Nick Matthew and Alison Waters win British Nationals

Nick Matthew

Nick Matthew and Alison Waters won the men's and women's titles at the British Nationals in Manchester on Sunday.

Matthew, 32, became British champion for a record fifth time with an 11-9 11-3 11-3 win over second seed and fellow Yorkshireman James Willstrop.

Waters, the second seed, beat top seed Laura Massaro 11-7 7-11 12-10 6-11 13-11 in one hour and 18 minutes to claim her third national title.

"That feels fantastic," Matthew told the England Squash website.

"People have made a big thing about me winning five, but to be honest, I don't count them, I just want to win them.

"James is a great competitor, and while he won't make excuses, I can do it for him because he was clearly not at his best today and I have the utmost respect for him.

"There is a rivalry between us, the same as there is with Ramy [Ashour, world number one] or Greg [Gaultier, world number four] or any of the top players, but, if that rivalry keeps putting bottoms on seats, long may it continue.

"The atmosphere for the last two finals has been sensational. This deserves to be an Olympic sport."

Londoner Waters, 28, almost let victory slip from her grasp as she saw a 7-1 lead disappear in the final game and had to save a match point before eventually edging an epic encounter.

"They don't come much closer than that," said Waters, who had a lengthy injury lay-off after tearing her Achilles at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

"It was tough all the way, probably one of the best games of squash I have ever played in.

"I know Laura slipped at the death, but I'll take that. It has been a long road back and I just want to keep winning titles and climb back up the rankings."

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