CANBERRA (AFP) - The world's top two squash players will clash in the final of the season-opening Australian Open in Canberra after Nick Matthew and Ramy Ashour both won their semi-finals on Saturday. Englishman Matthew ended Australian David Palmer's fairytale run with a ruthless 11-9, 11-4, 11-5 win, before Egyptian tyro Ashour downed France's Gregory Gaultier 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 in a match of rare quality. The 35-year-old Palmer has been carrying an ankle injury but has been playing great squash, culminating in a win over world number three Karim Darwish in the quarterfinals. However, despite the vocal support of a large home crowd, the 2008 champion came up short against a player at the peak of his game. "He's had a good week and he's come pretty far in the tournament, but I wasn't going to let him have his fairytale," Matthew said. "The first game was quite crucial, he started off like a train but once I won the first game I had some breathing space and it was going to be a tough task for him to come back from it." Ashour and Gaultier renewed their Australian Open rivalry from last year, where they also met in the semi-finals. On that occasion they played one of the best matches ever seen in Australia, and although Saturday's match may have fallen short of that classic, it still came fairly close.