NICK Matthew was gracious in defeat after losing to Gregory Gaultier in the Case Swedish Open final.
The Sheffield star, making his fifth successive final appearance since 2004, was denied a record fourth title yesterday as Gaultier, the defending champion, secured a 11-3, 12-10, 11-9 victory in Linköping.
It was a superb performance from Gaultier, the world No 4, with the Frenchman dropping just three points in the opening game.
Matthew requested a three-minute injury break before the second to attend to blisters but a quality backhand crosscourt handed Gaultier a two-game lead. Matthew kept battling but Gaultier wrapped up the win after 72 minutes.
“Disappointed to lose, especially 3-0 but Greg was very sharp,” Matthew posted on his Twitter page. “Good start, immaculate width/length and he played the big points wel. Decent combination.”
Gaultier, from Aix-en-Provence, said: “Nick and I know each other well and have played against each other since junior time.
“It is always even and it’s important to defend the T-position.”