Matthew’s Last World Champs Match

We couldn’t let last night’s last ever World Champs match for Nick Matthew (which was also the end of British hopes for this year’s event) pass without a special feature, could we …

[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egy) 3-1 [5] Nick Matthew (Eng)  11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6 (53m)

Good starts in the first (5-1) and third (6-2) games from Nick weren’t enough to stop Mohamed Elshorbagy going through to the semi-finals, bringing an end to Nick’s 17th consecutive World Champs (1999-2017, no events in ’00 and ’01), and his 11th successive quarter-final.

Here’s what they said :

Nick Matthew:

I felt I played really well tonight. I came up against somebody who is just at the absolute peak of his powers, peak of his game.

I started out the first few points really in the zone, there was probably just a patch in each game where he just got on top of me with his physicality, and I was pushing so hard.

There were maybe three or four rallies in each game where he got on top and it’s hard to come back from that.

I managed to get a good start in the third, I didn’t want to get down without a fight, the crowd here was absolutely fantastic, half way through that second game where he was on top, I was thinking oh no that’s not good for everyone… least of all me!

I’m proud the way I fought back, I tried to commit to what I was doing…

I remember this crowd in 2013, in the final, they really spurred me on, so I wanted to give them something to cheer about tonight.

Probably the biggest testament to Mohamed is it takes a pretty decent performance to beat me in Manchester, I’ve got a pretty decent record here.

The worlds, British Open, British Grand Prix, a couple of Nationals [9 wins, actually], I play my best squash in Manchester, and I’ve got so many people to thank for that, 2013 probably my best memory here.

It was my minimum of this week to arrive here, to this venue, it feels special, I wanted to at least do that, disappointed to lose in the quarters obviously, but proud of my performance.

If I keep playing like that, maybe I can seek another Nationals or another title, Commonwealth Games is a realistic target, why not.

Still six more months where I can push my body, mind you, there were times on that second game I was close to retiring on the spot, because he was moving me around, but at least I got that third.

I’ll end my tournament with good memories of how I pulled back, I can take that.

Mohamed Elshorbagy:

I was playing of the greatest of the game, whatever day it is, he is going to step it up every time we play, and I always step it up against him.

He certainly gave it a huge push when he was 2/0 down, I didn’t expect anything less from him.

I think we played a great quality squash today, we played in good spirit, and it was the high quality match I was expecting.

It’s always been a great rivalry between us, and an interesting one. There is 11 years difference between us, and I’ll remember that rivalry for the rest of my career, and for the rest of my life.

If somebody wanted to give me a tough draw for this event he wouldn’t have done any better than that! I get to play Ramy, then Nick, then Greg! You normally don’t get that in the same tournament.

You know, once I saw the draw, I kept a positive attitude and told myself why not, it’s a challenge, I live for this kind of challenges, and why not try and go all the way?

If I win here, with that draw, nobody will be able to say I was lucky!!!

I’m going to try and go all the way here, it’s not going to be easy, but you know, I believe in myself, I believe in my mental strength and my squash, and I believe that I can try and do this.

So I’ll go back and recover, and come back.

Every match is another tournament in itself. It’s still a long way to go, and I can’t wait to be back here in the semis.