Matthew Lands Record Fifth National Title - Waters Lands Her Third
NICK MATTHEW beat James Willstrop to win his
fifth national squash title in Manchester.
The world number two appeared imperious as he
sealed the victory in straight games, 11/9, 11/3, 11/3 in just 49 minutes.
Willstrop appeared to find the going tough throughout, no doubt feeling the
effects of his gruelling 99 minute semi-final against Peter Barker on
feels fantastic,“ said Matthew. “People have made a big thing about me
winning five (titles), but to be honest, I don’t count them, I just want to
“James is a great competitor, and whilst he
won’t make excuses, I can do it for him because he was clearly not at his
best today and I have the utmost respect for him. There is a rivalry between
us, the same as there is with Ramy or Greg or any of the top players, but,
if that rivalry keeps putting bottoms on seats, long may it continue. The
atmosphere for the last two finals has been sensational. This deserves to be
an Olympic sport.“
ALISON WATERS collected her third National Squash Title when defeating
reigning champion Laura Massaro in a tense and often contentious match at
the National Squash Centre, Manchester.
Waters, winner of the title in 2008 and 2010,
raced to a 7/1 lead in the fifth and deciding game, before Massaro ground
out the points to level the score at 9/9. Waters missed the opportunity to
close out the game at 10/9 and the advantage swung back to Massaro with a
match point of her own at 10/11 before Waters eventually sealed the title
13/11 in the 78th minute of one of the best games of squash seen at the
"They don't come much closer than that,"
commented a breathless Waters after the match. "It was tough all the way,
probably one of the best games of squash I have ever played in. I know Laura
(Massaro) slipped at the death, but I'll take that. It has been a long road
back and I just want to keep winning titles and climb back up the rankings."
Reaches National Final
JAMES WILLSTROP had to pull out all the stops in order to
make Sundays final of the National Squash Championships in Manchester.
Yorkshireman Willstrop, 29, reached his sixth final in nine
years, having won the title in 2007/8, but not before a heart pumping 99
minute match against Londoner Peter Barker. Barker won the first two games,
6/11, 11/13, before Willstrop regrouped to take the next three 12/10, 11/7,
11/3 to land the match.
“Pete is a tough opponent and he had me on the run today, but it feels good
to reach the final,” said second seed and world No.3 Willstrop. “At two
games down, I was on my way home, but managed to focus and it became a real
game of attrition. I'm just glad to he through again.
Women's top seed Laura Massaro also had to work hard to make
tomorrows final, as she chases a hat-trick of titles.
Massaro was pushed to the wire in a five game thriller by Ireland's Madeline
 Laura Massaro bt [3/4] Madeline Perry 11/7, 7/11, 11/4,
8/11, 12/10 (74m)
 James Willstrop bt [3/4] Peter Barker 6/11, 11/13, 12/10, 11/7, 11/3
SITES ON RECORD
ENGLAND’S NICK MATTHEW has his sights firmly
set on a record fifth national title when The National Squash Championships
reach the quarter-final stage today in Manchester today.
Matthew brushed aside Jaymie Haycocks 11-8,
11-6, 11-9 in front of a packed house last night and faces Scotland’s Alan
Clyne at 9pm this evening.
No.2 seed JAMES WILLSTROP, seeking his third
crown, struck a cautious note after he eased through to the last eight
with an 11-3, 11-7, 11-2 victory over Joe Lee. "Everyone keeps asking about
the final and the title," said Willstrop, 29, "but the standard of players
coming through the ranks now is so high, there really aren't any easy
Willstrop should at least turnout fresher
today than his quarter-final opponent Chris Simpson, who had a mammoth
tussle to reach the last eight by defeating Olly Pett in a 5 game, 73
In the Women’s Championship LAURA MASSARO set
her sights on a hat-trick of titles after reaching the quarter-finals by
beating qualifier Leonie Holt 11-4, 11-4, 11-6 in just 22 minutes. Top seed
Massaro, 29, world No.2 and women’s champion for the last two years said:
“It’s always good to get the first one out of the way 3-0. Every title is
really tough to win but I of course hope to do the best I can and hopefully
bring back a third.”
A year ago, ALISON WATERS made her comeback
from extended injury at this event, before losing out to Massaro in the
final. After racing to a 17 minute victory over young qualifier Nada
Elkalaawy, Waters commented; “The year’s gone so quickly, but I’m feeling
sharp and looking forward to getting on the glass court on Friday. I haven’t
played Sarah-Jane (Kippax) for a while but she hits the ball well and has
had some good tournament wins recently so I’ll have to be on my toes.”
LAURA MASSARO set her sights on a hat-trick
of titles after reaching the quarter-finals of the National Squash
Championships in Manchester. Top seed Massaro, 29, women’s champion for the
last two years, beat qualifier Leonie Holt 11-4, 11-4, 11-6 in just 22
minutes and the world No.2 said: “It’s always good to get the first one out
of the way 3-0. “Every title is really tough to win but I of course hope to
do the best I can and hopefully bring back a third.”
But men’s No.2 seed James Willstrop, also
seeking a third crown, struck a cautious note after he eased through to the
last eight with an 11-3, 11-7, 11-2 victory over Joe Lee.
"Everyone keeps asking about the final and
the title," said Willstrop, 29, "but the standard of players coming through
the ranks now is so high, there really aren't any easy matches."
STROLL FOR MATTHEW AND WILLSTROP
England’s top two squash players, James
Willstrop and Nick Matthew strolled through their respective first round
matches yesterday, as they bid to land the National Championship, at Sport
City, Manchester. Willstrop took 30 minutes to beat 22 year-old Anthony
Graham in straight games 11/4, 11/4, 11/7 whilst Matthew took only 28
minutes to beat 20 year-old James Earles 11/2, 11/3, 11/3.
Willstrop is twice a winner of the National
in 2007 and 2008, whilst a win by Matthew will write his name in the history
books by becoming the first player to win 5 National titles.
Matthew plays Jaymie Haycocks this evening
after the Birmingham man caused the shock of the first round in beating
friend and leading Welsh player Peter Creed, whilst Willstrop takes on
Londoner Joe Lee in the afternoon session.
Also in action today are the last 16 of the
Women’s Championship, with world number 2 Laura Massaro the hot favourite to
add back to back titles after success in 2012 and playing qualifier Leonie
Holt from Leamington Spa.
England’s top squash player, Nick Matthew
(ranked 2 in the world) commences his bid to land an unprecedented 5th
National Title, tonight against 20 year old qualifier James Earls from Hull.
Earles was once the youngest ever entrant in to the Senior event, when
taking part at just 13 years of age. Now, seven years older and wiser he has
qualified for the main draw for the third time, and his reward ... a first
round match against the double world champion and number one seed (Matthew)
for the second year in a row.
In this afternoons session, number two seed
(and world number 3) James Willstrop from Leeds, takes on 22yr-old Anthony
29 year old Willstrop is twice a winner of
the National title himself in 2007 and 2008 and is hoping to stop Matthew in
his record attempt. Graham meanwhile, is ranked 113 in the world and hails
originally from Mutare, Zimbabwe, although he resides in Gloucestershire
Also in action today is Essex-born Daryl
Selby, who enjoyed success in Manchester in 2011, fellow Londoner’s Peter
Barker (world number seven) and Tom Richards, the rising star of the English
squash scene. The National Championships plays through to Sunday 17th