Shabana & Matthew To Contest Queen's Final
6 Jan 13
England's world number two Nick Matthew and Egypt's defending champion Amr Shabana will contest the final of the ATCO PSA World Series Squash Finals at The Queen's Club in London after prevailing in today's dramatic semi-finals of the flagship PSA World Tour championship which went the full distance.
Shabana proved too strong for England's James Willstrop in the opening semi, winning 11-7, 8-11, 11-7 in 69 minutes despite a battling performance from the Yorkshireman in front of a home crowd.
"It's very intimidating playing in front of a crowd like that and I definitely think James rallied the more they supported him," said Shabana, the 33-year-old four-time world champion from Cairo. "James is an amazing athlete - it's fantastic to beat him.
"Nick is one of the fittest guys out there and he covers the court very well," continued the illustrious Egyptian, now in the final for the third successive year. "I'll have to play well against him."
Matthew had to battle for 65 minutes against Gregory Gaultier, recovering from a game down to beat the feisty Frenchman 10-12, 11-9, 11-8.
The 32-year-old from Sheffield's win denied twice champion Gaultier the chance to become the first player ever to reach a fifth World Series Finals final.
"It came down to one or two points and it was a vicious pace," said Matthew.
"The crowd was great and Greg had his fair share of support as well. In the end I think the crowd just wanted it to be as close as possible.
"I'm looking forward to playing Amr," added Matthew. "He took me to the cleaners when we played earlier in the week. Hopefully I can get some revenge."
The final will mark Matthew and Shabana's 23rd Tour meeting since August 2001. And whilst the Englishman boasts a 12-10 career head-to-head advantage to date, it is Shabana who has come out on top in all four of their previous encounters in the World Series Finals.
Photo by Jordan Mansfield
Official website: www.worldseriesfinals.com
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