Sheffield's Nick Matthew claimed a record 10th British National title - but only after a gruelling final showdown with long-time rival James Willstrop.
In Matthew’s final British National Championships appearance, the former World No1 overcame his fellow Yorkshireman 11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 11-6 (69m). The result maintains Matthew's unbeaten record against 34-year-old Willstrop at the event, the 37-year-old winning all eight encounters.
Not surprisingly, given the fractious history between the pair over the years, the final at Manchester's National Squash Centre proved a feisty affair, with Matthew relieved to get over the line.
“I had three goals this year, one of them was to win the World Championships in December and the second was to try and get a tenth National title," said Matthew who, along with Willstrop, has been selected to represent England at April's Commonwealth Games.
“As James said I am a pretty horrible person on the court, but James is pretty tough on there as well you know. We are both tough and that is why we have had such a good rivalry over the years.”
In his post-match interivew, a deflated Willstrop had said: "It was a great match, I really enjoyed the squash on there. I didn’t enjoy some of the other aspects on there, but I loved the squash.
“It is a good job he wins more than he loses, but he is a wonderful player, a wonderful ambassador for toughness and an incredibly hard player to compete against."
Tesni Evans became the first ever Welsh winner of the women's title after she saw off four-time champion Alison waters in straight games, prevailing 11-5, 11-9, 11-7.