Commonwealth Games: Strong start for Nick Matthew in squash

Last Updated: Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 19:07

Glasgow: Commonwealth Games men`s squash singles champion Nick Matthew is safely through to the round of 32 in the 2004 event after taking less than an hour to see off Xavier Koening of Mauritius 11-3, 11-3, 11-1.

The world number two was given the honour of being England`s flag barrier at the opening ceremony at Celtic Park on Wednesday night and his good mood continued with a straight-forward victory over the part-time solicitor at the Scotstoun Sports Campus.

Matthew dropped just seven points against an opponent who entered the arena forgetting his racquet.

The 33-year-old was always in control as he sets out to repeat his feat of four years ago in the singles and the doubles.

Matthew will next meet Chris Binnie of Jamaica on Thursday evening after he dropped just one point in defeating Ntholeng Lescesa of Lesotho 11-0, 11-0, 11-1.

There was delight for the home crowd after Scotland`s Alan Clyne, the world number 35, defeated Kevin Hannaway of St Vincent & Grenadines 11-1, 11-2, 11-2.

Many of the world`s best in the women`s singles have been given byes to the round of 16 which gets underway on Thursday evening.

World number one and reigning Commonwealth Games singles champion Nicol David of Malaysia starts her campaign against Vanessa Florens of Mauritius while Laura Massaro takes on Lynette Vai of Papua New Guinea.

The singles` finals in both the men`s and women`s events take place on Monday and doubles matches start a day later.

Meanwhile there was some controversy in the Australian camp after Matthew Karwalski won a legal battle to replace Zac Alexander from the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Alexander, who is seventh ranked in the country, was originally selected ahead of Karwalski despite the latter being ranked number three and winning the Darwin International Doubles.

Karwalski will now arrive in Glasgow on Friday after missing the opening ceremony of the Games.

"Matt joins the playing group having been a team member of the 2013 Australian team, which attended the world championships," Squash Australia CEO Gary O`Donnell said in a statement.

"This is a difficult situation for Zac, we feel for him."

Australian chef de mission Steve Moneghetti added: "It`s not awkward in my eyes, it`s very clear cut.

"The appeal process has been done, Squash Australia and the Australian Commonwealth Games Association have been responsible for that process and he comes into this village as an Australian Commonwealth Games team member."

Karwalski now looks set to partner Ryan Cuskelly.

AFP

First Published: Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 19:07

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