Nick Matthew’s quest for yet another Commonwealth gold may be up and running but he insists his mother is one who deserves medal after he secured a straightforward victory on the day of his parents’ wedding anniversary.
The 37-year-old’s mum and dad have now been married 46 years and Matthew marked the occasion by making light work of Uganda’s Ian Rukunya, taking just 17 minutes on court to record an 11-2, 11-6, 11-2 victory.
Matthew's father Hedley is over here supporting him in his bid to defend his singles title from Glasgow at what will be his last Commonwealth Games.
And although his mother Sue is supporting his wife Esme with their young family back home, Matthew insists he very much had their special occasion on his mind.
“My mum is the one who deserves a medal,” he said. “She’s at home helping out with my wife and my dad is out here supporting me. It’s their 46th wedding anniversary today too, which is amazing.
“They’ve been so supportive. It’s been a long wait, there’s been a lot of build-up and you could argue it’s been four years waiting. It’s nice to get the first one under the belt and then it gets into the serious business on the glass court against some of the top ranked guys in the world so I am looking forward to that.
"You try and find your rhythm, get your feet moving a little bit and find your targets and take something positive out of it for the next day. That was it really, keep it dead simple.”
Eyeing up a fourth Commonwealth gold medal and a third straight in the men’s singles, Matthew has had to adapt his game to fit the sport’s ever-evolving nature, irrespective of his decision to retire.
But even though he’s kept pace with the sport’s best he believes a wise head will still prove useful.
“Four years is a long time, I remember looking back at videos when I was world number one. “You sort of think as you get older you might slow up a little bit and not be as good as you were.
"And then you actually compare the two and the pace of the game is faster now and you look like you’re playing better. The game has phenomenally got faster but then there’s nothing like a little bit of experience now and again to mix up that pace and I can use that.”
Elsewhere, Sheffield’s Michael Tuck couldn’t prevent England from slipping to a 78-65 defeat to Scotland in their men’s basketball opener.
A blistering final quarter from the Scots proved vital, although Tuck and co can redeem themselves when they play India on Saturday evening.
npower is the Official Partner of Team England and is giving our athletes the power of support by recording a brand new version of their anthem, Jerusalem. To listen to the track visit npower.com/teamengland