Three-time world champion Nick Matthew is refusing to underestimate the threat close pal Daryl Selby will pose in the first round of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.
Third seed Matthew will be aiming to make a positive start to 2015 when he faces England teammate Selby at New York’s Grand Central Terminal on Saturday.
The Sheffield ace, ranked four in the world, told The Telegraph: “Daryl is one of the most fluent movers on tour; he soaks the game up so well and is a good counter puncher so I will have to be ready for that.
“Daryl is incredibly tough to play against especially when he is moving well as he did when we played in Manchester at the end of last year.
“It’s always difficult to play a friend as they know your psyche so well and what makes you tick.
“Daryl has been to the semi finals before in New York so knows what it takes to play well here.”
Matthew, who lifted the title in 2012, is in the bottom half of a star-studded field featuring Egyptian world No 1 Mohamed Elshorbagy, Gregory Gaultier and defending champion Amr Shabana.
The 34-year-old is seeded to meet Gaultier in the semi-finals.
Following a well-earned break from the sport, Matthew is looking forward to returning to action and has set his sights on competing for honours in New York, the British Open in May and the World Championships in Seattle in November.
He said: “It is nice because the three events I’m trying to peak for are quite nicely spread out throughout the year. It would be great to add to my three British and world titles before I retire.”