Nick Matthew Wins Springfield Solutions British Squash Grand Prix

The final of the PSA International 70 squash event was marked by milestones: it was the 30th Tour clash between the two English rivals since 2001, and the 50th appearance in a World Tour final by Matthew, the 32-year-old World No.2.

Unbeaten in his previous 14 encounters with Willstrop, Matthew went into the match as favourite - particularly as Willstrop, the World No.1, had come through a gruelling two-hour semi-final against third-seeded Frenchman Gregory Gaultier while Matthew spent well under half the time in his win over compatriot Peter Barker.

But it was Willstrop who started the stronger, quickly taking the lead in the first game, moving from 5-1 to 9-4 with Matthew making uncharacteristic unforced errors.

After losing the game, Matthew settled into the match in the second, lengthening the rallies and opening up a 7-3 lead before taking the game to draw level.

It was Willstrop, however, who started the third game the better, building up a 6-2 lead. Matthew maintained the pressure, pulling back to nine-all and sending an increasingly tiring Willstrop to all corners of the court.

Matthew took the game with a tight drop shot and then continued to dominate early in the fourth. Willstrop dug deep to reverse the run of the game for a brief period, but after saving one match ball the top seed eventually succumbed to Matthew 4-11 11-6 11-9 11-5 victory in 78 minutes to claim his second British Grand Prix title.

"Everybody talks about James's racket skills - but he's also the toughest and fiercest competitor I've ever played. It doesn't matter what he's done before," said Matthew in response to MC Sue Wright's suggestion that Willstrop's previous match might have taken its toll.

"His physicality is something to behold," added the World Champion.

"I made a lot of errors in the first game, but I got it together in the end."

"It feels great to win this title, it's a tremendous tournament, the sponsors and the organisers do a great job, and I'm sure that James and I are looking forward to coming back here for the Nationals next year, and then the Men’s World Championship in Manchester next October."

Willstrop wasn't unhappy with his performance: "It was a good quality match, we were both hitting the areas, and even if it maybe wasn't our sharpest it was still a good, enjoyable match.

"It was level and very tough, he managed to get through the crucial end of the third game better and that helped him push on in the fourth where I couldn't quite get it together.

"There's some stuff I could have done better, but he made it very difficult for me, all credit to him.

"It was a good week, great atmosphere, I really enjoyed it here, you just have to move on, learn, and keep pushing."

PSA International 70 Springfield Solutions British Grand Prix, Manchester, England
Final:
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [1] James Willstrop (ENG) 4-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5 (78m)

The Springfield Solutions British Grand Prix Squash Championship was staged at the National Squash Centre in Manchester from 21-24 September.

Official Website: www.britishsquashgrandprix.com

For further information email sales@isportgroup.com or visit: www.squashsite.co.uk/bgp

Issued by info@isportgroup.com on behalf of the Springfield Solutions British Grand Prix – Manchester 2012

In a sensational climax to the Springfield Solutions British Grand Prix at the National Squash Centre in Manchester, England's World Champion Nick Matthew recovered from a game down to upset top seed and fellow countryman James Willstrop to claim his 25th PSA World Tour career title.