Squash: Matthew aims to halt Ashour’s winning run


Sheffield star Nick Matthew defeated Amr Shabana in straight games last night in the World Championships to set up a semi-final showdown with top seed Ramy Ashour.

It was a battle of former champions and Matthew, the fourth seed, saw off Shabana 11-8 11-4 11-7 in 43 minutes at the Manchester Central venue.

Matthew pulled clear after an even opening to take the advantage before controlling the second game. The 33-year-old then fought back after going 4-1 down in the third game to send the eighth seed out of the competition and keep his own bid for a third world title alive.

Shabana said: “Nick is in great form and I felt I was off the pace. It was my first tournament in eight months and I found it hard to execute the plan I had in my mind.”

Matthew is next in action at 4pm tomorrow when he takes on defending champion Ashour, who extended his unbeaten run to 49 matches on tour and 53 in total by seeing off Saurav Ghosal in his last eight tussle.

Matthew declared: “I’m in the best form of my life.”