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Matthew Beats Gawad to Reach British Grand Prix Final


Defending champion Nick Matthew came up with a sublime performance to defeat Karim Abdel Gawad in the semi-final of the AJ Bell British Grand Prix, PSA M70 event to secure a place in Monday's final.

This eagerly awaited clash was the first ever meeting between the pair and provided a hugely entertaining spectacle for a packed crowd in Manchester.

After some tentative early exchanges, the Englishman quickly discovered how to out-manoeuvre his Egyptian opponent by dominating the 'T' and consistently driving the ball tight to the side walls to take the opener 11-7.

Gawad started brightly in the second, executing several powerful winners to establish a real foothold in the match. However, Matthew responded strongly, displaying a wide variety of shots, and demonstrated his physical superiority to clinch the second 11-6.

Faced with the prospect of a 3-0 defeat, Gawad performed superbly in the third, hitting some exceptional winners to amaze the gathered spectators. However, despite saving multiple match balls, the Egyptian just didn't have quite enough to stop the imperious Englishman who sealed the victory with a 13-11 win in a scintillating final game.

The World No.2 progresses to his third consecutive final British Grand Prix final where he will face either Frenchman Gregory Gaultier or World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy.

“I think I played really well today,” said Matthew.

“I think I’ve played better each day. Karim offered a different challenge to my other opponents. I’ve never played him before and with his silky skills he presented a totally different challenge. I never felt totally settled.

“It’s always the same when you play somebody new, so I feel quite pleased that I got through it. It feels like a totally new tournament with the new set up and different time of year. I just feel happy to be on court and doing justice to myself.”

Result – Semi-Final: AJ Bell British Grand Prix 2015
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [6] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 13-11

By Jonny Coverdale

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