Nick Matthew column: British Open loss was hard for me to stomach

Nick Matthew, right, gets pumped up after winning a point in his semi-final victory against Mohamed Elshorbagy in the British Open. Picture: SquashPics.com
Nick Matthew, right, gets pumped up after winning a point in his semi-final victory against Mohamed Elshorbagy in the British Open. Picture: SquashPics.com
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It was disappointing I couldn’t finish the season on a high note by lifting the British Open for a fourth time.

It is the Wimbledon of our sport and was the tournament that inspired me to become a professional squash player.

Unfortunately, I was well and truly beaten in Sunday’s final by Gregory Gaultier following a topsy-turvy week.

I picked up a bit of a stomach bug after my first round match so that wasn’t the greatest of starts!

I later had a brutal semi-final match with Mohamed Elshorbagy. It went the distance and emotions were running high. I got quite close to him in the second game at 10-10. I knew if I had gone two nil down, it might have been curtains for me. It was a big moment and sometimes you need to get yourself fired up on court. You don’t want to go to bed thinking you could have given something more.

I will be 34 this summer but I still want to win every tournament I compete in. If anyone questions my determination to succeed or desire to be the best, just show them the picture!

After defeating Elshorbagy, I was expecting my body to feel like garbage the next day. The funny thing is that on the morning of the final I probably had my best practice session in three months. I felt a million dollars and was confident going into my match with Greg, having beaten him in our last couple of meetings.

Before I knew it, though, I was 7-1 down in the first game and Greg got on a roll. No matter what I tried, he just seemed to have the answer.

Nonetheless, it’s still an incredible achievement to get to the final. I was disappointed not to win but there is no point in dwelling on it. You have to take the positives and move on or you end up getting scrambled in your mind. You can’t win every tournament so you don’t want to over-analyse things.

If I’m still standing this time next year, it should hopefully be my turn to lift the Open again. I’ve so far won it in 2006, 2009 and 2012!

Losing to Greg will give me that little edge ahead of this summer’s Commonwealth Games where I know I will be the favourite to win gold. I made sure that I tweaked my schedule so I am ready for the Games.

I will rest up over the next couple of weeks and enjoy my holiday after a long, hard season. I will try and enjoy the moment, maybe have a couple of beers and then get back to business when I return!