SHEFFIELD’S Nick Matthew picked up the 30th PSA Tour title of his career when he cruised past France’s Mathieu Castagnet to win the British Squash Grand Prix in Manchester
The 34-year-old world No 3 won 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 against an opponent 12 places below him in the rankings.
“I’m so comfortable In Manchester – I think I’ve had more success on this court than anywhere else in my whole career,” said Matthew. “I wish I could take it with me.
“It was a great match against Mathieu - it’s credit to him that the crowd were cheering loudly for him at the end. I’ve never heard French people get so much support in England!
“Winning the title feels great and is a great way to end the year.”
Three-time world champion Matthew showed no ill-effects of the energy-sapping semi-final he endured against Gregory Gaultier the previous day, when he took 103 minutes to get past the Frenchman.
But Castagnet made him work hard for his 30th Tour title, keeping Matthew on court for 50 minutes.
Castagnet had got to the final on the back of one of the biggest shocks of the year, seeing off world No 1 Mohamed Elshorbagy in the quarter-finals.
Despite gaining an early lead in the first game, it was a position he couldn’t hold on to, with Matthew showing all his experience and stamina to dominate the remainder of the match.
“I didn’t expect to reach a final this week and it was such a great pleasure for me to make it,” said Castagnet afterwards.
“I did my best but he was too strong for me today and even when I was pushing hard he was playing well.”