Nick Matthew out of World Series Finals!

James Willstrp (ri) and Greg Gaultier are the top seeds after Nick Matthew and Ramy Ashour withdrawn from the World Series Finals

England’s world champion Nick Matthew admitted today that he will be unable to compete in this week’s ATCO PSA World Series Finals in London’s Queen’s Club (4-8 January). The 31-year-old is still undergoing treatment for the adductor injury sustained during last year’s Kuwait PSA Cup – and which later caused him to pull out of the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters, the last World Series event of the year in India in December.

Matthew will be replaced by Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema from The Hague who will be making his debut in the championship. The World No9 will begin his campaign against Greg Gaultier (pic le), the world No3 from France.

“Worst kept secret in Squash – but have officially decided to withdraw from the World Series Finals this week in London,” tweeted Matthew this afternoon.

“The injury, however, is coming along nicely & I hope to be 100% by the Tournament of Champions in New York c/20th Jan,” added the world number two, who reached the final of the 2010 World Series Finals at Queen’s.

“Just got the message that due to Nick Matthew’s injury, I will be playing the World Series in London on Thursday,” Anjema said on Twitter. “Very excited!!”

Matthew’s announcement follows last week’s news that former champion Ramy Ashour will also be on the sidelines as the result of a hamstring injury. The 24-year-old from Cairo, champion in 2007, finished in third place in the 2011 Dunlop PSA World Series Standings after winning three World Series titles in the year.

First Pool round line-up (Wednesday 4th January):
18.00: Group 1 – James Willstrop (ENG) v Karim Darwish (EGY)
18.45: Group 1 – Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) v Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS)
20.20: Group 2 – Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) v Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
21.00: Group 2 – Amr Shabana (EGY) v Peter Barker (ENG)