England's Nick Matthew became just the ninth player ever to win 30
PSA World Tour titles after defeating French World No.15 Mathieu
Castagnet in the final of the 2014 AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix
at the National Squash Centre in Manchester today.
Matthew, a three-time World Champion and two-time Commonwealth Games
Gold Medal winner, earned his place in the final following a
physically draining 103-minute battle against French World No.2
Gregory Gaultier in the semi-final but showed his tremendous stamina
to back-up and see off Castagnet 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 in
Castagnet, conquerer of current World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy in the
quarter-finals, got off to a spirited start in the opening game and
opened up an early lead, but the ever relentless 34-year-old from
Sheffield showed all the attributes that have led him to capture
every major title in the sport as he went on to dominate the
remainder of the contest, imposing himself on Castagnet and
controlling the court to complete an impressive victory.
"I like it here in Manchester,” said Matthew. “I'm so comfortable
here and I think I've had more success on this court than anywhere
else in my whole career so I wish I could take it with me.
"It was a great match against Mathieu today - it's credit to him
that the crowd were cheering loudly for him at the end - I've never
heard French people get so much support in England!
"Winning the title feels great and is a great way to end the year."
Despite the defeat, 28-year-old Castagnet, currently occupying his
highest ever position in the PSA World Rankings, said that there
were many positives to take from the encounter.
“I didn't expect to reach a final this week and it was such a great
pleasure for me to make it," he said.
"I did my best but he was too strong for me today and even when I
was pushing hard he was playing well and I want to congratulate
And Castagnet To Contest AJ Bell British Grand Prix Final
The final of the 2014 AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix will see
England's three-time World Champion Nick Matthew take on Frenchman
Mathieu Castagnet at the National Squash Centre in Manchester
tomorrow (December 8)
34-year-old Matthew from Sheffield booked his place with an epic
victory over French World No.2 Gregory Gaultier in a marathon
103-minute battle in front of a vocal home crowd to consign Gaultier
to defeat in Manchester once again, just over 12 months after he
beat the Frenchman to claim his third World Championship title in
the same city.
He will now face the French National No.2 Castagnet, who saw off the
challenge of Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez 3-0, when both men
will be hoping to pick up the trophy as an early Christmas present.
"When you get to my age you have a few rivals on tour and Greg and I
have been playing for a very long time against each other on tour,"
"It never gets any easier against him, today he made a few errors in
crucial points and at this level it comes down to such fine margins
- it could have gone his way in a few of those close points.
"I felt like I was due a big win like that this season so I'm really
pleased and I'm ready to give it one more big push tomorrow to try
and end the year on a high."
Castagnet goes into the final in the best form of his career having
scalped current World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy in the quarter-final
stage, following his biggest ever career title triumph in Montreal
in October, and he's hoping to end his year on the biggest high yet.
"Beating Mohamed yesterday was great for me but it was very
important for me to refocus on today's match and to try and do
everything I could to reach another final," said Castagnet.
"I'm very happy to be in the final and I'm looking forward to
playing again tomorrow."
Castagnet Conquers World No.1 In
Manchester Grand Prix
French World No.15 Mathieu Castagnet pulled off one of the biggest
wins of his career, and the biggest upset of recent times, to defeat
World No.1 and 2014 World Championship runner-up Mohamed Elshorbagy
in the quarter-finals of the AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix in
Manchester earlier today.
Castagnet, the 28-year-old from Aix-en-Provence, stunned the
23-year-old Bristol-based Egyptian with a dogged performance, coming
from one game down to complete an impressive 3-1 victory which
delighted the capacity crowd at the national squash centre.
"That is the best win of my career so far without doubt," said
"Always during my career I have had people telling me that I'd never
make it and that I wasn't good enough and today I just beat the
World No.1 so I am really delighted with the result.
