British Open champion Nick Matthew moves into semi-finals

Nick Matthew

Defending British Open champion Nick Matthew beat Karim Darwish in the quarter-finals of the 2013 competition.

Rain forced the event to move from its first outdoor venue at the KC Stadium in Hull back inside to more conventional indoor courts.

The 32-year-old sealed an impressive 11-6 11-2 12-10 win over the Egyptian.

James Willstrop came from two games down to edge out out Australian Cameron Pilley 9-11 9-11 14-12 11-6 11-2 in a quarter-final lasting 107 minutes.

Nick Matthew

The third seed looked set for a surprising defeat after being edged out in the first two games but came firing back to win.

Willstrop will now face Ramy Ashour, the top-seeded world champion from Egypt, who came through without alarms by 11-7 11-4 11-7 against Spain's Borja Golan.

"The intensity was just so great," said Willstrop. "There was so much of it in every point it was like a brain-ache.

"I don't know how I turned it around. I didn't hold up mentally between games."

In the women's event, reigning champion Nicol David was pushed all the way in the opening two games by New Zealand's Joelle King before the four-time winner eventually prevailed 13-11 11-8 11-1.

Joining the Malaysian in the last four were English duo Alison Waters and Laura Massaro.

Waters was a convincing winner over Australian Kasey Brown, taking the tie 11-4 11-3 11-4, while Massaro eased past Egyptian Omneya Abdel Kawy 11-9 11-6 9-11 11-8.

Jenny Duncalf was unable to swell the English semi-final contingent to three as she was beaten 9-11 11-6 11-4 11-5 by Raneem El Weleily of Egypt as the top four seeds all made it through.

The quarter-finals took place at the Hull and East Riding Squash Club and Matthew, the only Englishman to have won the British Open three times, defended the outdoor venue.

"The Test match, the golf, and the Giro d'Italia are all off, but the British Open squash is on - so what's the problem?" Matthew said.

"I don't appreciate those who knock people who try something different. We have these different facilities, and it's great to be able to use them like this."

He faces Greg Gaultier, the only Frenchman to have won the British Open, in the semi-finals.

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