Glasgow: Arms aloft and drenched in sweat, England’s Nick Matthew said he had to resort to "caveman" squash to retain his Commonwealth Games gold in a five-set thriller on Monday.
Three-time world champion Matthew, who won the men’s singles and doubles titles in New Delhi four years ago, beat compatriot James Willsdrop 11-9 8-11 11-5 6-11 11-5 at the Scotstoun Sports Campus.
"Those who know me know that I am not often speechless but I haven`t really got much to say about that. What a battle,” Matthew, England’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony, told reporters.
“We`ve had some over the years but what a great stage to do it on. I just take my hat off to James.
"I was so edgy with my drop-shots throughout whole game. I felt like I was hitting them with a different racket.
"My coach told me just to hack it to the back, to resort to old-fashioned caveman squash and that`s what I did.”
Winning a Commonwealth medal remains one of the top prizes in squash after the International Olympic Committee rejected proposals for it to feature at the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games.
Like Matthew, Malaysia`s Nicol David, who has been women’s world number one for 99 months and has won the World Open title a record seven times, claimed her second Commonwealth gold medal after beating England`s Laura Massaro 12-10 11-2 11-5.
“It is a great win - probably even more special being the Commonwealth Games gold medal,” the 30-year-old David said.
"It`s the pinnacle of any squash multi-sport games to be winning this gold.
"A lot of people don`t understand that all the top squash players are from the Commonwealth, apart from maybe some of the Egyptians. You have the top four players here and it`s just world class.
“To win the gold, you are up there with the best. I am really glad to be part of that group."