One fact will be sure, even before the first rally will be played in tomorrow’s Saudi World Open final: For the 1st time of the World Open history (since 1976) the winner will be an Englishman. No, Peter Nicols title in Egypt 1999 did not count for England, as Nicol was a Scotsman at that time –in March 2001 he converted to an English citizen. Back to the semi-finals at Al-Khobar where the crowd did witness that England’s Nick Matthew (pic le) dethroned the Egyptian World Champion 2009 Amr Shabana (pic ri) in straight games. But Matthew’s 11-6, 12-10, 12-10 win was on the knife-edge as the last two games could have gone the other way. Second English final contender will be Matthew’s big compatriot rival James Willstrop, who got back from 1 game down to fight very hard for 87 minutes to overcome English team-mate Peter Barker 8-11, 14-12, 11-4, 11-8. Does anyone want to give some prediction for the final?
English World Open title for the first time!