Sheffield’s Nick Matthew declared himself content despite having to retire hurt in the final of the US Open against world No 1 Mohamed ElShorbagy.
The 36-year-old Yorkshireman was forced to retire in the fifth game of their title decider inside Philadelphia’s Drexel University, handing Elshorbagy a 10-12, 12-14, 11-1, 11-4, 3-0 victory after 68 minutes.
It marked the third time that Matthew has been forced to retire during major encounters with ElShorbagy inside the past 18 months.
“This week was about more than squash for me,” said Matthew afterwards.
“I haven’t won the tournament but I’ve won my squash back - on and off court I’ve found a method to enjoy the game again and play with a smile on my face.
“Ultimately my body just let me down at the end.”
Elshorbagy was quick to pay tribute to his opponent, adding: “He’s the greatest champion I’ve ever seen in my life, the greatest athlete I’ve ever seen in my life and the amount I have learned from him is unbelievable.
“I grew up watching Nick playing and he comes from a golden generation. For me, he’s the greatest out of all of them. He’s raised the bar for everyone and I’ve watched that and learned from that, and every time I was coming close to that bar, he would push it even further.”
In the women’s final, France’s Camille Serme defeated world No 1 Nour El Sherbini 11-8, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9.
She said: ““I had to trust in myself and be attacking. I knew I had the right tactics so I just had to keep believing. It’s one of the biggest victories of my career without a doubt.”