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15 Apr 2024

Matthew & Willstrop Set Up Manchester Showdown

12 Sep 2015

England's Nick Matthew and James Willstrop are set to renew their historic rivalry in the quarter-finals of the 2015 AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix after surviving first round hurdles in the PSA M70 event at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.

The Yorkshire pair, both former world number ones, have clashed since 2001 in a rivalry that has spanned two decades and produced some of the most memorable matches in the history of squash.

Separated by just three years in age and thirty miles geographically, the pair will do battle for the first time since the final of the 2014 Commonwealth Games - when Sheffield's 35-year-old three time World Champion Matthew consigned his old foe to defeat in what has been an emphatic recent streak over the 31-year-old from Harrogate.

Matthew saw off compatriot Chris Simpson 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 while Willstrop overcame qualifier Laurens Jan Anjema 11-8, 4-11, 11-5, 11-6 to exetend his unbeaten run over the Dutchman.

"I came away with a lot of positives there from that match," said Matthew.

"I was expecting to draw on a lot of experience today that but only really had to in that last game so I'm over the moon. I've had a bit of an interrupted summer but it came together on the day. I'm enjoying being healthy then tomorrow it moves on quickly so I've not got much time to relax."

Willstrop said: "It's all positive and I'm happy to be playing in a quarter final against a world class operator in the form of Nick and it's a big rivalry.

"You never know what's going to happen."

Elsewhere Egypt's world No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy eased past his first round opponent, English wildcard Richie Fallows, to join world No.3 Gregory Gaultier, world No.4 Miguel Angel Rodriguez, Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad and Essex duo Peter Barker and Daryl Selby in the quarter-finals.