefully tomorrow I'll do it again!"

Matthew and Willstrop's Tour head-to-head record is poised at 7-7.  But the Sheffield hero has come out on top on the last three occasions - including at the US Open final in October and the World Open quarter-finals earlier this month in Bermuda.

""He's had me the last few times - and I'm getting a bit sick of it, to be honest," said Willstrop.  "Hopefully this'll be my time."

England Team-Mates Reach
English Open Semis

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Less than a week after playing alongside each other to win the Men's World Team Squash Championship title for England in India, James Willstrop and Peter Barker will face each other in Monday's semi-finals of the Mamut English Open after successfully overcoming their quarter-final opposition at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

The pair will be joined in the last four by the third member of the world title-winning England team.  Nick Matthew, the England No1, will face Scotland's John White in the other semi-final.

Fourth seed Barker, the 24-year-old from Essex who clinched the world title for England by winning the decider against Australia, took only 27 minutes to reserve his place in the last four of the 5-star PSA Tour event, beating English qualifier Chris Ryder 11-5, 11-3, 11-1.

"I played well in India and carried that forward to here," said the left-hander.  "But it's a monumental step up to play James tomorrow - I'll have to improve again.

"He's a quality opponent - but he's the sort of guy I've got to beat to get into the world top five."

Favourite Willstrop faced seventh seed Renan Lavigne - the Frenchman Barker beat as England despatched France in the world semi-finals.  The 24-year-old from Pontefract took four games to overcome the French No3 11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8 in 44 minutes.

Willstrop and Barker have played each other countless times in the past - particularly during their junior careers when they met in the finals of the British, European and World Championships, with the Yorkshireman boasting a 100% success 

"Peter's firmly established in the world's top 16 now and has had some good results.  I'll need to play well to beat him - I'll have to be 100%," said Willstrop, who has only lost to his England team-mate once in 12 meetings over the past six years.

Local hero Nick Matthew, the 27-year-old world No5 from Sheffield who is the second seed, brushed aside unseeded Englishman Jonathan Kemp, beating the 26-year-old left-hander from Telford 11-9, 11-7, 11-4.

"I just about did enough today," said Matthew, runner-up two years ago.  "Jon can hit winners from anywhere, so I had to keep focussed.  I'm still feeling the effects of jet-lag, but I should be fine tomorrow."

Matthew will face third seed John White, the event's inaugural champion in 2003.  The US-based Scot was coasting to a straight games win over Canadian Shahier Razik when his movement became hampered by a back injury.

"It happened about half way through the third game - it seems I may have pinched a nerve in my lower back," said White later.  After dropping the third game, and taking a three-minute injury break at the beginning of the fourth, White came back to beat the sixth seed 11-2, 11-8, 10-11 (2-4), 11-9 in 43 minutes.

"I started to slow-ball it in the fourth game, and the problem eased up slightly," added a relieved White.

England World Heroes
Shine In Sheffield

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Within three days of successfully retaining the Men's World Team Championship title with a stunning victory over Australia in India, England squash heroes Nick Matthew, James Willstrop and Peter Barker were back to their winning ways in the first round of the Mamut English Open in Sheffield

England No1 Nick Matthew, the US Open champion playing in his home city, scored the day's most emphatic win when he crushed compatriot Alex Stait, a qualifier from Manchester, 11-6, 11-2, 11-1 in just 23 minutes.

Fellow Yorkshireman James Willstrop - who levelled the world final after Matthew went down in the opening match against former world champion David Palmer - battled to an 11-5, 11-10 (5-3), 4-11, 11-6 win over Italian No1 Davide Bianchetti in 58 minutes.

"I always knew it was going to be a tough match - I really had to dig in and fight as hard as I could," said the 24-year-old world No6 from Pontefract.

Peter Barker, the world championship debutant who clinched the world title for England by winning the decider in Chennai, faced fellow Essex player Daryl Selby at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.  The 24-year-old world No13 won 11-5, 11-10 (3-1), 11-7 in 60 minutes to set up a surprise quarter-final clash with another fellow Englishman Chris Ryder, a qualifier.

The World University champion from Wolverhampton recovered from a game down to upset Welshman Alex Gough, the fifth seed,  6-11, 11-10 (2-0), 11-1, 10-11 (2-4), 11-10 (5-3) in 69 minutes - in the event's biggest opening day shock.

"That's definitely my best result, by some distance," said Ryder, ranked 12 places below Gough, a World Open quarter-finalist earlier in the month.  "It's one of the biggest tournaments I've had a big win in - I can't ask for more!"

