AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix 2015
09-14 Sep, Manchester, $70k
14-Sep, Final:  Mohamed Elshorbagy
3-1  Nick Matthew (Eng) 11/7, 12/10, 9/11, 11/6 (65m)
dethrones Matthew in Manchester
was the top seed and world #1 versus the defending champion and
world #2, and their head to head was 7-all, and the British Grand
Prix final was as close as those stats, and the betting odds, would
Shorbagy took the lead, then clawed back a Matthew lead in the
second, saving three game balls as he doubled his lead 12/10.
Englishman struck back in the third but his intensity level seemed
to drop in the fourth as the young Egyptian moved 10/3 ahead,
eventually taking the match, and the title, 11/6 in just over the
"I came out fighting for my life for each point and I am glad it
turned out to be a very good match in the end," said the new
“Last year at this event it didn’t got well for me, losing in the
quarter-finals, so it’s great to come back here this year and get my
first title of the season."
Matthew back in final Defending
champion Nick Matthew returned to the final in Manchester as
he beat Karim Abdel Gawad in straight games in the first semi-final.
The Englishman was always in front in the first two, and at 10-7 in
the third a quick finish seemed likely, but Gawad fought back to
force extra points, Matthew eventually taking the match on his
fourth match ball..
“I was a bit on edge having never played him before, and he’s had
two five-setters so it’s hard to get that off your mind too,” said
“It’s early in the season and I’m not the finished article yet, I’ve
done everything I can to get back, but whoever I play in the final
it should be interesting, in my eyes they’re the top two players in
the world at the moment.”
Shorbagy wins a thriller After
a first round exit in the first tournament of the season in China,
world number one Mohamed Elshorbagy advanced to the final on the
back of a marathon five-setter with France's number three seed
After losing the first game the Egyptian world number one fought
back to take the lead, but Gaultier levelled and at 8-all in the
decider it was anyone's match.
“I am really happy I am playing another final, my first final
here in the Grand Prix,” said Elshorbagy. “Another final with Nick
and we always have big matches."
12-Sep, Quarter-Finals: Matthew maintains the run,
Gawad holds off Rodriguez comeback The
first quarter-final was an all-English - all Yorkshire - affair with
Nick Matthew and James Willstrop setting out on the latest episode
in their long-running rivalry. It played out like many previous
editions with Matthew pulling away after a tight opening and staying
in front for the remainder of the match.
“I managed to get ahead after a close opening when were feeling
each other out a bit, but it got tougher as the match went on, as
soon as I relaxed he was all over it, just happy to come through
unscathed,” said Matthew.
The first upset of the tournament came in the second match as
Karim Abdel Gawad won a see-saw encounter with fourth seed Miguel
Rodriguez. The Egyptian controlled the first, led the second 10-8
but had to save a couple of game balls as Rodriguez mounted a
comeback. The South American dominated the next two games to force a
decider, but Gawad was on top from the start of the fifth.
“Last time he beat me 3-0 in 30 minutes, so even when I was 2-0 up I
knew it wasn’t over,” said Gawad. "I was upset how I stopped playing
in the fourth so in the fifth just reminded myself of all the
training I’d done and kept pushing and pushing even when I was 8-0
and 10-1 up."
In the second session Gregory Gaultier and Mohamed
Elshorbagy set up an enticing semi-final as Gaultier eased past
Peter Barker in under half an hour while top seed Shorbagy also beat
English opposition, coming from a game down to beat Daryl Selby in
just under an hour.
first game he surprised me and he was going short early on," said
Shorbagy, the world number one and top seed, "but it was a good
match for me.
"Greg's such a tough competitor and I'll have to be at my best to
beat him tomorrow. I've beaten him the last four times but he has
beaten me before as well."
11-Sep, Round One:
Matthew and Willstrop to meet again
The opening matches at the NSC in Manchester saw wins for two
long-time English rivals, as defending champion Nick Matthew
got the better of Chris Simpson - coming from 1-6 down in the third
- while James Willstrop shrugged off a poor second game to
beat LJ Anjema in four.
"We’ve had some great battles," quipped Willstrop, "but I’ve had a
year off losing to him, so maybe that’s a good omen!”
In the third match Karim Abdel Gawad denied an English
hat-trick as he won a see-saw encounter with Tom Richards, then
Miguel Rodriguez completed the bottom half of the draw with a
quickfire win over qualifier Grégoire Marche.
The the evening session saw the remaining four seeds progress to the
quarters, with Gregory Gaultier, Peter Barker,
Daryl Selby and top seed Mohamed Elshorbagy all winning
in under an hour.
Three-time World Champion Nick Matthew OBE is looking forward to
the new season and defending his AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix
title in Manchester after recovering from a minor knee surgery.
The triple Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist underwent successful
minor surgery on his left knee in July to repair a small tear in the
meniscus, an exact replica of the injury and surgery he went through
five weeks before Glasgow 2014, where he went on to win Gold and
Matthew has been successfully working through a rehabilitation
programme, and will begin the new season with a first round match
against compatriot Chris Simpson, with a potential quarter-final
clash with long-time rival James Willstrop.
new injury came as something of a shock, occurring in my first full
week back in training after a break to rest both physically &
mentally after last season. It is bizarre to say the least that
having never had any knee problems before I've had two identical
operations in two years,” said Matthew.
"The difference this year has been that time has been on my side and
I have been able to conduct a more patient and thorough rehab. The
aim has been to be fit for a full season rather than a one off event
like the Commonwealth Games last year.
“As always I've been indebted to the support of the medical staff at
the English Institute of Sport, both in Sheffield & Manchester, and
hope to repay them by making a successful return at the AJ Bell
British Grand Prix. I am as motivated as ever and hope to be in a
position to challenge for more major titles once my match sharpness
World's top four heading for Manchester
The world’s top four ranked players - Mohamed Elshorbagy, Nick
Matthew, Gregory Gaultier and Miguel Rodriguez - will all
compete in this year’s AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix to be
staged at the National Squash Centre in Manchester from the
11th to 14th September.
World No.1 Elshorbagy will be keen to avenge his shock quarter-final
exit in last year’s championship but will no doubt be wary of the
challenges from defending champion and World No.2 Matthew, World
No.3 Gaultier of France as well as recent Pan American Games Gold
Medal winner Rodriguez of Colombia, who is currently at a career
high No.4 in the PSA Men’s World Rankings.
Matthew will lead the challenge of home-based players, which
includes former World No.1 James Willstrop, Peter Barker,
Daryl Selby, Chris Simpson, Tom Richards and
wildcard Richie Fallows.
Played on a brand new state-of-the-art ASB all-glass show court,
Europe’s largest standalone men’s PSA World Tour event will also
feature Australian No.1 Cameron Pilley and Egyptian Karim
Abdel Gawad with the four remaining main draw places to be
earned via an equally competitive qualification.