World Squash Championship: Nick Matthew wins world final
England's Nick Matthew won his third world squash title in four years with a dramatic victory over French second seed Gregory Gaultier in Manchester.
Matthew, 33, played magnificently to win 11-9 11-9 11-13 7-11 11-2 in front of his home crowd.
Gaultier had the momentum after clawing back a two-game deficit, but Matthew proved much the stronger in the decider.
"It was tough, it was such a mental battle," said the Yorkshireman.
"What people don't see is that mental torment, that mental chess. There's no space to breathe, to move. It's such a mental battle. I need a month off after that.
Recent world champions
- 2012: Ramy Ashour (Egy)
- 2011: Nick Matthew (Eng)
- 2010: Nick Matthew (Eng)
- 2009: Amr Shabana (Egy)
- 2008: Ramy Ashour (Egy)
"I could gladly retire tomorrow - I won't, but I could."
Gaultier, 30, finished runner-up for the fourth time in his career, despite having looked like the man to beat for much of the week.
The fiery Frenchman, who beat Matthew comprehensively to win the US Open last month, had talked about how much calmer he felt on court.
That appeared to be the case as Gaultier opened up a 9-6 lead in the opening game, but Matthew's battling qualities came to the fore as he reeled off five points to take it.
The Englishman took the game when he was awarded a stroke after interference from Gaultier, and the second game was a carbon copy as Matthew came back from 7-4 down and clinched it in similar fashion.
Matthew fought back once again in the third from facing three game points at 7-10 to earn a first match ball, only for Gaultier to save it with a fantastic winner and go on to clinch the game.
Gaultier took the fourth in 14 minutes to force a decider, but Matthew's fitness and mental strength ultimately overwhelmed the Frenchman, who was barely able to walk by the closing stages.
"The fourth game went like a blur really," added Matthew. "I was having nightmares there for a moment.
"It took a lot of mental strength to come back and start the fifth game well."
Gaultier revealed that he had been struggling with cramp towards the end of the match after congratulating Matthew.
He said: "Nick played well, he did his job.
"I played better in the third and fourth games but at the end of the fourth I started to feel cramp in my thigh, and in the fifth I just could not move because of the cramp.
"Of course the schedule plays a role. My schedule was the worst the whole week, all the last matches. He played all the first matches, had much longer recovery.
"When you finish like 11pm every night and you can't go to sleep before 3am after food and recovery, at the end of the week it will take its toll."