Nick’s defence begins with win

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World No 1 Nick Matthew will play Hampshire’s Chris Simpson tonight in the last 16 of the British National Championships in Manchester.

Sheffield’s Matthew who is seeded two for the tournament behind Pontefract’s James Willstrop, made light work of another Yorkshireman, James Earles, in last night’s first round match.

The 31-year-old came through in three games (11/4, 11/5, 11/6) in just 32 minutes.

Matthew has won the championships three times in the last six years.