6:27 am
22 Oct 2017

Matthew Sets Nine-Title Nationals Record

13 Feb 2017

By winning a historic ninth title in the Blowers Jewellers British National Championships, Yorkshireman Nick Matthew has cemented his status as one of the greatest British squash players of all-time.

The three-time world champion from Sheffield celebrated his record tenth appearance in the event's final at the National Squash Centre in Manchester by overcoming underdog Joe Lee to take home the trophy for the sixth year in a row.

The former world No.1 came into the game as huge favourite against his Surrey opponent and claimed the victory with a comfortable 11-6, 11-4, 11-8 victory in 40 minutes.

Much of the build-up to the tournament had centred around his long rivalry with fellow Yorkshireman James Willstrop - but he faced an unlikely opponent in Lee, a 5/8 seed who had progressed past Willstrop in the quarter-finals after the latter retired with the match poised at two-all.

"It's an honour to win a ninth title," said the 36-year-old. "I think Joe was a little bit nervous with it being his first final. He pushed me hard in the third game, maybe I got a bit nervous. It doesn't matter whether you've won a few titles, you do sometimes get a bit excited towards the end. But I'm really happy with where my game is and hopefully I can take that forward to the tour now.

"It was totally different this year. With Dec [James] yesterday and Joe today it made me feel my age a bit. It would be nice to get ten. Hopefully, fingers crossed, I can come back for at least one more go and get a tenth."

Lancashire's Laura Massaro retained the women's trophy to take her title haul to four. The former world No.1 from Preston defeated England team-mate Sarah-Jane Perry 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 in 42 minutes.

Massaro now has her sights set on Cassie Jackman's record of six women's titles. "I was really gunning to get my fourth title today. Cassie was an amazing player and I would love to carry on and try to emulate what she has done."

"To win the title for a fourth time is so exciting, I'm really proud of my work," added the 33-year-old. "I was feeling a bit nervous before the final today so I just tried to play fast and take the nerves out of the match."