Another upset later in the day saw Jonathan Kemp become the fifth Englishman to claim a place in the 5-star PSA Tour event's quarter-finals.  The unseeded 26-year-old from Telford in Staffordshire twice had to come from behind to oust Bradley Ball, the eighth seed from Ipswich, 6-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5 in 42 minutes.

Kemp now faces second seed Nick Matthew in one of two all-English quarter-finals.

Stait Gets Sheffield Hero Matthew
After English Open Qualifying Win
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Sheffield’s world squash championship-winning hero Nick Matthew will begin his bid for the Mamut English Open crown in the Yorkshire city with a match against English qualifier Alex Stait.

The 28-year-old from
Manchester set up the clash after beating Australian Aaron Frankcomb 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-7 in last night's qualifying finals in 70 minutes - the longest match of the day.

Matthew, fresh from leading
England to the World Team Championship title in India earlier this week, starts as second seed in the 5-star PSA Tour event when he takes to the court at the English Institute of Sport at around 6pm.

It is expected that Matthew, ranked No5 in the world, will play fellow Yorkshireman James Willstrop in the final on Tuesday evening.  Willstrop, the number one seed, was also part of the England team.

Stait was one of three Englishmen who survived the qualifying finals in
Sheffield.   Oxfordshire's Scott Handley beat compatriot Tom Richards 11-9, 11-8, 10-11 (1-3), 10-11 (1-3), 11-3 in 59 minutes, while Wolverhampton's Chris Ryder defeated Australian Ryan Cuskelly 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 in 52 minutes.

Czech number one Jan Koukal denied a clean sweep of English qualifying successes when he beat Surrey's Stacey Ross 11-10 (4-2), 10-11 (0-2), 11-7, 11-3.  Koukal will face Scotland's hard-hitter John White, the third seed, in the first round.

With Matthew and Willstrop joined in Sheffield by England team-mate Peter Barker, it will mean that White is the only top four seed who was not involved in world championship action on the other side of the world earlier this week.

"That means, unfortunately, that Whitey will arrive in Sheffield as fresh as paint!" pointed out favourite Willstrop.

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Comprehensive Home Interest In Mamut
English Open Qualifying Finals In Sheffield
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There will be domestic interest in all four qualifying finals of the Mamut English Open Squash Championship, hosted by Sheffield City Council, after five Englishmen came through the first qualifying round in the 5-star PSA Tour event in Sheffield.

Qualifying is being staged simultaneously at the Abbeydale Park and Hallamshire squash clubs in the city - leading to the first round of the main draw taking place for the first time at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield on Saturday (15 December), through to the final on Tuesday.

Surrey's Stacey Ross headed the qualifying draw - and comfortably beat fellow Englishman Shaun le Roux, from Yorkshire, 11-0, 11-5, 11-5.  The 34-year-old from Sutton will now face Czech number one Jan Koukal for a place in the main draw.

Another Surrey player pulled off a notable upset:  Tom Richards, back in action after a six-month knee injury layoff, defeated Leeds-based
Jonathan Harford, ranked 40 places higher in the world, 11-1, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8.  Richards now faces fellow countryman Scott Handley, from Oxfordshire, who took five games to get the better of young Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet 11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 4-11, 11-8.

Manchester-based Alex Stait also secured an upset to earn a place in the qualifying finals.  The 28-year-old from Gloucester, ranked 85 in the world, despatched Hungary's world No63 Mark Krajcsak 11-5, 11-7, 11-9 to set up a clash with Australian
Aaron Frankcomb.

England's World Universities champion Chris Ryder will also take on an Australian for a place in the main draw.  The 27-year-old from Wolverhampton beat Nottinghamshire's
Eddie Charlton 11-5, 11-5, 11-6 and will now face Ryan Cuskelly, from New South Wales, in the qualifying finals.


England World Championship
Heroes Head For Sheffield

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England's world championship-winning team Nick Matthew,
James Willstrop and Peter Barker will surely get a heroes' welcome when they appear in Sheffield to compete in the Mamut English Open Squash Championship.

The 2007 Mamut English Open - the final
PSA Tour squash event of the year, which is hosted by Sheffield City Council - will get underway at the city's English Institute of Sport on Saturday, leading to the final on Tuesday (18 December).

Just three days earlier, in the Indian city of Chennai (formerly Madras), the courageous trio fought back from a match down to beat major rivals Australia 2/1 in the final of the biennial Men's World Team Championship - successfully defending the title that Willstrop and Matthew helped to wrest back from Australia in 2005.

