Old pal awaits Nick in semis

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WORLD number one Nick Matthew booked his place in the semi-finals of the British National Championships after defeating Chris Simpson 12/10, 11/4, 11/4 last night.

Seventh seed Simpson went 8/4 ahead in the first game but Sheffield ace Matthew hit back and sealed his last four spot in 54 minutes in Manchester. He today faces close friend and reigning champion Daryl Selby, who beat Adrian Waller in the quarter-finals 11/1, 11/3, 11/13, 11/4. Selby saw off Matthew in the final of the event last year.

Of his win over Simpson, Matthew said: “Chris played very well, and in the end the scoreline really doesn’t reflect what a hard match it was. He reminds me a lot of myself – we have the same coach, he takes the ball early, volleys everything and puts you under pressure. I hope I’m as irritating to play as that, because he certainly is!”