England's Nick Matthew Wins World
3 November 2013
RESULTS: AJ Bell PSA World Squash
Championship, Manchester, England
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
11-9, 11-9, 11-13, 7-11, 11-2 (111m)
England's Nick Matthew survived a
dramatic AJ Bell PSA World Squash Championship final
today at Manchester Central in Manchester, beating
French rival Gregory Gaultier to claim the trophy for the
third time and become the first player since 1977 to clinch the
title after squandering a 2/0 lead.
The 111-minute triumph, fittingly the
longest match of the championship, means that the 33-year-old
world number four from Sheffield joins a select and
distinguished group of players - Australian Geoff Hunt;
Pakistanis Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan; and
Egyptian Amr Shabana - who have three titles to their
Gaultier, the world number two from
Aix-en-Provence, also becomes a member of a notable trio of
fellow former world number ones - including Pakistan's Qamar
Zaman and Australian Chris Dittmar - who have been
finalists four times but have never won the title!
Matthew went into the match 2/1 ahead of
his opponent in previous meetings in the World Championship, but
10/15 down in career-long Tour clashes. It was their seventh
Tour encounter of the year - the most recent being the US Open
final just two weeks ago when Gaultier crushed the Englishman in
Matthew (pictured above in action with
Gaultier) was clearly after revenge - and, before a capacity
and partisan crowd at Manchester Central, fought back from 4-7
and 6-9 down in the opening game to take the lead after 26
minutes after being awarded a stroke. Gaultier questioned the
decision via the fourth official, using 'Video Review', but the
decision was upheld.
The second game followed a remarkably
similar pattern, with Gaultier again leading 7-4, then 8-6,
before a series of winners from the Yorkshireman's racket took
Matthew to game ball - and an almost identical shot to the one
at the end of the first game which again led to a stroke for
Matthew. Gaultier's appeal to the fourth official again
confirmed the decision!
The third game saw a revival of fortunes
for the in-form Frenchman. In a sequence of incredible rallies,
Gaultier went from 6-7 down to game-ball at 10-7.
Incredibly, Matthew reclaimed the
advantage, winning four points in a row - the first of which
Gaultier commendably called down - to reach match-ball.
With the audience on the edges of their
seats, Gaultier levelled with a winning drop shot, then took the
next two to clinch the game.
Gaultier was on fire in the fourth,
winning six points in succession from two-all before sending a
service return into the nick at 7-10 to level the match.
The decider saw a noticeably focussed
Matthew come into the court alongside a weary-looking Frenchman.
As the game developed, it became increasingly clear that
Gaultier had little more to give - and Matthew, urged on by the
excited crowd, scored winner after winner before a tinned
response from the Frenchman on championship point gave the
Englishman the title 11-9, 11-9, 11-13, 7-11, 11-2 after 111
"That fourth game was a bit of a blur,"
Matthew conceded to MC Andy Kay when asked what happened
midway through the match.
"It took a lot of strength to come back
"'t they! I played Greg once in Toulouse -
but never thought I'd experience such a fantastic home crowd
response like this for me!"
When reminded of his last battle with
Gaultier in Philadelphia, Matthew agreed: "He gave me a lesson
"Tonight's match was tough - such a mental
battle," added Matthew, who had never before lost to Gaultier
after leading by two games.
"i could gladly retire now, after three
finals and three wins - but I won't do!
"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I
would achieve this!"
Matthew becomes the oldest world champion
since 1980, when Australia's Geoff Hunt won the title for
the fourth time in a row, aged 33 years and six months.