Matthew, Barker & Willstrop in US Open quarter-finals
Third seed Nick Matthew takes on England team-mate Peter Barker, the No6 seed in the quarter-finals of the Delaware Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships.
2007 champion Matthew ended Campbell Grayson’s run, beating the New Zealand qualifier 11-5, 11-5, 11-6.
“He’s one of those players who can keep going at the same level for two hours,” said former world number one Matthew. “So I knew I had to get on top from the start and I was pleased with how I did that, but he was still going strong at the end.
“Maybe I let my opponent off the hook a little in the last round, and it became a tough match, so I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen again.”
Londoner Barker was involved in another domestic clash with rising London-born Joe Lee – in, surprisingly, their first ever meeting. In the last match of the day, the experienced world No7 Barker had to fight back from a game down to overcome Lee, ranked 27 places lower, 8-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-4 in 66 minutes.
“Joe’s fit and strong, he’s coming up the rankings fast and it takes a long time to wear him down these days,” said Barker later.
“I’m glad everyone stayed to watch, especially after that first game,” he quipped. “It was pretty long and attritional. Joe will be happy with how he played in that one, it’s usually my strength, but I was glad to be able to come back and take the next three.”
James Willstrop will now face Simon Rosner after the second seed from England who eased to an 11-7, 11-9, 11-4 win over 22-year-old Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad.
“It’s never easy against any of these up and coming players,” said Willstrop, the 30-year-old world No3 from Harrogate. “You just have to try to keep your head, dig in and try to keep winning points.
“It’s such a great event here, the venue is wonderful, it’s a great city to come to, and the Philadelphia crowd is really knowledgeable about their squash.
“For the next round, Simon is another of the gaggle of hungry up and coming players, he’s fast, plays at an intense pace and he’ll be taking the game to me for sure!”
RESULTS: PSA World Series Delaware Investments US Open
1 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-1, 11-4, 11-7 (29m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt 7 Borja Golan (ESP) 11-7, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8 (105m)
5 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (37m)
4 Karim Darwish (EGY) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 11-5, 11-2, 12-10 (44m)
3 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [Q] Campbell Grayson (NZL) 11-5, 11-5, 11-6 (36m)
6 Peter Barker (ENG) bt Joe Lee (ENG) 8-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-4 (66m)
Simon Rosner (GER) bt 8 Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-7, 10-12, 11-2, 11-9 (62m)
2 James Willstrop (ENG) bt Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 11-7, 11-9, 11-4 (35m)
1 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
4 Karim Darwish (EGY) v 5 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)
3 Nick Matthew (ENG) v 6 Peter Barker (ENG)
2 James Willstrop (ENG) v Simon Rosner (GER)