"Winning the title again was incredibly special - you realise that you might not achieve anything as good as that ever again in your career," said Yorkshireman James Willstrop, the world No6 and England No2 from Pontefract who levelled the tie after beating Australian Stewart Boswell in the second rubber.

Earlier, Sheffield's own Nick Matthew, ranked 5 in the world, had fought back from two games down against Australian No1 David Palmer before going down to the world No4 in an 82-minute five-game marathon.

"David's a class act," said Matthew.  "I played a great match and put him under pressure.  Losing was no disgrace - but it put the pressure on my team-mates!

"I would say that we won the title because we wanted it more than anybody else!"

It was England's world championship debutant Peter Barker that was the hero of the hour.  With the tie poised at one-all against eight-time champions Australia, the 24-year-old from Essex calmly held off the challenge of Cameron Pilley, beating the world No23 in straight games to clinch the title for England.

"It was better than last time," explained Willstrop when asked if the team was able to celebrate, with the English Open only days away.  "We had a beer or two after the final, and then on the long flight back, we celebrated with champagne, kindly donated by BA!

"It hasn't been the ideal preparation for the English Open, but I'm just going to try and relax and enjoy it.  I've got a tough first round, against the Italian number one Davide Bianchetti - but I'll try and give him the respect he deserves.

"Having been with Nick and Peter in a team for the past week, it'll be weird if we have to play against each other in Sheffield - especially after one of the best experiences we could ever wish to have," added Willstrop.

Matthew, the reigning US Open champion who was runner-up in Sheffield two years ago, is the event's second seed and will face a qualifier in the opening round.  If the draw goes according to the seedings, top seed Willstrop will face fourth seed Barker in the semi-finals.

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Yorkshireman Willstrop Favourite To Win
Mamut English Open Crown In Sheffield

James Willstrop
, the England No1 and world No5 from Yorkshire, is named as top seed for next month's Mamut English Open Squash Championship in Sheffield - and is expected to face England team-mate and Sheffield-based Nick Matthew in the final of the 5-star PSA Tour event less than a week after the pair hope to lead England to a successful title defence in the World Team Championship in India.

"I can't think of a better way of rounding off the year than winning the Mamut English Open in my home county after helping England to win the world title for the second time in a row," said 24-year-old Willstrop, the British National champion from Pontefract.

The 2007 Mamut English Open - the final PSA Tour event of the year, which is hosted by Sheffield City Council - will take place the
English Institute of Sport in Sheffield from Saturday 15 December to Tuesday 18 December.

The star-studded line-up also features a further member of England's world team championship squad - Peter Barker (left), the world No13 from Essex who is the fourth seed, behind third seed
John White, the hard-hitting Scot who won the inaugural English Open at Sheffield's famous Crucible Theatre in 2003.

After reaching the final two years ago, Nick Matthew would like nothing more than to go one better and win this major Tour title in his home city of Sheffield in December.

Since becoming the first player to hold both the British National and British Open titles at the same time last year - as well as becoming the first true Englishman to win the British Open crown for 67 years - the 27-year-old has continued to extend his portfolio of international squash titles by winning the US Open trophy this year.

In the draw announced today by event promoters Eventis Sports Marketing Ltd - the company led by the sport's four-times
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Peter Nicol -
Matthew will face a qualifier, while Willstrop opens his campaign against Italian number one Davide Bianchetti.

England's New US Open Champion Matthew
Determined To Win At Home
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While 'entente cordiale' may not have applied in last week's Rugby Union World Cup semi-final, Sheffield’s Nick Matthew says that relations between the English and the French on the squash court aren’t always that good either.

Matthew, the 27-year-old world No10 who won his first PSA Super Series title this month at the US Open and will compete in his home town at the
Mamut English Open in December, says the prominence, and dominance, of top French players Thierry Lincou and Gregory Gaultier often leads to some tense times between the walls.

“Both Thierry and Gregory are terrific players.  In some ways they are they similar but they also have lots of differences. Gregory is a lot more flamboyant, Gallic if you like, while Thierry is further on with his career," explains the 2006 British Open champion.

“Generally we get on well, but when it comes to the team events the French don’t have much depth after those two - so they have to win their games, which leads to a few bruising encounters.”

