Three-time world champion Nick Matthew has spoken of his disappointment over pulling out of the Qatar Classic.
The Sheffield star was forced to withdraw from the PSA World Series tournament after picking up an abdominal injury. Swiss player Nicolas Mueller has replaced Matthew in the main draw, with Gregory Gaultier moving up to occupy the number two seeding and set to take on Borja Golan in the first round this weekend.
Now Matthew faces a race against time to be fit for the World Championship, which get underway in Bellevue, Washington in less than three weeks.
The 35-year-old said: “I am extremely disappointed to have to withdraw from the Qatar Classic. I have made so many friends in Doha over the years and am sorry I won’t get to catch up with them this year.
“I have been advised to spend a few weeks at home to get over a stomach virus which has been affecting me and rest up ahead of the World Championships in Seattle in November. I wish all the guys playing in Doha the best of luck at one of my favourite venues on tour.”
Should he passed fit to play, Matthew will lock horns with Australian Cameron Pilley in his first round opener at the worlds. He could face reigning champion Ramy Ashour in the semi-finals.