Well, sue me, alright?

Yes, exhibition matches are great fun, wouldn’t miss them to save my life, the atmosphere is great, spectators are impressed, you meet all your mates, but a PSA event (WISPA ditto), an official event, has an edge to it….

I saw all the Canary Wharf events, the first one with the surprise victory of James Willstrop aged 20 against Thierry Lincou in up to 9 scoring and 7 games. Then last year, a superb final where Whity came back from 2/0 against Intense Anthony to win the second Canary Wharf.

But this year... It was... more electric, more life and death, more... PSA.

The fact that it was so close to both the British and French Nationals meant that certain players were a “bit” more tired than others, and no offence to Alex Gough who could have won the match anyway, the exhausted new British Champion Nick Matthew didn’t have much chance. Same difference for Lee Beachill who made a “quick” exit against top form Peter Nicol.

No one was really expecting Karim Darwish, a brilliant player but sometimes with some shortness of fitness, to get through to the semis, and he went pretty close to taking Anthony out. And you punters, how many of you put money on Thierry Lincou beating his bogey player 3/0….

The final was also great. A determined but finally exhausted Ricketts against a fresher and maybe more hungry for victory former world number one Lincou. Once again, not sure how many would have put money on the Frenchman to win at the start of the event….

Yes, a real success, the 2006 Canary Wharf event was….

The crowd came in great numbers, and there was a “New York” feel to the place. Why New York? Because it’s the only tournament I’ve ever been to where all the seats are taken from the first round.

The compere, Mr Alan Thatcher was as professional as ever, and provided the press with invaluable information as the matches finished. Linda Davie, perfect tournament referee, was as busy a bee as ever, and this year, her colleagues John Massarella, Wendy Danzey, Roy Gingell and Jason Foster (plus Peter Laurence and Mary Scott-Miller in Wimbledon for the qualifier) provided a superb refereeing.

Angus ensured the well being of all the people involved in the event, The Boss, in the background, working away both on his squash and on the event, Ben Garner, brother of, and Andy Bunting, from Prince, giving a hand to sell tickets, distribute badges, handle all floor requirement, and the usual suspects, drivers, volunteers, Pat, Matt, John, Ken, etc…. And the Canary Wharf Events staff, efficient as ever.

But sorry, guys, the winner is Mr Tim Garner. Still calm in the tempest of requests, whinging and demands coming from the four corners of the Winter Garden, always smiling, never apparently stressed, he is the heart and soul of Eventis. I do declare he is a gem of a man, of a professional, and of a friend.

In the words of the sponsor …… during the presentation, “let’s make this event better and bigger next year”.

Well, that one was good enough for me.

See you next year…