Sheffield’s Nick Matthew remains on course for a fourth British Open title, but was given a tough workout by France’s Gregoire Marche before clinching a place in the quarter-finals.
The 34-year-old, who last won the title in 2012 when it was held in London, admitted after his 7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 victory that his starts needed to improve the deeper he goes in the tournament, his tentativeness down to a recent ankle injury which some feared at one point would rule him out of the event.
The third seed and world No 2, who will now face Marche’s compatriot Mathieu Castagnet in the last eight tomorrow, said: “Greg showed tonight that with a bit of calm and experience, he will start knocking at the top players’ door.
“It’s hard when you see your opponent being five times quicker than yourself, thankfully I’m five times more experienced than he is.”
Matthew admitted he had taken time to get going in his opening two matches at Hull’s Airco Arena, accounting in part for him losing the opening game to Marche last night before settling into his rhythm once again to take the next three games and close out in just under an hour.
“I’m really taking one match at a time, my starts are too tentative, and I get to 6, 7, 8 before I start making my stride,” he added.
“It’s all about getting confident with my movement - I just need to be sharper.”