Double celebration in Glasgow for Matthew

Sheffield's defending Commonwealth Games men's singles champion Nick Matthew.

Sheffield's defending Commonwealth Games men's singles champion Nick Matthew.

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SHEFFIELD’S Nick Matthew blew the candles out on fellow birthday boy Alan Clyne’s Commonwealth Games singles hopes as England’s world No 2 stepped up his bid for a second successive gold medal.

The Yorkshireman swept aside the Scottish ninth seed 11-4 11-4 11-8 at the Scotstoun venue.

Matthew turned 34 yesterday, while Edinburgh-based Clyne marked his 28th birthday with an unsatisfactory showing.

If Matthew needed cause for celebration, it came on court as he sped through the first two games before battling through a tougher third.

“It was a good birthday,” Matthew said. “I got the job done. He was coming back at the end there – he saved his best stuff for the end.

“I have not had a match of that quality for a good while. That’s going to stand me in good stead for the rest of the tournament, that’s for sure.

“How bizarre is it that both of us were born on the same day and then we play each other in the Commonwealth Games on our birthday?

“That is just freaky, to be honest.”

Guernsey’s Chris Simpson presents the next hurdle for Matthew to overcome.

“He trains in Harrogate with my coach David Pearson, so I know him very well,” added Matthew.

Elsewhere in the men’s singles. Matthew’s long-term rival James Willstrop made it through to the last eight with a convincing 11-5, 11-5, 11-5 triumph over New Zealand’s Martin Knight.

In the women’s singles, eighth seed Jenny Duncalf, from Harrogate, continued her progress into the quarter-finals with a convincing 11-4 11-5 11-7 triumph over Canada’s Samantha Cornett.

But the former world No 2, who has been plagued by injury problems on and off for the last 12 months, will come up against defending champion and undisputed world No 1 Nicol David in the last eight.

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