Matthew Downs Selby To Set Up Finale With Willstrop

Nick Matthew secured his place in the final of the AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix after beating compatriot Daryl Selby 3-1 at the National Squash Centre.

Yorkshire-man Matthew looked very assured in the opening games as he raced into an early lead before remaining collected during a second that was regularly disrupted, with Selby disagreeing with the referee’s decisions, to double his lead.

33-year-old Selby looked down and out but battled back in the third taking an early 4-1 lead before Matthew responded once again with the bit between his teeth to get back on top. But the experience 36-year-old squandered three match points to allow Selby to take the game in a tie-breaker.

But it wasn’t much longer before Matthew’s secured his place in the final where he will face long time rival James Willstrop, taking the fourth and final game 11-5 as his quality eventually proved too much for Selby.

“I said at the start of the week I came here to win it, I’ve been in a lot of semis and finals it’s about time I converted one of them,” said Matthew.

“At 2-0 up I said to Neil my coach I need to be aware that lightning doesn’t strike twice on the same day and I'm obviously disappointed not to win in three after those three match balls.

“I had to remind myself I was still in the driving seat at 2-1 up, it’s very easy to feel sorry for yourself for a split second and before you know it you’re in fifth. I didn’t want that to happen so I needed to regroup and see that I was still in the best position, I started that fourth with a real fresh positive attitude and took it from there.

“Tomorrow is going to be tough. James [Willstrop] is in great form after coming from 2-0 down, it didn’t surprise me that result even though how strong Greg [Gaultier] is purely because of how well James has been playing recently.

“We’ve played in every possible final, literally in every final going! The thing about our rivalry is that more often than not we’ve played in finals, that’s why it is such a good rivalry.

“It’s not as if I’ve played someone 35 times and they’ve been first round or quarter final matches, they’ve always been finals and big matches so tomorrow will another to add to the list.

[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [4] Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 11-8, 11-13, 11-5 (77m)

_By Sam Allsop_