Gaultier and Lincou, ranked third and seventh in the world, have also dominated recent domestic tournaments - much to the disgust of the England number two:  “They played each other in the final of the British Open in September and last year in Sheffield at the English Open they knocked all us Yorkshire lads out to meet in the final at the Crucible.”

With the Mamut English Open moving to Matthew’s training base at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield this December, a repeat of last year’s final is something Matthew won’t even contemplate.

“The EIS is pretty much my second home I spend so much time there. Winning in Sheffield is very important to me – I’ve not managed to do it yet, although I’ve been close.”

However, before the English Open, Matthew is concentrating on three Super Series Platinum events in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Hong Kong that could make or break his season over the next four weeks.

“There are three layers to the Super Series, with Platinum being the highest, giving more ranking points and prize money.  Winning the US Open was a real breakthrough because it was the first time I’d won a ‘major’ away from the UK.

“It is going to be a long stretch away from home and then there is the World Open in Bermuda at the end of November. So it is a tough run but at least I know I have a tournament on my home patch to look forward to.”

The 2007 Mamut English Open Championships - the final PSA Tour event of the year, hosted by Sheffield City Council - takes place the
English Institute of Sport in Sheffield from Saturday 15 December to Tuesday 18 December.

Tickets, priced from £12.50 - £25.00, are available with immediate effect from Ticketmaster, either via the website or by telephone on 0870-150 0541.

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Tim Garner Previews


“To deliver unique and desirable sports events services to corporate clients while promoting and supporting the sports themselves.”

Tim Garner (right)

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Sheffield’s world number eight squash star Nick Matthew will be well and truly on home soil when the Mamut English Squash Open returns to the city later this year.

The event, now in its fifth year, will take be staged at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield in Attercliffe in December (15-18) instead of its usual home at the Crucible

Theatre because of refurbishment work at the city centre venue.

It is a move that will be warmly received by the 26-year-old Matthew though, as the.

EISS is his training base for off court strength and conditioning work. He has long stated his desire to win his ‘home’ event after losing the final in 2005.

The tournament is once again a five star ranked event, which places it as one of the top dates on the men’s tour calendar and guarantees most of the world’s top 16 players will be in the draw.

Last year the then world number one Thierry Lincou beat Matthew in the quarterfinals on the way to defeating fellow Frenchman Gregory Gaultier 3-2 in a thrilling final at the Crucible.

Squash legend Peter Nicol, whose company Eventis Sports Marketing owns the event, says the move from the Crucible to the EISS is an exciting development for the tournament.

“We’ve had a tremendous four-years at the Crucible where the English Open has grown into a permanent fixture on the tour. We always knew that because of the refurbishment there we would have to find a new venue in 2007.

“Our main priority, because of all the support we have had from the city, was staying in Sheffield and we are delighted to be at the EISS this year, which is probably the top indoor sporting venue in the UK. All the players have heard about the EISS’s facilities from Nick and now can’t wait for December to come round.”

Councillor Tim Rippon, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Culture and Planning at Sheffield City Council said: "Being able to secure the squash championships for yet another year is excellent news for the city. The team have worked tirelessly to accommodate the event whilst the usual venue is under refurbishment. This only goes to enhance our credentials as a major sporting event destination."

Steve Brailey, chief executive of Sheffield International Venues, the management company for EISS, said: “I have attended the Mamut English Open several times at the Crucible so I am delighted that we are able to host the tournament this year at the EISS and welcome the world’s best squash players once again to the city.”

Ticket details are expected to be announced shortly for the tournament.



English Open Tickets Now Available
Tickets for the 2007 Mamut English Open Championships - the final PSA Tour squash event of the year, hosted by Sheffield City Council - are now available.

Organised and promoted by Eventis Sports Marketing Ltd, the company led by the sport's four-times Commonwealth Games gold medallist Peter Nicol, the Mamut English Open has attracted the world's leading squash players since its launch at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in 2004.

But, due to the famous theatre's refurbishment programme, the 2007 championships will take place at the city's English Institute of Sport, getting underway on Saturday 15 December with the finals on Tuesday 18 December.

Boosted by an increased $57,500 prize-fund, the 2007 five-star PSA Tour event is sure to attract a star-studded line-up - all eager to finish the year on a high and looking to start the New Year with a strong world ranking.

Local interest will undoubtedly be led by Sheffield's own Nick Matthew, the world No8 who reached the 2005 final and last year became the first Englishman for 67 years to win the British Open crown.

Tickets, priced from £12.50 - £25.00, are available with immediate effect from Ticketmaster, either via the website or by telephone on 0870
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