SHEFFIELD’s Nick Matthew kept his hopes of a fourth British Open title alive after showing characteristic resilience to defeat Egypt’s Tarek Momen in the quarter-finals.
It will be the seventh semi-final appearance at the event for Matthew, who first won the competition dubbed the ‘Wimbledon of Squash’ in 2006 before repeating his triumph in 2009 and 2012.
The 36-year-old world No 4 relinquished a one-game lead on two occasions to Momen, but pulled through in the decider to prevail by an 11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6 scoreline after an energy-sapping 82 minutes on the glass showcourt at Hull’s Airco Arena.
It sets up a mouthwatering last four showdown with defending champion and world No 1 Mohamed ElShorbagy, where victory for Matthew will see him become the oldest player since Australia’s Geoff Hunt (34) in 1981 to reach the final of the sport’s longest-running event.
“It was like a rollercoaster, he’s that type of player you’ve got to stay consistent against because he’s going to have his periods where he plays incredible and then makes mistakes,” said Matthew.
“I saw Laura’s [Massaro] game earlier and the crowd were great supporting her, but I didn’t give them that much to cheer about in terms of my positive play. Hopefully I’ll get a bit more of that tomorrow with them right behind me.
“I just focus on my own stuff and let that take care of itself. Obviously we’re very proud to represent England, but every time I step on court I’m representing myself, my family, my club, my city, Yorkshire, England and everything else.”
Elshorbagy, going for a straight hat-trick of British Open titles, made it through to the last four after coming from behind to defeat fellow Egyptian Ali Farag 11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-5.
It was like a rollercoaster, he’s that type of player you’ve got to stay consistent against because he’s going to have his periods where he plays incredible and then makes mistakesSheffield’s Nick Matthew