Assured Matthew faces showdown with world-leading Elshorbagy

Nick Matthew, right, on his way to victory against James Willstrop in Manchester on Saturday.

Nick Matthew, right, on his way to victory against James Willstrop in Manchester on Saturday.

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Sheffield’s Nick Matthew eased into Monday’s final of the British Grand Prix with another assured performance in Manchester yesterday.

The 35-year-old eased past fellow Yorkshireman and long-time rival James Willstrop 3-0 in Saturday’s second round and saw off the challenge of Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad by the same margin in the following day’s semi-finals.

Matthew will now face world No 1 Mohamed Elshorbagy, who prevailed 3-2 in a gruelling 95-minute battle with Gregory Gaultier.

“I think I played really well today,” said Matthew, who suffered with a knee injury during the summer.

“I think I’ve played better each day. Karim offered a different challenge to my other opponents.

“I’ve never played him before and with his silky skills he presented a totally different challenge and I never felt totally settled.

“I’m looking forward to the final and I just feel happy to be on court and doing justice to myself.”

Elshorbagy said he was looking forward to another encounter with Matthew.

“Another final with Nick and we always have big matches,” he said.

“He probably had an easier draw than me but if there was a time I could play those tough matches and be up for it physically, it is when I’m 24 years old.

“I have no excuses for tomorrow. I know I’m going to be hopefully fresh and I’m going to be ready for it and give it my all tomorrow.”

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