US agony spurs on World No 4 Matthew

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World number four Nick Matthew hopes his recent defeat in the US Open final will prove to be a “blessing in disguise” as he today begins his quest for a third world title.

The Sheffield star lost 11-4, 11-5, 11-5 to Gregory Gaultier, of France, in Philadelphia earlier this month. It is the only tournament Matthew, who decided to take an extended break from the sport at the end of last season, has competed in this campaign.

Nonetheless, the 33-year-old thinks people should write him off at their peril ahead of the 2013 World Championships, which get underway in Manchester this afternoon.

Matthew, who faces a qualifier in the first round of the event, has told The Star: “I feel fresh and ready to do well at the worlds. I have comeback recharged after a long summer break.

“Even though I didn’t win the US Open, it might be a blessing in disguise because it leaves you striving for more. I had a good week in the US and now I just need to re-group and concentrate on playing my game and hopefully the results will follow.”

The fourth seed, whose previous world triumphs came in 2010 and 2011 in Saudi Arabia and Netherlands respectively, has said it “would be very special” to complete the hat-trick.

Matthew said: “The worlds is the one we have all circled in our diaries and tried to peak for.

“It is great for me that it is on home turf and less than an hour away from where I live. There are no excuses for not performing well because I am comfortable with the surroundings.”