Squash: Hungry Nick seeks sixth national title

Sheffield ace Nick Matthew.
Sheffield ace Nick Matthew.
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The prospect of winning more trophies and beating records continues to spur on Nick Matthew.

The Sheffield star is chasing a record-breaking sixth British National Championship title this week. In the 36-year history of the event, no male player has ever won the competition six times.

Matthew, the top seed, faces a qualifier in the first round of the tournament, held at the National Squash Centre in Manchester, this afternoon.

“If I were to win, that would tie me with Cassie Jackman, who won six, and that sort of record motivates me,” the three-time world champion told The Star. “They are the kind of numbers you look back on with great pride come the end of your career.”

Matthew, who secured a fourth Swedish Open last weekend, added: “I am really looking forward to the nationals. It is a brilliant event.

“You get packed crowds from the first day right through to the final. It has got a great vibe to it.”

Victories over Gregory Gaultier and Ashour mean Matthew has reclaimed outright the world number one ranking. He briefly shared the honour with Gaultier. Nonetheless, the 33-year-old is acutely aware he will be a marked man in Manchester.

“Some of the youngsters will be looking to take a scalp and will want to have a pop at the top players,” he said.

“I want to win but I know I will have to be at the very top of my game. There is great depth in English squash at the moment so you can’t underestimate anybody.”