NICK MATTHEW may have been left bitterly disappointment at losing out in the final of the Tournament of Champions - but admitted he is glad to be a “contender” once again.
The British No 1 fell to a close 3-2 defeat against Egypt’s Mohamed Elshorbagy at New York’s iconic Grand Central Terminal.
Elshorbagy successfully defended his crown in a 93-minute thriller, with Matthew levelling things up to send the match into a dramatic fifth game showdown before the Egyptian sealed a 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6 victory.
Despite the setback – in the year’s first major tournament on the PSA World Tour – Matthew was satisfied with his week’s work.
“Mo showed why he is World No 1,” he said. “I was disappointed I couldn’t quite push on in the fifth game when I got the early lead, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
“It’s just nice to be a contender again. Before you can be a champion you have to be a contender.”
Elshorbagy added: “I think that’s the best I’ve seen him play so far this season.
“I’m really glad to see him back at his best again because the game needs him and he is very important for the game.
“Nick and myself always have such great battles.”