Squash: Matthew primed for Lobban showdown

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Top seed Nick Matthew cruised into the second round of the British National Championships after a comprehensive victory over teenage qualifier Lyell Fuller.

Matthew, a three-time world champion, defeated the 18-year-old 11-7, 11-2, 11-4 at the National Squash Centre in Manchester yesterday.

“I had to take him seriously,” conceded Matthew, who is aiming for a record sixth national title.

“I was following him on Twitter and he kept telling everyone how much he was up for it!

“I was 18 myself once and I know what it’s like to be young and hungry.”

The right-handed Sheffield player will return to the court this afternoon. He faces Greg Lobban for a place in the last eight of the event.

“I love playing in Manchester; this tournament is as hard to win as any PSA event, with all the top British guys taking part you can’t take it lightly,” insisted the 33-year-old.

Matthew is in the top half of the draw and is seeded to meet long-time rival James Willstrop in the final on Sunday. Having claimed the Swedish Open last weekend, the world number one is chasing a third successive national triumph.

“I’ve had less time to recover for nationals as I would have liked ideally but I certainly can’t complain after winning the Open,” he said.

Matthew or Lobban will play either Joe Lee or Richie Fallows in the quarter-finals.

Chris Ryder upset the seedings, beating Jaymie Haycocks in straight games in under 50 minutes.

Daryl Selby eased past James Earles and is a potential last four opponent for Matthew. Selby caused a major upset three years ago by winning the crown at the expense of Matthew.

Tom Richards, who reached the semi-finals of the event in 2011, said: “You would be foolish to look past Nick [Matthew] for the title with the form he is in at the moment. However, there are several players who on their day can produce an upset.”