Matthew plans on reducing schedule

Nick Matthew, from Sheffield, is a former world champion.
Nick Matthew, from Sheffield, is a former world champion.
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Nick Matthew has told The Star he plans on playing in fewer tournaments next season to bolster his chances of winning more major titles.

Although he failed to defend his British Open crown at Hull City’s KC Stadium last month, the Sheffield player, who turns 33 in July, is convinced he can still add to his burgeoning trophy cabinet.

Matthew, beaten by France’s Gregory Gaultier 9-11 11-7 11-3 11-6 in the last four of the Open, said: “I have consistently got into the semi-finals and finals of events but I have not had a major victory this year that would have turned it from being a good season into a great one.

“I have been there or thereabouts and I know if I keep performing like I did in the British Open for the rest of my career that I have certainly got a few more titles left in me.”

Matthew, who trains at the Sheffield Hallamshire Tennis & Squash Club, is determined to manage his workload better.

“I’m not going to play as many tournaments next year,” said the world number two. “I am going to try and peak for the ones that mean most to me such as the World Championships in October.

“I think I have overplayed a little bit this year and my performances have suffered at certain stages during the season. I have learned from that and I am looking to manage my time better.

“My performances at the British Open were back to the levels where I want them to be. I had no tournament for eight weeks so I had a good training block and that was key. In the previous three months, I played eight events and I had no time to train. It is like when footballers play three times in a week for two months. Eventually, your performances catch up with you.

“I have got to be sensible with my workload. It is similar to the Ryan Giggs situation at Manchester United where he plays one match and then he is left out of the next one.”