Matthew wins third world title
Great Britain's Nick Matthew has become world champion for the third time after claiming a thrilling victory over Frenchman Gregory Gaultier at the AJ Bell World Squash Championship in Manchester.
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Seeded fourth, the Sheffield player reached the final after defending champion Ramy Ashour was forced to pull out of their semi-final with injury.
He returned on Sunday to play out a rollercoaster match with his second-seeded opponent which saw Matthew go two sets ahead before Gaultier levelled at 2-2 to send the match into a decider.
However, any disappointment or anxiety Matthew may have felt at being pegged back was overcome as he enjoyed an emphatic final set to win 11/9 11/9 11/13 7/11 11/2.
The pair had met most recently in the US Open final just two weeks ago when Gaultier had crushed Matthew in straight games.
Matthew fought back from 7-4 and 9-6 down to take the opening game at Manchester Central after 26 minutes after being awarded a stroke.
Gaultier questioned the decision via the fourth official, using 'Video Review', but it was upheld.
The second game followed a similar pattern, with Gaultier again leading 7-4 and then 8-6, before a series of winners took Matthew to game ball.
An almost identical shot to the one at the end of the first game again led to a stroke for Matthew. Gaultier's appeal to the fourth official again confirmed the decision.
The Frenchman responded in the third game, going from 7-6 down to game ball at 10-7.
However, Matthew won four consecutive points to move to match ball but Gaultier levelled with a drop shot and then took the next two points to win the game.
Gaultier was then unstoppable in the fourth, winning six points in a row from two all before claiming the game to send the match into a decider.
However, the Frenchman appeared weary in contrast to a focused Matthew who was on a different level and he wrapped up victory in 111 minutes.
"That fourth game was a bit of a blur," Matthew said at courtside.
"It took a lot of strength to come back from that.
"I played Greg once in Toulouse - but never thought I'd experience such a fantastic home crowd response like this for me!"
Of his last battle with Gaultier in Philadelphia, Matthew said: "He gave me a lesson then.
"Tonight's match was tough - such a mental battle.
"I could gladly retire now, after three finals and three wins - but I won't do!
"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would achieve this!"
The tie was the longest of the championship and saw the world number four join Australian Geoff Hunt, Pakistan pair Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan and Egyptian Amr Shabana to win three world titles.
Gaultier, the world number two from Aix-en-Provence, becomes a member of a trio of fellow former world number ones - including Pakistan's Qamar Zaman and Australian Chris Dittmar - who have been finalists four times but have never won the title.