Fram Remembers: Nick Matthew Patchwork

Fram Gommendy reports

My relationship with Nick Matthew sort of started with a “Fram, you know f.a. about squash” in an aftermatch interview during a Super Series in 2005. I always smile about it when I think about it because GOD HE WAS RIGHT!

We had our ups and downs. Nick sometimes says things without really meaning them, it just comes out, and then, he apologises heartfully and profusely… But it has caused him a few problems over the years, I know how that goes as it takes one to recognise one!

He is generous to a fault, and his humility has only one match: his determination. His extraordinary talent was his ability to surpass himself time and time again.

Only once I saw him let it go, it was in a match against Ramy, in the Tournament of Champions 2010. Their previous match, days before, was a mammoth 110m (thanks Squashinfo) in Saudi Al Khobar 2009 final, ending 11/8 in the 5th. In NY, Nick just mentally couldn’t push his body through the same ordeal, a quick 49m, 3/1, ending 11/3, 11/4 for Ramy.

It was only his 9th match against the Artist. He went to play him another 24 times, with probably his sweetest victory being beating Ramy 3/0 in the British Open final 2012, same 49m….

Probably the one that stays in my mind is the Canary Wharf 2010 final against Gregory Gaultier, after an incredible amazing endless astonishing semi against Arch Rival James Willstrop. Nick who was not able to move and was aching from every muscle, arrived on the court and in front of a disheartened French Champion, started to do pushups on the court. He won…. I KID YOU NOT!

But that will be for another article, which I hope Nick would write for us…

If we sometimes don’t see eye to eye, we/I believe/hope, have got a lot of respect for each other – I hope – and here are a few articles, photos, and thoughts that I just found while browsing my notes, more to come for sure soon…

2014 – SquashDashersBashers

“Nick Matthew, the number one player in the world, would, if you asked him, play a final with one hand tied behind his back, he’d play a tournament in hell, he’d play his best squash with a snow shovel, he would play, because he plays purely for the love of this game….”

Read more in a Squashdashersbashers Blog

2015 – Nick’s Best ever squash memory

2016 – Talking with Maestro Amr Shabana