internationalSPORTgroup BRITISH OPEN – MEN’S SEMI-FINALS

England No.1 and World No.4 Nick Matthew, who had not dropped a game en-route to the last four, defeated England team-mate Peter Barker 11-6 11-5 11-6 in 48 minutes to reach the final for the second time in four years.
 
"Even though it was 3/0, I couldn't relax for a moment," said Matthew. "The game went according to plan - and it's not often that happens. It very rarely happens that you win all your matches 3/0 - so I've given myself a real chance for tomorrow."
 
Barker, who upset World No.2 Gregory Gaultier in the quarter-finals, was full of praise for his close friend: "That's the best he's ever played against me. And when you get beaten by a better player, it's somewhat easier to take.
 
"I did everything to win, but it wasn't good enough. I can't argue with the result," added the lefthander.
 
In second semi-final, James Willstrop overcame a lacklustre Amr Shabana, defeating the former World No.1 11-5 11-6 11-1 in just 32 minutes to set up the historic all-English final.
 
"I've not made it a secret that I am a big fan of Amr's - he is a legend of the game," Willstrop told the packed crowd at Sportcity after his sensational win. "He is a very difficult player - and to beat him here in Manchester in the British Open is very special.
 
"I was very consistent from the start - I started well and this set the tone," added Willstrop, who lost to Shabana in straight games only eight days ago in the US Open in Chicago.
National Squash Centre, Manchester
Men’s Championship Semi-Finals:
[10] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [3] Amr Shabana (EGY) 11-5, 11-6, 11-1 (32m)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [6] Peter Barker (ENG) 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (48m)
 
Men's Championship Final:
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) v [10] James Willstrop (ENG)
 
For further information, visit the internationalSPORTgroup British Open – Manchester 2009 Official Website, www.isportgroup.com/BritishOpenSquash, email: info@isportgroup.com or contact Press & Media Manager Peter Schmidl on mobile +49 172 7211162, Skype: peter.schmidl1 or email schmidl@squashnet.de
 
Issued by www.isportgroup.com/SquashNews

An historic day at the internationalSPORTgroup British Open, played at the National Squash Centre in Manchester, England, saw Nick Matthew and James Willstrop record resounding straight game semi-final wins to set-up the first all-English final of the world's oldest and most prestigious squash championship for 70 years.