leading 1/0, but at the end of the second,
there are two three points at the key moment
of the game where Iím extremely disappointed
with the referring. It would have been a
massive difference between being 1/1, and
being 2/0, you can deal with the fatigue in
a different way.
Iím extremely disappointed, of course, he
played very well, but Iím particularly
disappointed with the video refereeing.
This system has been put in place to support
the players and make the referring better
and fairer. But today, it went the complete
opposite way, we just didnít know what was
the line that the refs were following
anymore, and how to react to it.
And itís not so much a good or bad decision
that was at stake here, but the consistency.
Refs can take a bad decision, that happens,
but then, theyíve got to stick to that line.
In this case, I feel they didnít.
But I cannot stress enough how great Nick
played, Iíve very disappointed of course,
but I will get to win this tournament.
Shame, I was playing well on this
tournament, shame I had to lose that wayÖ
I would like to take this opportunity to
thank my team, the people that are taking
care of me, and that have been taking care
of me since Iím very young.
Also wanted to thank all the people that
came here to Rotterdam along with the people
that followed the match on SquashTV, thank
them for the messages I gotÖ
Of course, I would like to thank my
sponsors, my federation and my Club, Set
Aix, my family, my friends, and my sparring
And a big round of applause to Tommy Berden
and his team, along with the event sponsors
for such a great eventÖ
Matthew and David defend
World Open titles in Rotterdam
champions, top seeds and world number ones
Nick Matthew and Nicol David
both successfully defended their World Open
titles in contrasting finals at the Luxor
Theatre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands' City
Richard Eaton: Matthew makes it two
 Nicol David (Mas) bt
 Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
 Nick Matthew (Eng) bt  Gregory
11/9, 11/6, 11/5 (92m)
Supreme for Six
Malaysian superstar Nicol David collected a
record SIXTH World Open title here at the
Luxor Theatre in Rotterdam with a supreme
performance to dismiss second seed Jenny
Duncalf in straight games in just under half
The English world number two didn't do
anything wrong, made very few unforced
errors, but it was hard to see where her
points were going to come from, such was the
control that the Malaysian, moving and
hitting supremely well, was exerting on the
match and on her opponent.
Nicol led 5/0 in the first after some long
opening rallies, taking it 11/2, she led 6/2
in the second, finishing it off 11/5, and
was totally dominant in the third as
Duncalf's spirit visibly wilted.
Six titles in seven years for Nicol.
was ridiculously good today, it happened a
couple of times in big finals, in the
Commonwealth Games final, hereÖ. Itís a bit
of an anti-climax really.
She never let me get into the match, her
length was incredible, she was in front of
me the whole time, and when you have Nicol
in front of you, you are in big trouble.
I wanted to stay on there as long as
possible, but she had other ideasÖ
canít think of anything right now, no
This is my best performance ever. I didnít
expect anything but I wanted it so badly, I
didnít want anybody to put their hands on
that trophy but me.
I canít remember anything from my match,
because I was so focused. Just that I saw
the ball early, that I felt strong, and that
I didnít want to give Jenny anything. I
stuck to have I had to do, hunt every ball
down, and committed fully to each and every
I had a great support in the crowd, they
were magnificent, I had my parents, Liz, and
a big team of supporters from Squash City in
Amsterdam that came to support me. Itís
wonderful, those people have been around me
for the past two years now, and it proves
that if you have the right people around
you, you can realise your full potential.
Malaysia, a world title is huge, we are not
a nation with great sport victories, so I
just hope I can repay all what Malaysia has
done for me, and which has carried me this
far. And my parents always respected my
choices, and when squash was the choice I
picked, they helped and support me all the
The record is just a bonus for me, I donít
do things for records, just for the feeling
I get when Iím out there on the court, for
that challenge I get from the other players.
My World Open titles mean the world to me,
but I would gladly trade the six of them for
just one Olympic MedalÖ
Matthew still the
took a little over three times as long as
the women's final, but Nick Matthew retained
his World Open title with a scintillating
performance in front of a packed crowd at
the Luxor Theatre.
Gregory Gaultier, playing in his third
final, pulled away to take a tough first
game, but Matthew took an equally tough
second, then pulled clear at the end of the
third after the Frenchman took a small
injury break after a mid-court collision.
The defending champion made a strong start
to the fourth, and at 6/1 it looked as is
the end might come quickly, but Gaultier,
invoking the crowd to help, started on a
comeback that was cut short at 6/4 by a
couple of errors.
