Matthew marks Manchester return with a win at the AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix

The Yorkshireman marked his return to Manchester, where he won the 2013 world title, with a comfortable win against Scotsman Greg Lobban in the PSA International 70 event. 

Nick Matthew said afterwards: “I’ve got great memories here in Manchester, winning the AJ Bell World Championships last year and having AJ Bell as a personal sponsor of mine means I always get well looked after.

“I know every nook and cranny of that court I’ve played on it so many times.  I felt ready for Greg, he’s a good up and coming player. I watched him at my tournament last week so I’d seen him play a few times so fortunately I was ready for him.” 

The world’s top two players Egyptian Mohamed Elshorbagy and Frenchman Gregory Gaultier pose the biggest threat to Matthew’s titles hopes after both came through their first round encounters 3-0.  However, fellow Englishman and world number six Peter Barker will also be trying to challenge the top three after he booked his quarter final place with a 3-0 win against Chris Simpson. 

The Londoner said: “I was saying to Daryl (Selby) that I haven’t actually played on a glass court since the end of September, so I felt a bit rusty on there but I was really pleased with the way I played. 

“I played Chris a couple of weeks ago in Qatar and had a really tough 3-1, physically I felt better today, I’ve had a couple of weeks rest and I think that was the difference today.  So I’m very happy. 

“This tournament is the last of the year and hopefully I’ll just give it everything tomorrow and see what Greg’s got in his locker,” Barker added. 

England’s Adrian Waller caused the biggest upset of the day, dispatching the number four seed Borja Golan 3-2 in a mammoth 95 minute match and a fourth Englishman, Daryl Selby, was the first through to the quarter finals in the opening match of the day. 

[6] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Fares Dessouki (EGY) 11/4, 11/2, 11/9 (56m) 
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 11/5, 11/3, 11/7 (39m) 
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [WC] Richie Fallows (ENG) 11/9, 11/6, 11/3 (47m)
[5] Peter Barker (ENG) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 11/6, 11/5, 11/5 (47m)
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt [4] Borja Golan (ESP) 9/11, 11/9, 11/9, 9/11, 11/6 (95m) 
[7] Miguel Angel Rodriquez (COL) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 7/11, 11/9, 11/7, 11/7 (59m)  
[8] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Mazen Hesham (EGY) 11/7 11/7 11/6 (48m)
[2] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v Cesar Salazar (MEX) 
The quarter finals begin at 1pm on Saturday 6 December:
1pm [3] Nick Matthew (ENG) v [6] Daryl Selby (ENG)
2pm [1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [5] Peter Barker (ENG)
5pm [7] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
6pm [8] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [2] Mohamed Elshorbagy

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England’s three time world champion Nick Matthew eased through his first round match on the opening day of the AJ Bell British Grand Prix in Manchester.