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Matthew in good nick as three English players enter final

Commonwealth Games champion Nick Matthew sewed up the world No. 1 ranking after setting up a repeat of that gold medal match against English compatriot James Willstrop in the men's final of the PSA Squash Masters on Saturday. MOONMOON GHOSH reports.

other Updated: Dec 18, 2010 23:42 IST

Commonwealth Games champion Nick Matthew sewed up the world No. 1 ranking after setting up a repeat of that gold medal match against English compatriot James Willstrop in the men's final of the PSA Squash Masters on Saturday.

Matthew had beaten Willstrop in straight sets during the Delhi Games final. Having reached the final, Matthew overtakes the injured Ramy Ashour as the world's top ranked player, though the official PSA rankings will be out only in January. "It's confirmed. Back to World No.1 in January. Over the moon to finish the year at the top, but still work to be done here in Delhi," Matthew posted on his Twitter account. On Sunday, the unofficial champion will hope to wrap up the final event of a very successful season.

Australia and England will square up in the women's final on Sunday, when England's Jenny Duncalf goes up against Australia's Kasey Brown.

In a thrilling semifinal encounter, Brown saw off Hong Kong's Annie Au 11-6, 11-9, 4-11, 2-11, 11-8 in 64 minutes, having been stretched to the limit. The world no. 7 displayed her incredible fighting abilities with a comeback in the first game. Having gone down 3-6 in the opening 15 minutes, she won the opener 11-9. In the decider Au went 8-5 up before Brown bounced back to win 11-8.

"It was extremely hard to stay pumped through the five games. But my training paid off and I was able to seal the match," an ecstatic Brown said after the match.

On her final opponent Duncalf, the 25-year-old said, "It is always tough playing Jenny. She's no.2 in the world. I'll have to play especially well tomorrow to get past her." Having met Duncalf a number of times in the past six months, the Australian will fancy her chances in the final. "I beat her in the quarterfinal of the Torneo International in October. So that was quite a confidence boost for me," she said.