There was no rest for Commonwealth Games men’s singles finalists Nick Matthew and James Willstrop in Glasgow today after their epic encounter yesterday, but both won their opening men’s doubles matches with ease.
Matthew, bidding to retain his men’s doubles crown with Londoner Adrian Grant after the successful defence of his singles title, needed only 24 minutes to defeat Pool A opponents Bradley Hindle and Daniel Lewis-Zammit, of Malta, 11-5, 11-6.
Willstrop required even less time to overcome Gibraltar’s Anthony Brindle and Christian Navas with Essex’s Daryl Selby in their Pool C tie, winning 11-1, 11-4 in 21 minutes.
“I felt a bit tired this morning," Matthew admitted. "I felt like I had a bit of a hangover. It was pretty emotional. There’s not been much time for it to sink in, as it was straight back to doubles.
“I think I will really digest it next week. I’ve got to have the mentality that the job is not done. It’s only half done.
“Once I got to the venue and had a bit of physio and started to warm up, I fed off Adrian’s energy really. He’s so keen.”
Matthew and Grant, who are the no.1 seeds, have not practised much together recently due to the Yorkshireman’s knee injury, so Surrey’s Tom Richards stepped in to help.
“We’ve been timing my sessions so that my rehab didn’t clash with Tom and Adrian’s doubles, so I was watching them and paying attention," Matthew said.
“We need to give a shout out to Tom. He had no ego about it, he stepped in and really helped Adrian get that competition that he needed. We need to thank him because he’s done a great job the last few weeks.”
Willstrop, who is seeded third with Selby, also found it hard to come down from the thrill of yesterday’s final.
“It’s good but in a way it’s difficult as there are a lot of things going on," Willstrop said.
“Physically you’re a bit of a mess, but it’s the highs that I reached last night, with people watching. It’s just a wonderful atmosphere and it’s just such a high that you’ve got to come straight back to playing.
“We’ve got a great chance, as Daryl’s ready to go. It’s for him as well. There’s a lot of motivation. I’m desperate to win medals here and that’s the motivation that gets you up in the morning and gets you moving.”
Selby was also in action in the mixed doubles, where he and Cheshire’s Sarah Kippax, who are seeded sixth, beat Trinidad and Tobago’s Colin Ramasra and Kerrie Sample 11-1, 11-4.
“I’ve been itching to get on court all last week so it was nice for me to finally get on and James could get a bit of yesterday out of the legs,” said Selby.
“The scores in that match probably don’t reflect how long the rallies were. But I thoroughly enjoyed my first match.”
Also in the mixed doubles, men’s singles bronze medalist Peter Barker teamed up with Alison Waters to beat Pool D opponents Kale Wilson and Charlotte Knaggs, of Trinidad and Tobago, 11-0, 11-2 in just 10 minutes.
General News:Doubles Update
Team England Continue Great Doubles Form
Doubles Pairings March into Knockouts
Doubles Off to a Fine Start
Matthew Strikes Gold
Silver for Massaro
Barker Wins Bronze
England Going for Gold
England Guaranteed Medals!
Massaro Survives Tense Battle