Matthew To Face Dessouky In Canary Wharf Classic Climax
10 Mar 2017
England's Nick Matthew called upon all his big match experience and unquestioned class to stop the run of New Zealand's Paul Coll at the 2017 Canary Wharf Classic - coming through their semi-final encounter in straight games to book a place in the final where he will face surprise opponent Fares Dessouky in a bid to win a record sixth title at East Wintergarden in London.
Matthew, 36, produced a masterclass performance against the unseeded 24-year-old world No.16, picking his shots and bossing the court with precise placement from the off to secure an 11-9, 11-8, 11-5 win that sees him in the final for the sixth time in seven years.
"Sometimes the scoreline doesn't tell the story and tonight was very tough - especially the first two games," said the former world No.1 now in his 74th PSA World Tour final.
"I think maybe a bit of experience came in there and I just managed to keep him at bay. If anyone can come back from 2/0 down I know it's him so I'm happy with how I played and I feel like there's still plenty left to come - which is a great feeling to have ahead of a big match tomorrow.
"I missed this tournament last year and it's only with hindsight that I realised how much I enjoy it here. It's the best crowd on Tour and I think 'Friday Night Finals Night' at Canary Wharf is one of the best stages on Tour.
"The crowd are great and they can have a few drinks tomorrow night without worrying about work, so it's very special atmosphere, I'm looking forward to playing in it."
Dessouky secured his place in the final in what will be the biggest match of his career to date, after coming through a scrappy five-game affair with Spain's Borja Golan that was littered with over 50 refereeing decisions.
The Egyptian won 12-10, 15-17, 13-11, 11-13, 11-5 after 124 minutes - the longest match in 22-year-old Dessouky's career.
"It was a pretty long match and I was starting to cramp towards the end, so I'm very happy to be through," said the world No.11.
"It was a very hard match mentally. There was lots of talking and we were struggling with each other's movement. I am glad I am through, I'm really happy to be in the final.
"It is a great achievement for me and Nick is one of the legends of the sport. I've watched him since I was young and dreamed of playing him in big matches - I will do what I do every day to recover and hopefully I can come here tomorrow and play my best and make the crowd proud."