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Page last updated at 18:57 GMT, Friday, 10 December 2010

Nick Matthew defeats James Willstrop to win World Open

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Matthew secures world squash title

Nick Matthew became the first English winner of the World Open title when he beat compatriot James Willstrop 7-11 11-6 11-2 11-3 in Saudi Arabia.

The 30-year-old from Sheffield had also beaten defending champion and five-time winner Amr Shabana in the semi-finals.

It was Matthew's 16th win in 24 matches against sixth seed Willstrop, whom he has not lost to since December 2007.

The top seed also beat Willstrop in straight sets to win the Commonwealth Games title in Delhi last October.

Matthew admitted after his win on Friday that he had started thinking about being world champion during the last few points.

"You are only human," he said. "At that stage you are playing against yourself instead of your opponent. You are sort of fighting the demons in your head.

"You see the finish line and as it comes closer in terms of score it gets further away because you are drifting in your thoughts. With every single thought I tried to tell myself 'next rally, next rally'."

Matthew's victory will return him to the top of the world rankings above Egypt's Ramy Ashour, who made a second-round exit in Al Khobar with a damaged hamstring.

James Willstrop and Nick Matthew

Matthew crushes Willstrop in Commonwealth final



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see also
Why England leads squash world
01 Jun 10 |  Squash
Squash gold for England's Matthew
08 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Matthew and Grant claim squash gold
13 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games


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