Matthew wins mental battle to lift world title

DOUBLE Commonwealth champion Nick Matthew revealed he had to dig deep to find the mental strength to recover from a mid-match wobble to win the World Squash Championship in Manchester last night.

The 33-year-old beat second seed Gregory Gaultier 11-9, 11-9, 11-13, 7-11, 11-2.

Matthew’s triumph was his third in four years, though admitted the fiery Frenchman proved a tough nut to crack.

“It was tough, it was such a mental battle,” said Matthew, who won singles and doubles gold at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi three years ago.

“What people don’t see is that mental torment, that mental chess. There’s no space to breathe, to move. It’s such a mental battle. I need a month off after that.

“The fourth game went like a blur really. I was having nightmares there for a moment.

“It took a lot of mental strength to come back and start the fifth game well. I could gladly retire tomorrow. I won’t, but I could.”

Matthew recovered from 9-6 down in the opening game and 7-4 behind in the second to build a 2-0 overall lead.

The Englishman saved three game points in the third, before Gautier, 30, eventually clinched it then won a 14-minute fourth game to force a decider.

But Matthew held his nerve to emerge victorious.