Nicol David and Nick Matthew added to their British Open title collections at a packed O2 Arena today …
Allam British Open 2012, Finals: Nicol David (Mas) bt  Nour El Sherbini (Egy) 11/6, 11/6 , 11/6 (33m)  Nick Matthew (Eng) bt  Ramy Ashour (Egy) 11/9, 11/4, 11/8 (49m)
It’s a Nick Hat-Trick at the O2
Nick Matthew retained his British Open title with an immaculate display in the final to beat Ramy Ashour in straight games, to the delight of the packed home crowd at the O2 Arena, and in the process bacome the only Englishman ever to win the coveted title three times.
Matthew got the better of a tight opening game 11/8, then played superbly to take the second 11/4 and at 7/2 in the third with Ashour making errors, a quick finish looked on the cards.
A fightback to lead 8/7 from the Egyptian proved in vain as Matthew took the next four points to make in a hat-trick of British Open titles for the Yorkshireman, who is already looking forward to defending the title in his home county next year.
“You can never plan what you are going to do against Ramy, he plays shots with so fine margin, those shots that he tinned today, had they been good, they would have been winners. I was lucky they found the tin.
“I was joking just now with Jahangir Khan, telling him “only 7 to go”…. I’m 32 this summer, not many more for me probably, but there will be a lot more for Ramy I’m sure.
“Next year, I’ll be defending my title, it will be in my home territory next, and if the other players think this is England territory, wait until you come to your home turf!!!!”
“This match was probably one match too far after the effort I produced this week, it took a lot out of me, but yet again, it was a quality match, Nick played very well. Maybe I should have been more patient when I realised that my shots were not going in at all today…
“Nick deserves this victory today, he played very well, but I’ll still try to keep a smile on my face for my summer training…”
Nicol David claims a fourth British Open title
But young Nour El Sherbini acquitted herself well, beyond any reasonable expectations if we’re honest, staying with Nicol David for the first half of the first two games before Nicol pulled clear to take them 11/6, 11/6.
The third went away from her quickly though, as Nicol kept playing the solid, steady, accurate nimble squash that she executes to perfection, taking eight points in a row to move to 9/3 and then 10/4.
Still Nour made a fight of it, three lets and two match balls saved, but in the end there was only going to be one winner, as Nicol did a little skip of delight as she won the final point to take her fourth British Open title.
“At the start of the match, she has those burst of energy coming through her shots, so I made sure I lengthen the rallies, and she finally bowed. But how GREAT are her shots!!!!
“At the end of the last game, she suddenly relaxed, and went for her shots. And I could see in her eyes that she was taking it one, and I could feel that she was not ready to let me go yet…
“I wanted so much to win it, because I lost it last time, and it’s not easy losing, I HATE losing, and that why I keep winning…”
“I don’t know exactly what happened, I knew I had to have perfect shots today if I wanted to match her game, she is the world number one, she is such a strong player, but my shots were just not there, and I just couldn’t play my game.
“But I’m not sad, I’m so happy I reached the final of the British Open, maybe next year, maybe next tournament….”
“Squash has always been part of my family, I used to play squash, my brother used to play squash for many years, he played in the British Open for years, my children play squash, and for me, squash is not a commercial affair, it’s part of my family.
Dr Assem Allam