#7: Tom Richards
RICHARDS USING SELBY UPSET AS TITLE SPUR
While the smart money points towards a sixth National crown for
Nick Matthew next weekend, Tom Richards is using Daryl
Selby’s surprise 2011 success as his inspiration for a first
Selby upset Matthew 3/2 in a thrilling 84-minute final three
years ago to claim the trophy, after twice coming from behind.
be foolish to look past Nick for the title with the form he’s in
at the moment,” said Richards, who is seeded 5/8 in Manchester.
“However, there are several players who on their day can produce
an upset. Daryl’s victory three years ago has given hope that it
is possible to upset the odds and win.”
Coincidentally, it is Selby whom the 27-year-old from Surrey is
scheduled to meet if he wins his first two matches.
“It’s a similar draw to last year in that I’m seeded to play
Daryl in the quarters after two tough matches against young
hungry players in the previous rounds,” said Richards, who plays
Tom Ford first.
“Every year the strength of the draw shows the depth of England
squash and this year is no different. It goes without saying
that every match will be tough.
“It’s a cliche, but I’ll take it match by match. I hope I can
reach the quarters and play Daryl, as we always have tough but
Richards defeated Selby in the quarters last year, only to fall
to Matthew, the eventual champion, 3/1 in the semis after taking
the first game.
lot has happened since then, though, with injuries leading to
Richards’ ranking falling from 12 this time last year to 26
However, the four-time PSA Tour tournament winner pointed out:
"I feel like I’m back close to the form that saw me reach 12 in
“Last year was a tough year with injuries and perhaps I
underestimated the length of time it would take to recapture my
form, but since the start of the year I’ve been playing well in
training. Whilst I’ve lost 3/0 to both Greg [Gaultier] and Nick
in my previous two tournaments, I felt I competed well.”
Richards, who also reached the National semi-finals in 2011,
would love to progress a stage further.
“The Nationals are very important to me,” he said. "The list of
past champions is littered with greats of the game, so to add my
name to that would be a dream come true.
“It’s also a chance to play in front of appreciative crowds in
familiar settings, which is always a pleasure.”