Yorkshire pair renew rivalry on centre stage in Manchester

Nick Matthew
Nick Matthew
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Yorkshire rivals Nick Matthew and James Willstrop will lock horns once again after making it through to the last eight of the AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix at Manchester’s National Squash Centre.

For more than 10 years the two have gone toe-to-toe, with Matthew enjoying the far better record, his superiority dating back to January 2007 when Willstrop last beat him in the final of the English Open Sheffield.

In Manchester, Matthew saw off the challenge of Harrogate-based Chris Simpson 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 in yesterday’s first round, while Willstrop - seeded eighth - beat Laurens Jan Anjema 11-8, 4-11, 11-5, 11-6.

The two will now face each other in today’s opening quarter-final match at around 1pm today.

“Its all positive and I’m happy to be playing in a quarter final against a world class operator in the form of Nick,” said Willstrop.

“It’s a big rivalry. You never know what is going to happen.”

Matthew, who was set back in his preparations for the season with a knee injury during the summer, added: “I’ve had a bit of an interrupted summer but it came together on the day.

“I’m enjoying being healthy, but it moves on quickly to the quarter-finals so I’ve not got much time to relax.”

Elsewhere, world No 1 Mohamed Elshorbagy eased through his first round opponent, wildcard Richie Fallows, to join world No3 Gregory Gaultier, world No4 Miguel Angel Rodriguez, Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad and Essex duo Peter Barker and Daryl Selby in the quarter-finals.

Results - AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix: First Round

[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [WC] Richie Fallows (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 (32m)

[7] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-0: 11-8, 11-3, 11-9 (46m)

[5] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [Q] Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-1: 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-2 (51m)

[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-0: 16-14, 11-7, 11-6 (43m)

[4] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 (53m)

[6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-2: 8-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 11-2 (74m)

[8] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [Q] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 3-1: 11-8, 4-11, 11-5, 11-6 (61m)

[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 (45m)

Quarter-final draw (starting 1pm)

[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [7] Daryl Selby (ENG)

[5] Peter Barker (ENG) v [3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)

[4] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v [6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)

[8] James Willstrop (ENG) v [2] Nick Matthew (ENG)