Nick hanging tough at Open

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SHEFFIELD’S Nick Matthew says his hopes remain high of retaining the World Open in Amsterdam despite being taken to five games by Egypt’s Mohamed El Shorbagy in the last 16.

Matthew will take on England’s Peter Barker today in the quarter-finals and admits his ‘strong man’ reputation will count for little.

He said: “At the moment the lumps are being taken out of me. But I’ve said all along that this tournament is in two parts. I’ve survived the first bit at the club and now I’m through to the theatre part.”

World number one Matthew said Barker will pose a threat: “Pete will be a tough match. He’s added several new dimensions to his game and I have seen how hard he works. He has improved a lot and is knocking on the door of the top five or six in the world.”