Three time British Open Champion Nick Matthew defeated World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy in the semi-finals of the 2017 Allam British Open Squash Championships being staged at the Airco Arena in Hull to reach his fifth British Open final.
A historic day of semi-final action at the 2017 Allam British Open - the sport’s oldest and most established tournament - saw English trio Nick Matthew, Laura Massaro and Sarah-Jane Perry earn their final berths in Hull’s Airco Arena - marking the first time in 64 years that England has provided three finalists.
Matthew, a three-time British Open champion, dethroned defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy in his semi-final fixture to reach his first World Series final since October’s U.S. Open.
The 36-year-old Yorkshireman fought back from 8-6 and 7-3 down in the opening two games to go 2-0 up and survived a resurgence from ElShorbagy - which saw the Egyptian take the third - to seal an 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5 victory that will see him do battle with two-time winner Gregory Gaultier in the final.
“I was trying not to let the adrenaline get to me, I could feel my heart beating through my head knowing the crowd were cheering," said fourth seed Matthew.
“I felt him wavering at the end which gave me belief. Never mind the World Rankings, I’m the World No.1 for my age. The peak is about five years ago, but me and Greg are trying to rip up that rulebook, we are always exchanging text messages saying stuff like ‘there is still life in the old dog’.
“I’ve not been in many World Series finals recently. I know what I need to be doing, but it’s not always as easy as that. Once you get to a certain age you know what it looks like, but in many ways that makes it harder to implement."
Matthew’s win over ElShorbagy means the Egyptian will lose his World No.1 ranking next month, dropping to World No.3 - with Gaultier in pole position to profit.
A win for Gaultier in the final will see the 34-year-old become the oldest ever World No.1, while a defeat will instead see World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad sit atop the World Rankings when they are released on April 1.
Gaultier moved through to the final after last year’s runner-up Ramy Ashour retired after the opening game due to a hip injury - the latest problem in a career that has been ravaged by injury over the past three years.
2017 Men’s Allam British Open Semi-Final Results:
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5 (75m)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt  Ramy Ashour (EGY) 3-0: 11-9 ret. (20m)
2017 Men’s Allam British Open Final:
 Nick Matthew (ENG) v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
Official event website: www.allambritishopensquash2017.com
For more information, visit: www.nickmatthew.co.uk
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