NICK Matthew, the reigning world champion, faces sixth seed Tom Richards in the semi finals of the British National Championships today.
It is the fifth time in seven years Sheffield star Matthew has reached the last four of the Manchester tournament.
The 30-year-old, top of the standings in the world rankings, saw off Guernsey’s Chris Simpson 11-8 11-7 11-6 in 51 minutes in their quarter final encounter on Thursday.
Afterwards, Matthew paid tribute to Simpson, who is ranked 48 in the world, and believes both he and Richards have the ability to reach the top of the sport.
“It’s good to have these youngsters coming through and snapping at our heels,” said Matthew. “This tournament is a place you can make a name for yourself on home turf; they remind me of myself in my younger days.”