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16 Jul 2024

Matthew On Course For Historic British Open Success

19 May 2012

After beating England team-mate Peter Barker in today's semi-finals of the Allam British Open, world champion Nick Matthew is on course to make history by becoming the first Englishman in the event's 82-year history to win the world's most famous squash title for a third time.

The 31-year-old from Sheffield - winner of the title in 2006 and 2009 - faced surprise opponent Barker in the last four match in the PSA World Series event after the sixth seed from London upset second-seeded Frenchman Gregory Gaultier in the quarter-finals.

But Matthew was too strong for the left-hander, winning 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 in 45 minutes in front of a sell-out crowd at the O2 Arena in London.

"I was pleased with the way I started," said Matthew. "I knew Peter had a hard match last night so I wanted to get on top early and I managed to do that.

"Last time was a long time ago, 2009, so it doesn't really feel like I'm defending champion, but it's great that Dr Allam and everyone involved has got this great event back on the calendar, and I'm looking forward to playing the final tomorrow in such a tremendous venue and atmosphere."

Earlier, top seed James Willstrop failed to make it an all-English final when Egyptian whirlwind Ramy Ashour blew him away in four games.

After losing a tight first game, No4 seed Ashour overwhelmed the world number one from Leeds with some dazzling racket skills and breathtaking dives around the court to keep the ball coming back.

Willstrop rallied in the fourth game but from 6-4 ahead he was unable to push on as Ashour produced some incredible retrieving and clinched the match with an astonishing volley kill shot.

Official event website: www.britishopensquash.net

For all the latest Tour news: www.psaworldtour.com

[4] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [1] James Willstrop (ENG) 8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 (59m)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [6] Peter Barker (ENG) 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 (45m)