Nick Matthew booked his place in the squash Men’s Singles Final with a hard fought straight games win over compatriot Peter Barker and remains on course to become the first man to retain the title.
Matthew was patient and then clinical in the long rallies in the first, forcing Barker in to too many mistakes.
The second game was the crux of the match. Barker attacked and gained the early initiative 7-4 and, in gripping play, the scores levelled at 9, 10 and 11 all. Matthew won a contentious let decision at 12-11 and Barker, seething with frustration tinned off serve to concede the game 13-11.
Down two games down, with hopes fading Barker carried the frustration into the third, allowing Matthew to seal an impressive 11-3, 13-11, 11-6 win.
“I couldn’t have wished for any more, to be honest. A few weeks ago I would have signed a million pieces of paper for that, I need to enjoy it and then really refocus ahead of the final,” said Matthew.
Matthew will play his old rival, James Willstrop, for the Gold medal on Monday in a replay of the 2010 Commonwealth Games Gold Medal match in Delhi.
Willstrop defeated his friend, Saurav Ghosal, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5, in a great spectacle of squash. With two contrasting styles on display, Saurav and Willstrop thrilled the crowd as the agile Ghosal retrieved almost everything the great stroke player, Willstrop, could throw at him.
Barker will play Ghosal for the Bronze.
“You obviously come for a medal and I will have no problems picking myself back up,” he said.
“It is an honour to have any medal at the Commonwealth Games and I will be fired up for it.”
England also harbour hopes of winning Gold in the Women's Singles. The womens defending champion Nicol David will play England’s Laura Massaro in the Women’s Final. Her Semi Final opponent, Joelle King, made too many mistakes to challenge her seriously in their 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 encounter which just took 39 minutes.
Massaro defeated Alison Waters in a hard fought Semi Final, 11-5, 12-14, 11-3, 11-8. Waters threatened to push the World Champion all the way when she levelled at 1-1, but Massaro won the next two games to confirm a Gold medal match against the top seed, clinching victory 11-8 in the fourth.
Waters will play King for the Bronze medal.
The action begins on Monday with the Men’s Bronze Medal match at 12:00pm.
General News:Doubles Update
Team England Continue Great Doubles Form
Doubles Pairings March into Knockouts
Doubles Off to a Fine Start
Willstrop & Matthew Win Doubles Openers
Matthew Strikes Gold
Silver for Massaro
Barker Wins Bronze
England Guaranteed Medals!
Massaro Survives Tense Battle