Masterclass From Matthew Inflicts Misery On Willstrop In British Grand Prix Final

World No.4 Nick Matthew wins his fourth AJ Bell British Squash Grand Pric title after beating compatriot and World No.15 James Willstrop in a straight games final.

The British No.1 took advantage of an exhausted Willstrop to claim his first title of the 2016/17 season and reclaim the crown he last won in 2014.

Willstrop matched the former World No.1 until midway through the first before Matthew pushed ahead 10-6 to never look back. Willstrop pulled back one game point but Matthew finished him off quickly to go 1-0 up and the Yorkshire-man Matthew then raced 4-0 up in the second to put himself in the driver’s seat.

33-year-old Willstrop showed this character and tenacity to battled and force a tie breaker but a costly unforced error saw him concede the momentum and Matthew pounced on the opportunity to move 2-0 up and from then on he was in total control, dictating the play to round out the latest win in the duo's lengthy saga.

“A lot has been said about our rivalry, there is a tremendous admiration for what both of us do on the court,” said Matthew.

“Off the court as well in the way we prepare, we couldn’t be two more different people in the way we approach the game and the way we play but that leads to some unbelievable matches.

“That could have been a very different match, James [Willstrop] was hard on himself about his own performance which you have to be if you want to compete at the very top level.

“If he’d have nicked that second game then it would have been a different match but I got that second and was able to jump on top.

“He’s the sort of player that even at 9-1 down you cannot relax for a minute because you saw yesterday at 2-0 down against Gregory [Gaultier], everyone knows about James’ skill but the underrated part of his game is his desire and determination and his ability to dig in.

“Everyone knows about his touch, racket and ball control. That discipline and fight back is something I haven’t really played against since Peter Nicol so that’s unbelievable.

“I change my mind about it every day, one minute I’m planning my retirement party the next minute I want to play for five more years so the truth is probably somewhere in between.

“There is times where I thought this might be my last year but I definitely have plans to finish this season and take it from there. I would dearly, dearly love to play in one more commonwealth games and of course the Worlds in Manchester next year.

“Manchester City Council and AJ Bell in partnership with the PSA do so much in this city and I love it here so please keep putting a few more tournaments on.

“AJ Bell have supported me so much in my career and to lift this trophy really means so much, it’s my first PSA title of the year and I’ve left it until the last one.

“You really don’t take for granted these sort of occasions and these sort of matches that are live on BT Sport, big crowd big match and a big rival in James.

“I’m just so happy and that’s why I got a bit emotional at the end there because you don’t how long you can play in those sort of matches.”

On the final Willstrop said: "I just wish I could have given him more of a match.

"But I have to salute him. I gave everything there but he was too good, and too accurate - I couldn't get him out of position. People talk about his age but he's as good as he was six years ago when we were playing finals."

Result - Final: 2016 AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [6] James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 12-10, 11-4 (51m)

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