"He didn't play his best tonight but this win proves to me that I
can maybe be a top ten player and I am looking forward to playing
Castagnet will now face Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez, the
highest ranked South American player of all time, in the semi-finals
where the victor will face either England's three-time World
Champion Nick Matthew or French World No.2 Gregory Gaultier, the man
Matthew beat to glory in two of those finals.
"Against Greg it's safe to say you have to play at the very top of
your games," said Matthew.
"He's number two in the world and he's hungry to end the season with
a title, as am I, so I'm looking forward to the match."
Mathieu Castagnet v Mohamed
Quartet March On In Manchester Grand Prix
Sheffield's three-time World Champion Nick Matthew led a quartet of
home hopes, including surprise victor Adrian Waller, into the
quarter-finals of the AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix at the
National Squash Centre in Manchester earlier today.
2014 Commonwealth Games Gold Medal winner Matthew easily saw off the
challenge of rising Scottish talent Greg Lobban while Enfield-based
26-year-old Waller pulled off the biggest win of the day to get past
World No.7 Borja Golan from Spain.
Just two months after defeating Golan in the opening round of the
Delaware Investments US Open, Waller pulled off a repeat 3-2
performance, using all his skill, strength and stamina to complete a
dramatic 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6 victory after a mammoth
95-minutes on court.
"I knew what to expect from Borja today but he knew what to expect
from me as well and it meant that it took something different to win
the match," said Waller.
"It was another long and tough match and it was even closer than at
the US Open so it took everything I had to keep in the rallies. I
definitely had more belief in my game after beating him in the US
and that played a part, because sometimes against the top players
that belief can be key.
"I had to re-group towards the end of the fourth game when he came
back to level it up and I just managed to keep in there to win it
and I'm really pleased to come through, especially here in
Manchester as this is a place the English guys all know well and
feel comfortable at."
Elsewhere Essex duo Daryl Selby and Peter Barker also progressed to
the quarter-finals with impressive victories over dangerous Egyptian
Fares Dessouki and fellow Englishman Chris Simpson, respectively, to
complete the quartet while World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy and World
No.2 Gregory Gaultier came through their opening encounters along
with Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez and Mathieu Castagnet of
Duo Qualify For AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix
Alan Clyne and Greg Lobban, the Scottish national No.1 and No.2
respectively, successfully came through qualification to book their
berths in the first round of the AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix
which gets underway at the National Squash Centre in Manchester
tomorrow, Friday November 5.
Clyne, the 28-year-old World No.38, booked his place in the main
draw with impressive consecutive 3-0 victories over Alex Noakes and
Henrik Mustonen while Lobban, the 22-year-old World No.63 and a last
minute call-up to the competition, finds himself in the main draw
fortuitously after both Tom Richards and Shaun Le Roux picked up
injuries ruling them out of competition.
Clyne will now face Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez in the first
roynd while Lobban will take on three-time World Champion and
Commonwealth Games Gold Medal winner Nick Matthew in an intriguing
Elsewhere Mexican Cesar Salazar saw off Frenchman Lucas Serme 3-1 to
book his place against World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy in round one
while Egyptian Mezan Hesham beat Finnish No.1 Olli Tuominen and will
now face Mathieu Castagnet.
Results: AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix - Qualifying Finals:
 Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt  Olli Tuominen (FIN) 3-0: 11-9, 14-12,
 Alan Clyne (SCO) bt  Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 3-0: 11-3, 11-8,
 Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-1: 12-10, 11-6, 6-11,
Greg Lobban (SCO) bt  Shaun Le Roux (RSA) - walkover
First Round Draw – Friday November 5:
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [WC] Richie Fallows (ENG)
Chris Simpson (ENG) v  Peter Barker (ENG)
 Daryl Selby (ENG) v Fares Dessouki (EGY)
[Q] Greg Lobban (SCO) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)
 Borja Golan (ESP) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
[Q] Alan Clyne (SCO) v  Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
 Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [Q] Mazen Hesham (EGY)
[Q] Cesar Salazar (MEX) v  Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)