SQUASH: Nick Matthew came from behind to complete a remarkable comeback from injury to reclaim his position as world No 1 from fellow Yorkshireman James Willstrop.
The 31-year-old from Sheffield returned to the PSA World Tour at the Tournament of Champions in New York knowing he had to better Willstrop’s performance at the event in order to regain the top ranking spot which he held throughout 2011.
It did not start too promisingly for Matthew at Grand Central Terminal when Willstrop, who won the last three tournaments in 2011 to replace him as No 1, took the opening game.
But Matthew hit back to run out an 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 winner, extending his triumphant run over Willstrop to 13 matches.
Matthew had missed the last three tour events due to an adductor injury sustained in the Kuwait Cup in November.
Next month’s British Nationals in Manchester are the next likely meeting point for the two, but with that not being a PSA ranking event, the 28-year-old from Leeds will have to wait for the American Open in Richmond to try and edge ahead of Matthew once again.
“This win is right up there alongside the Worlds and Commonwealth Games gold medals as one of my best victories,” said Matthew after finally clinching the title at the fourth time of asking.
“I knew I needed to be aggressive. But sometimes it was also the pent up emotion of the last couple of months. It was hard to lose the No 1 ranking because of inactivity, and sometimes I could be a real pain to be around.”