NICK MATTHEW was left frustrated after injury forced him to retire in the final of the Windy City Open in Chicago.
The 35-year-old from Sheffield had been in tremdous form all week at the University Club, prevailing in a near two-hour second round clash with Spain’s Borja Golan and negotiating a way past Tarek Momen before booking his place in the final with an hour-long victory over Egypt’s Omar Mosaad.
But the defending champion’s hopes of a third Windy City Open title – he also won the event back in 2004 – were dashed on Wednesday night when a hip injury forced him to concede to world No 1 Mohamed Elshorbagy - a conclusion which pleased neither player.
“I felt a muscle in my glute go in the first game and it seized up,” said Matthew after just 22 minutes on court had left him two games down and 1-0 behind in the third.
“Mohamed is hard enough to play when you’re fully mobile never mind injured so it was a frustrating end.
“I don’t mind losing – it’s just disappointing when you can’t do yourself justice and give Mohamed the fight he deserves.”
The opening game of the encounter between the world No 1 and No 3 had lived up to the pre-event billing, with a series of typically tough, punishing rallies, but it was evident early that Matthew was struggling on court and the Yorkshireman was forced to concede early in the third game and hand Elshorbagy the victory.
“I noticed at the start of the second he was struggling to move,” said the Egyptian.
“I live for great battles and to play against great players like Nick. It’s unfortunate what happened today as that’s not the way that I wanted to win.
“But this is the first time I’ve won this title and I’m very happy to have my name on there.”
In the women’s final, Egypt’s Raneem El Welily beat compatriot Nour El Sherbini 9-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-6 in 35 minutes.