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SQUASH SUPER SERIES - FINAL WRAP

Nick Matthew (above) beats top seed David Palmer on the opening day at the  Broadgate Arena

By Stephen Bond

IT WAS a day for the squash stars of tomorrow on day one of the Super Series finals as English youngsters James Willstrop and Nick Matthew beat old hands Peter Nicol and David Palmer.

Matthew got the party started beating the Australian top seed, Palmer, 3-1 (7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7) before Willstrop got in on the act seeing off three time winner Nicol, 3-1 (11-8, 11-4, 7-11, 11-5) But Willstrop, 22, played down the quality of his victory insisting his 33-year-old opponentsí recent trip to America had made a big difference.

"Iím very happy to win, Peter has been in the form of his life of late so to get a win is great," he said.

"But he is only just getting back from America so Iím sure he wasnít at his best, he said he moved well but he was probably about an inch off his best and that makes all the difference.

"If youíve had a six hour flight there is no way that canít affect you especially if you only get back a day earlier."

And Matthew was equally respectful of his opponent pointing to the 29-year-olds five-game defeat in Sundayís Liverpool open final - at the hands of Franceís Thierry Lincou - as a reason for his below par display.

"He was physically struggling and I just wanted to grind him down," said the 25-year-old.

"David looked sharp early on but I knew heíd be heavy physically and I wanted to stay in each game until about 6-6 and then I knew he would start feeling heavy.

"I was putting extra pressure on myself as I knew I had a great opportunity, and I was tense in the first game but after that I managed to relax and now I have the first win under my belt."

Elsewhere, there was more joy for England as Lee Beachill won a five-game marathon against Australian Anthony Ricketts, hitting two top-draw winners to take the final game 11-8.