Squash: Matthew eyes up fourth British title


WHEN Nick Matthew nexts step on to court, the world number two will compete in arguably the most coveted tournament in the squash calendar.

The Sheffield player, beaten by Peter Barker in the semi-finals of the Canary Wharf Classic last week, is set to take part in the Allam British Open Squash Championships. The event, which takes place between May 20-26, will be staged at the KC Stadium in Hull.

“It’s the Wimbledon of squash,” Matthew, who will be chasing his fourth British Open title, told The Star.

He added: “It’s fantastic that the Open is coming to Yorkshire and I can’t wait to play in May.”

It has been a disappointing couple of weeks for Matthew. He bowed out of the Kuwait Open at the second round stage, losing to close pal Daryl Selby. The 32-year-old then lost to Barker 11-9 11-9 7-11 11-8 in the capital. Matthew had lost just once in 21 previous PSA Tour meetings to Barker, who was defeated by Leeds ace James Willstrop in the final.

Speaking before the Canary Wharf Open, Matthew said: “I’ve been consistent all year and I think you have to expect the odd early round defeat.

“It happens in every sport. Andy Murray lost relatively early in a tennis tournament recently. Everybody is working hard and in good shape right now so you can’t expect to get to the final every week.”

Matthew is enjoying a well earned break before stepping up his preparations for the Open.