Nick Matthew falls at final hurdle in US Open
07 October 2011
Top seed Nick Matthew fails to overcome Egyptian third seed Amr Shabana in the final of the Squash US Open in Philadelphia.
The Egyptian third seed made a tremendous start, thrilling the Philadelphia crowd with a series of winning shots that left Matthew struggling. Coming backk from 6/1 down was a tall order, but the Englishman almost made it, getting to 8/9 but then having a let decision turned into a no let as Shabana appealed to the video ref.
Shabana then took the game 11/9 on another winning volley drop after 19 minutes.
The second was a carbon copy in reverse – Matthew dominant now, cutting off Shabana’s shots to race to an 8/1 lead, only to see Shabana fight his way back. From 9/4 down Shabana rediscovered his touch, got to 8/9 and this time it was he who was annoyed not to complete the comeback as Matthew levelled 11/8.
That second game used up just 10 minutes on the clock as both went for their shots, and the next two games were just as quick, 8 and then 7 minutes.
Shabana was totally dominant in both of them, reeling off winning volley drops and dropshots almost at will. Matthew was by now clearly struggling with his movement and simply had no answer, scoring just five more points and three of those were late in the fourth game.
There was no big celebration as Shabana put in one last dropshot, but the Prince of Cairo will have felt deep satisfaction at winning another major title. Matthew will put this one down to experience, and he;ll be back.
Surrey Sports Park is the London and South East home of England Squash and Racketball, with Nick Matthew and his counterparts regularly training at the facility.
(Picture and Match Report courtesy of US Squash Open)