Weary Matthew still up to challenge

Nick Matthew
Nick Matthew
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Great champions rise to the big occasions.

And in that respect, Sheffield has one of the best in the business in squash.

On Tuesday, Nick Matthew defeated India’s Saurav Ghosal to reach the quarter-finals of the PSA World Championship; amazingly for the EIGHTH year in a row.

The third seed claimed a hard-fought 11-4, 11-5, 6-11, 11-9 over Ghosal to keep alive his hopes of lifting a fourth world crown.

Matthew began the defence of his title by beating Raphael Kandra.

He then breezed past Frenchman Gregoire Marche before surviving a scare against the 18th in the world ranked, Ghosal.

The 34-year-old was scheduled to face Amr Shabana in the last four yesterday.

It has been a rollercoaster of a year for Matthew, who won his second successive gold in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in August before his wife Esme gave birth to his first child, Charlotte.

Matthew also had the honour of leading out the team as England’s flag-bearer for the Commonwealth Games’ opening ceremoney.

He admitted: “I was absolutely wiped out after winning Commonwealth gold in Scotland because of the nature of the competition and the stress of trying to get fit for it following my knee operation.

“After the Games, I took around three weeks off and then got back into training.

“I started to feel good and my wife Esme delivered our little girl Charlotte so it’s been hard trying to get into any sort of rhythm with my training.

“From a personal point of view, having a baby and winning Commonwealth gold, I wouldn’t change a thing.

“It has been an amazing year.”