Countdown 2: Nick Matthew

Countdown 2: Nick Matthew

Matthew aiming to add a third
Countdown Interviews by Alan Thatcher

Nick Matthew already has two World Open and two British Open titles, and is the current holder of both, but the Yorkshireman, seeded number three for this year’s Allam British Open, wants more …

1: After the European Teams, how will you be preparing for the British Open?

I have been preparing for the British Open for many months now. It’s an event we circled on the calendar at the start of the season to try and produce a peak performance for. This week will hopefully involve a bit of fine tuning as the preparation has gone well so far and I feel in good shape.

2: So many people would love to see you win a third title, you especially. What are the main differences between your approach to this event and previous British Opens?

That’s nice to hear. It would be amazing to win a third title but that’s some way off for now. I think I am more experienced now and I am more aware of my body and game to know what I have to do to get in peak shape for an event. Peaking is such a fine art, however, and it’s impossible to know exactly how well the preparation has gone until you step on there for the first match.

How has your training evolved over the years?

I still train bloody hard but over the years we have evolved into training “smart”. I have enjoyed a bit of an old-school period of training, though, coming into the the British, which will hopefully get me in peak shape.

What are your favourite British Open memories, both as a player and a spectator?

As a spectator it was going down to Wembley every year to see Jahangir and Jansher win many titles. As a player it’s tied between my first British Open in Nottingham in 2006 and the battle with James Willstrop in Manchester in 2009.

The first was a bit of an unexpected breakthrough for me but the crowd that night were amazing, still the best home crowd I have ever played in front of, and they really carried me over the line that night.

The second in Manchester was obviously a topsy-turvy match and all I can remember is collapsing flat on my back at the end of it.

5: What are your thoughts on Jahangir Khan’s incredible record of ten consecutive wins?

Unbelievable. Nobody will ever beat it, in my opinion.

6: One last question: Saturday was a big day – winning the European Teams on the day Sheffield Wednesday got promoted. Can Wednesday get back up to the Premier?

Ha ha, it was nice for the boys to do the business on Saturday so I could keep one eye on the football scores! Hopefully Wednesday will do a Southampton and go straight up but I would settle for mid-table next season.