Once Matthew had re-established the lead he
closed the match out and raised his arms in
triumph ... still the World Champion.
NICK, TOO STRONGÖ.
What a heartbreaking match that was for the
French camp, at so many levelsÖ But letís
rewind, shall we.
truly believe that Qatar was still in Gregís
legs and head, and that quite logically, he
was not as sharp as Nick was ! I remember
thinking after the coming back from 2/0 down
against LJ that this could have cost Greg
The Frenchman started well, overplaying Nick
at the front and at the back, forcing four
errors out of the number one, rather
uncharacteristic to say the least. Greg took
that first one in a quite convincing
But from 3/5 in the second, Greg was showing
signs of tiredness, as I feared. Being tired
in the middle of the second game against
Nick is not a good ideaÖ. But I thought that
Greg had probably enough under the foot and
in the heart to weather the storm until heíd
found his second wind.
second game was massive, and if Greg was
trading behind at the start, he did exactly
what was to be expected, he dug in, gave it
a big push, and a match on our hands we had.
Beautiful rallies, great retrieval and
volley drop shots from both, the massive
crowd going hooooo, and haaaaaaa, nothing
between them to be honest, 5/5. 6/6.
From that moment on and until the end of the
2nd game, I had trouble following the
decisions of the refs, the four of them. I
was struggling to follow their lines Ė
honestly, yes Iím French, but Iím hoping
itís not influencing me too much Ė and
really struggled to make sense of it all.
Greg was struggling with it too, and when a
no let against Nick was overturned to a let,
at a crucial 8/10 that should have been a
9/10, pressure mounted in the Frenchmanís
head. He still took the next one, on
adrenalin, but lost the 9/10 game ball on a
ďcorner shotĒ, a straight drive that caught
the corner to shoot way in the middle.
robbed me of that oneĒ, shouted Greg in
French as he walked out.
Now, letís be quite frank here. Iím not
saying that Greg would have won the match
had he won that second. I truly believe that
Nick was just too strong tonight, at all
levels, and I suspect he would have won the
next three games, because he was ready to
stay on there all night, which I doubt Greg
would have been able to at this point. And
the way he relentlessly twisted and turned
the Frenchman in the next two games seem to
I know that Greg would probably argue that
the adrenalin would have kicked him had heíd
been 2/0 up, and that he probably would have
been alright. Iím only writing what I feel,
and although I truly feel the refereing was
not up to scratch tonight in patches, the
stronger player, both mentally and
physically won tonight.
England can be proud of their Double World
Champion, who by the way could do with a bit
more recognition from the Main Stream
English Press and TVÖ.
donít think I did one thing particularly to
grind Greg down, it was more a combination
of several factors. First, I tried not to
panic in the first game, like I did in the
quarters against Peter.
I knew that I was not playing badly, not
doing anything wrong in particular, but that
he was just playing better than me.
I stuck in, stuck in, stuck in, and just
started to attack a little bit. I got a
finger in the door, and then my body
through, and saw a chink of light and went
I realised that he was now slowing down the
pace whereas at the start, he was trying to
speed it up, so I kept on pushing and
pushing. And after I got the second, things
got a bit easier, although he took a very
good start in the thirdÖ
Greg and I go way back, he is not malicious
I promise you, we just had a few words with
the ref, but I cannot stress enough how
tough he is, when we were young, I was 18
and he was 15, and he was beating me
sometimes, thatís to show how good he was
from very young, and heíll put his hand on
the trophy no doubt.
What kept me going in the match was also
something that my manager Paul Walters said
to me, that the Shorbagy match was a
blessing in disguise, because it showed me I
could go through it, and after a few bad
losses, it gave me the confidence again to
know that I could rally as long as I wanted
I won today, it was pure joy, and pure
No one can say that I've not had a tough
draw - the second round against Tarek in
Victoria, after Qatar; the Shorbagy match;
being one down against Pete; Darwish
yesterday; and Greg tonight. I've not won
too many tournaments lately. I think that
when you get to number one, it's all about
My percentage of finals to wins, is good -
apart from Qatar - but you've got to win
finals. I picked my moment this week though
- no one can argue!
I would like to thank my mum and dad who are
here, with my manager Paul, coach David
Pearson, my girlfriend, physio Phil, and at
home Jade, Rob and Stafford, all my
apologies to the people I forgotÖ.
I feel for him, heís been in three finals
now, but hopefully heíll will after Iím