Matthew extends record to Nine
Nick Matthew successfully defended his Nationals title, extending his record number of victories to nine as he beat first-time finalist Joe Lee in straight games.
Matthew was in charge for the majority of the match, pulling clear early in the first game, building on an early advantage in the second and holding off a late challenge from Lee in the third to finish the match 11/6, 11/4, 11/8 (40m).
“This has been a very tough week for me,” said Matthew, “having to play Declan yesterday and Joe today, it made me feel my age a little!
“I’m trying to hold off the next generation for as long as I can, but whether you’re going for you first or ninth title you still get nervous towards the end of games like that third.
“You have to try to get on top of them and ruin their confidence, and I hope I can carry on doing that for a bit longer.
“It’s been a great event, well organised and presented, and having a new local ex-player as title sponsor was a real bonus, thanks to everyone for all of that.”
Massaro makes it Four
Laura Massaro became four-time British National Champion as she beat Sarah-Jane Perry in straight games at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.
It was a repeat of the 2015 final, which Perry won in five, and although the new world #8 threatened to extend the match, Massaro got the better of two close final games.
fter a cagey opening, Massaro pulled clear from 4-all in the first to take the lead 11-5, and led by a point or two for most of the second. Perry edged ahed to earn two game balls, but four points in a row saw Massaro double her advantage 12/10.
The third was similarly close, with Massaro just ahead on the scoreboard, but from this time from 8-all it was the world #5 who earned two match balls, finishing the match on the second of those with a dying length and a final delighted clench of the fists.
“It’s a special event to win,” said Massaro, “especially at home with all my friends and family here.
“I set out to play fast to try to take the nerves out of it, and I was really pleased to be able to finish those last two games.
“I know that Cassie has six titles, so that spurred me on to try to get a fourth today. I’ll be around for a while yet, so if I could get to emulate what Cassie did that would be a great achievement.”