Nick aiming to become squash legend

World No.1 Nick Matthew
World No.1 Nick Matthew

REPUTATION is everything to Nick Matthew.

Having reassessed his personal targets over Christmas, the Sheffield right-hander is aiming to stay at the top of the world rankings and defend his world title in 2011.

There is a burning desire within Matthew, the World and Commonwealth champion, to become the greatest squash player in history.

Matthew, voted the Senior Performer of the Year at the South Yorkshire Sports Awards last week, told The Telegraph: “I want to try and create a legacy rather than just having one fantastic year.

“My aim is to win tournaments three to four times.

“Guys who have dominated squash have not just done it for one year. The Peter Nicols and Amr Shabanas of this world have managed that. I’m nowhere near achieving their success but hopefully one day I will be spoken about in the same circles as them.

“Hopefully I can stay world no 1 longer this time. I have to concentrate on winning matches and the ranking will take care of itself.”

Matthew, who saw his attempt to win the Professional Squash Association’s (PSA) World Series final 10 days ago halted by the weather, is currently in New York competing in the Tournament of Champions.

He secured his place in the quarter-final after straight set wins over Omar Mosaad and training partner Alister Walker. In the last eight, Matthew is set to meet England teammate Peter Barker.

The 30-year-old, named the squash player of the year for 2010, added: “It would be nice to win a couple of tournaments that I haven’t won before like in New York and Hong Kong.

I have also got an opportunity to win the National Championships in Manchester in February for a record-equalling fourth time so there is a lot to look forward to.”