Squash: World No 1 passes mental test

Nick Matthew claimed the Swedish Open last weekend.
Nick Matthew claimed the Swedish Open last weekend.
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The long-time coach of Nick Matthew believes the Sheffield star overcame a major psychological hurdle en route to lifting a fourth Swedish Open title.

David Pearson was full of praise for Matthew, a three-time world champion, after he defeated top seed Ramy Ashour 11-13, 11-6, 11-8. 6-11, 11-4 in Sunday’s final.

It was Matthew’s ninth victory in 24 meetings with Ashour, the world number one throughout the whole of last year, and the 33-year-old’s first complete match win over the mercurial Egyptian since May 2012.

Pearson, who has coached Matthew for 15 years, has told The Star: “After Christmas, Nick struggled in New York and was beaten by Amr Shabana in the quarter-finals of that tournament. We then worked on one or two technical things.

“Nick is still highly motivated and that’s the big thing about him. After a bad result, he comesback better for the next tournament.

“He made a statement in winning the Open because he had not beaten Ramy in a while. It was an important result mentally for Nick to beat him.”

World number one Matthew faces an as yet unknown qualifier in the first round of the British National Squash Championships in Manchester tomorrow. He is the top seed.