2007: Matthew is new US Open Champion

Nick Matthew produced a devastating display of squash to overcome fellow Englishman James Willstrop in the final of the US Open to claim his first PSA Super Series title – and the biggest prize of his career – at theRoseland Ballroom in New York City.

The triumph – marking his sixth PSA Tour title – follows last month’s disappointment of surrendering the British Open crown he won for the first time in 2006.

The 27-year-old from Sheffield in Yorkshire made his ‘Big Apple’ breakthrough when he defeated the sport’s newest star Ramy Ashour – the 20-year-old world number two from Egypt who has won five PSA Tour titles this year – in the semi-finals.

The sixth seed’s stunning semi-final victory took 69 minutes, whilst Willstrop battled for 98 to overcome Egypt’sKarim Darwish in the other semi – 24 hours after upsetting Gregory Gaultier, the defending champion and newly-crowned British Open champion, in a 76-minute marathon!

But Matthew was too strong for fellow Yorkshireman Willstrop in the final of the $120,000 PSA Super Series Platinum event, winning 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 in 54 minutes.

“Nick was absolutely outstanding tonight,” Willstrop told www.squashsite.co.uk. “I’ve played him on so many occasions, and I’ve never seen him play so well. He was just far too good, and I couldn’t do anything against him. No excuses.

“He was a man on top of his form. I wanted to win this tournament, but he deserves it because he has made himself into a world class athlete,” added the 24-year-old from Leeds, who is himself enjoying a resurgence of form – last month winning his seventh PSA Tour title at the Prince English Grand Prix.

“He put me under constant pressure and got onto every single shot. He’s a great student of the game, and his training has made him able to play three tough matches in a row, and I need to work up to that level. I am very pleased, but I just didn’t have enough tonight.”

In a tribute to the support he and Matthew receive at home, the runner-up added: “I just want to give a shout to the EIS (English Institute of Sport) and England Squash, and all the others including the Lottery Funding because they’ve supported us and coached us.

“It’s a massive help, and tonight shows what they’ve done for us. It’s a big day for all the people who have helped. I’m proud for both of us,” concluded Willstrop.

[6] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [5] James Willstrop (ENG) 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 (54m)