MATTHEW AIMS FOR A
HIGH FIVE AT CANARY WHARF
by ALAN THATCHER
Nick Matthew is the most successful English squash player
reigning champion, Nick has been in fine form ahead of the 2015
Canary Wharf Squash Classic.
Matthew, a three-time world champion, has been busy
adding to his trophy haul since claiming the Commonwealth
Games menís singles gold medal in Glasgow in August.
The super-fit 34-year-old from Sheffield won the British
Grand Prix in Manchester in December, and then broke the
record books by winning a seventh national title at the
same venue a month ago before lifting the Swedish Open
title for a fifth time, beating French rival Gregory Gaultier in
straight games in Linkoping.
Now he is after a fifth Canary Wharf success after beating
long-time rival James Willstrop in last
yearís final to draw level at four titles apiece.
Every ticket for this yearís event sold out before Christmas,
and Matthew always enjoys playing in front of a full-house crowd
at the imposing East Wintergarden venue in Bank Street.
said: ďItís definitely one of the best tournaments in the
world and the players always love the big, noisy crowds.
ďItís like a home match for the two Essex boys, my England
team-mates Peter Barker and Daryl Selby, and the noise levels
always go up a notch when those two are on court.Ē
Matthew shows no signs of easing off and added: ďAs you get
older itís a question of training smarter, not harder, and
taking more care when you plan your tournament schedule so that
you can peak for major events."
winning a gold medal in the singles, beating James Willstrop in
a final of phenomenal artistry, quality and commitment, Nick
teamed up with Adrian Grant to reach the final of the menís
doubles in Glasgow.
Here are his thoughts on a range if squash topics as we approach
the 2015 Canary Wharf Classic.
As professionals, we hardly play doubles. When we played the
Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 we were possibly a
little naÔve in thinking that, as professionals, we could just
turn up and play.
since then we have embraced it and given it the respect it
deserves. In Glasgow we were just two points away from another
gold and Cameron Pilley unleashed two winners of absolute
quality to win it for him and David Palmer.
Adrian and I have developed a good understanding, and, however
we play, we always try to cover for each other, especially on
the bigger court used in Glasgow. We have known each other for a
long time and have complementary styles.
MEETING EDDIE CHARLTON IN THE FIRST ROUND:
train together regularly and Eddie and I have the same physical
trainer. Eddie also gets on court a lot with one of my coaches,
You never know who might draw in the first round so you have to
be prepared for everything. In Chicago I met Borja Golan of
As he was the No.9 seed it was the toughest draw possible, so I
was glad to get through that one. Borja has been five in the
world so in events like that you have to come in to the event
and be straight up to speed. You have to be sharp, match-fit and
earn your day off before the second round.
CANARY WHARF IS A MINEFIELD THIS YEAR
looks like a typically tough draw. Simon Rosner is playing well
and has just reached a career-high position of nine in the
world. With him seeded four and Borja Golan three, there are
some interesting match-ups right through the draw.
Adrian Waller is playing well and has achieved some good results
recently. As a Londoner, he is always looking to play well at
In the past you have had James Willstrop at the top, Peter
Barker in the middle and Daryl Selby floating.
But this year, with James having been out for a while recovering
from injury, the draw looks a little different. Peter is at two
and James is lurking in the middle of the draw and seeded five.
It will be very interesting. LJ Anjema is coming back from
injury and Peter Barker always plays well at the East
saw James return to action in Sweden and he played very well to
beat Chris Simpson after some obvious insecurity at the start of
the match. He must have been sore the next day and lost to Steve
Coppinger but once heís fully fit again, and playing
consistently, thereís no reason why he canít get back towards
He and Ramy Ashour have both been out for long spells and in the
past year and you know that the fans want to see everybody fit
and playing in all the big tournaments.
AT 34 YEARS OF AGE, PLANNING YOUR SCHEDULE IS VITALLY
As the years go by, you need to plan your schedule as
carefully as you can. You certainly donít want to over-play.
After New York I felt pretty wiped out. It was an incredibly
tough draw. You need to be clever with your schedule.
you get older itís a question of training smarter, not harder,
and taking more care when you plan your tournament schedule so
that you can peak for major events.
After Canary Wharf I will have my sights on the British Open in
Hull in May.
I want to win every tournament I enter and itís a case of making
sure that you are in the best possible shape each time.
You have to strike a balance between your short-term goals and
long-term goals. As well as sticking to the tried and trusted
methods, you need to keep things fresh and remember what you are
WINNING IN SWEDEN AND CHICAGO
Gaultier was not at his best in Sweden, and had a bit of an
ankle niggle. But he beat everyone 3-0 in the early rounds and
was looking good to me. Having said that, I was playing really
I won the final 3-0 (11-9, 11-8, 11-7 in 63 minutes). I also won
the Chicago final in straight games against Mohamed Elshorbagy
(11-7, 11-2, 11-7) in a similar time.
You always go into a match with a game plan but itís another
thing being able to execute it against someone like Mohamed
because he plays at such a fast pace and takes away your
But I felt I played well when under pressure. I was patient and
picked my times to attack well and Iím just delighted to get
another World Series win.
I may be in the twilight of my career but I am really enjoying
my squash at the minute.