The 33-year-old fourth seed, from Sheffield, eased through to the third round of the World Squash Championships at the National Squash Centre in Manchester yesterday following a comfortable 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 win over Hong Kong’s Max Lee in a little over 40 minutes.
That leaves the former world No 1 with a tough test today when he comes up against the improving Omar Mosaad, the world No 10 from Egypt, who is seeded 11th for the tournament.
In seven meetings between the two, Matthew has yet to be beaten but he admits to being wary of the 25-year-old, who won the Macau Open earlier this month and beat Malaysia’s Ong Beng Hee in Manchester to set up a tantalising last 16 duel with Yorkshireman Matthew.
“I haven’t lost to him yet, but I know he’s in good form,” said Matthew. “He won in Macau recently, so that tells you something.
“He’s a really strong, physical player, he doesn’t over-respect the top guys and really gets stuck in – so I know I’m going to have to up my game.
“This round is where it really turns up a notch because I’m facing Omar and I’m going to have to be very wary of him.”
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Pontefract’s James Willstrop also progressed to the third round and, like Matthew, is yet to drop a game – encountering few difficulties in his 11-8, 11-3, 11-6 victory over fellow Englishman Tom Richards.
The 30-year-old former world No 1 will now face Spain’s Borja Golan, the No 9 seed who reached the last 16 after defeating Mexico’s Cesar Salazar 11-4, 11-6, 11-3.
“It’s been good to get off court with two three-love games, good for confidence building with good time spent out on the court, although not too long which is always a great bonus because it sets you up nicely.
“If you start getting dragged into matches early on that is not always a great thing.
“Playing Tom is always difficult because he’s a good player.
“But I was able to do the business at the end of each game when it mattered and it was certainly a lot tougher than the scoreline suggests.”
Elsewhere there were few surprises among the top seeds, world No 1 and defending champion Ramy Ashour seeing off fellow Egyptian Fares Dessouky 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 in just 23 minutes.
Second seed Gregory Gaultier, from France, had little trouble reaching the next stage, beating Australian qualifier Matthew Karwalski 11-9, 11-3, 11-5.