NICK MATTHEW refused to use tiredness as an excuse when his hopes for a fourth British Open title were crushed by Gregory Gaultier in Hull last night.
The three-time champion and top seed, from Sheffield, was blasted off court by his world No 1 opponent, who romped to an 11-3 11-6 11-2 straight-games victory in just 45 minutes to add a second title to the one he won in 2007.
It was a repeat of the result between the two men at the semi-final stage last year, with Gaultier going on to lose in the final at the KC Stadium to Ramy Ashour.
On Saturday, Gaultier reversed that result to set up a meeting in yesterday’s final with Matthew, who had endured a tougher time in his last-four encounter with Egypt’s Mohamed Elshorbagy, being kept on court for 104 minutes and coming from behind to win 4-11 14-12 3-11 11-7 11-8.
Matthew, 34, refused to use his Saturday marathon as a reason behind his defeat yesterday, simply admitting he was beaten by the better player.
“Greg got off to a great start and that was key, he just carried it on,” said Matthew.
“I felt really good (yesterday) so there were no excuses. Sometimes you just have to say someone is too good, and I think that is the case.
“I wanted to give the crowd something to get behind but I never quite did it.”
Emotional Gaultier admitted after his deserved victory that he had struggled to relax ahead of the game.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to win,” he said.
“I want to sleep now because I only had three hours’ sleep last night because of the tension.
“To win the trophy once again is amazing. I don’t know if people can understand, I’ve been working so hard for 25 years.
“Even the crowd were great. I might have been playing Nick in front of a home crowd, but I feel they were also supporting me.”
In the women’s final, world No 1 and top seed Nicol David gained revenge over England’s Laura Massaro for defeat at the same stage last year.
The Malaysian clinched her fifth British title after overcoming the world No 2 8-11 11-5 11-7 11-8.
“Laura played a great match and I really had to dig deep to win this title back,” said David.