Harrogate coach Pearson feels pride in ‘true great’ Matthew’s world title

Nick Matthew in action against France's Greg Gaultier in the final of the World Squash Open in Manchester, November 3 2013
Nick Matthew in action against France's Greg Gaultier in the final of the World Squash Open in Manchester, November 3 2013
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The man who guided England’s Nick Matthew to a third world title says the squash ace should go down as a true great of English sport.

Yorkshireman Matthew stormed to a third world title when he beat Frenchman Gregory Gaultier in a thrilling final at Manchester’s National Squash Centre On November 3.

Harrogate squash coach Dave Pearson advised the 33-year-old to his triumph. And he now hopes the star will be recognised in the sports personality or Queen’s honours list.

Pearson has coached Matthew for 15 years as well as other top English pros Jenny Duncalf, Laura Massaro and Chris Simpson.

Asked what pride he sensed in seeing one of team grab the world crown, Pearson said: “It’s something you never think about.

“What he has achieved is unbelievable.

“For him to achieve what he has achieved, it makes him a true great. It’s come from all the hard work. I am more proud of that.”

Matthew was handed a final berth after world number one Rami Ashour retired out of their semi-final class.

He sprinted out of the blocks in the final, taking the first two high-quality games 11-9. But when second seed Gaultier hit back to take the next two games, Pearson advised Matthew to change tactics.

It sparked an upturn in play and he rattled through the deciding game to win it 11-2.

Pearson said: “Nick got his tactics wrong in the third and fourth games. I went to him before the decider and told him to volley from the front and tire Gautier out.

“Fortunately he took it all on board.

“He was superb because he lost to him really badly two weeks before at the US Open.

“He probably didn’t expect to win this one. But it’s great that he has.”