• ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic • 21st to 25th March 2011 • London •  






Today ] SEMIS ] QUARTERS ] Day TWO ] [ Day ONE ] Qualifying ]

TODAY at the Canary Wharf Classic
Mon 22nd March,
Round one part one ...

[6] Thierry Lincou (Fra) bt [Q] Simon Rosner (Ger)
          11/6, 6/11, 11/8, 11/3 (40m)
[1] Nick Matthew (Eng) bt [Q] Chris Ryder (Eng)
          11/3, 11/6, 11/3 (34m)
[3] James Willstrop (Eng) bt Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
           11/7, 11/8, 11/9 (40m)
[8] Daryl Selby (Eng) bt Tarek Momen (Egy)
           7/11, 11/9, 6/11, 11/4, 11/7 (54m)

Seeds safely through on day one

English rivals Nick Matthew and James Willstrop powered through their first round matches in the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic in front of a sell-out crowd at the spectacular East Wintergarden venue.

Top seed Matthew, the world No.2 from Sheffield, took just 34 minutes to remove qualifier Chris Ryder, the world No.40 from Leamington Spa.

Matthew, who faces former world champion Thierry Lincou in the quarter-finals on Wednesday, said: “It’s good to get the first one out of the way and I was feeling nice and sharp. I haven’t played a tournament for three weeks and I wanted to get things right from the start.

“I played Chris in the Premier league last week so I had a good idea of what to expect. I'm looking forward to playing Thierry. He is someone I have always looked up to throughout my career.”

Lincou was made to fight by German qualifier Simon Rosner, who played exceptional squash to win the second game. Lincou, the 33-year-old former world champion from Marseille, squeezed home in a tight third game and then asserted his authority to race home 11-3 in the fourth.

Matthew is seeded to meet fellow English powerhouse James Willstrop in the semi-finals. The 6ft 5in Yorkshireman overpowered 5ft 6in Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 in 40 minutes of high-quality squash.

Willstrop did not have things all his own way as his Pontefract training partner led 7-4 in the opening game and 7-5 in the second.

Willstrop admitted: “Saurav is one of the fastest players on the world tour. He is a very difficult and frustrating opponent because he keeps getting the ball back and forces you to play a lot moré shots than you would like to.”

No.3 seed Willstrop meets world No.12 Daryl Selby in Wednesday’s quarter-finals.

Essex ace Selby defied jetlag to beat talented Egyptian Tarek Momen.

Selby won the Rocky Mountain Open in Calgary on Sunday and flew back to London yesterday morning.

He struggled to move fluently at the start of the match as Momen fired in a succession of dazzling winners to win the opening game. The score see-sawed throughout the match as Selby won the second game, producing gasps from the crowd with an audacious shot played behind his back.

Momen asserted himself again to win the third game but Selby produced a gutsy performance to win the fourth and draw level again. Selby maintained the pressure in the fifth as Momen’s touch deserted him.

[6] Thierry Lincou (Fra) bt [Q] Simon Rosner (Ger)
           11/6, 6/11, 11/8, 11/3 (40m)

Experience prevails in opener
Malcolm Willstrop reports

Thierry Lincou may be 33, but there were no signs of advancing years in the first game against German number one and qualifier Simon Rosner. There were errors in abundance, offset by winners and it was a run of winners that saw Lincou go from 7/6 to 11/6 to take the lead.

The second game saw much fewer errors and Rosner reached 7/2 quite quickly with a succession of winning shots on both sides of the court, including one notable forehand volley drop. As Lincou resisted there were some heavier rallies which drew tennis-like cries from him, but from 8/6 Rosner, playing positively, cleared away to level the match 11/6, deservedly.

Lincou would have been less than happy at his failure to capitalise on his first game lead, but showing the resolve that has characterised his distinguished career, he took control of the third game at 3/2 and was never headed from then on as a combination of his winners and Rosner's errors took him into a 2/1 lead.

Lincou was not inclined to let another opportunity to capitalise slip, and as Rosner faltered and struggled physically he romped into a 9/2 lead and at 10/3 he served for the match and won it at the first attempt.

Rosner looks good enough to compete at Lincou''s level, but needs greater consistency. Lincou is no bad number, as he demonstrated, and it is good to see him so competitive.

To both of their credits the three referees were redundant, apart from keeping the score.

"He's a good up and coming player, and it's good to see a few new players coming through from Europe, the Egyptians are ruling the world at the moment.

"I'm still playing well and enjoying my squash, my aim is to stay in the top ten as long as I can, I should be around for a couple of years yet ..."

"It was nice to have a bit of preparation time before this tournament, the events have been coming thick and fast so far this year, but there's a danger of not being sharp so I was conscious of having to make a good fast start.

"It's always tricky playing a couple of matches on normal courts and he didn't manage to adapt to the glass until too late."

"I was playing well in qualifying and if Nick had left any openings I would have taken them, but there was just no way in there, he kept the ball so tight to the wall."

[1] Nick Matthew (Eng) bt [Q] Chris Ryder (Eng)
           11/3, 11/6, 11/3 (34m)

Matthew Impressive
Malcolm Willstrop reports

Chris Ryder is a thoroughly competent player who, whenever I have watched him has always given of his best.

Whether that best would be good enough to trouble the in form world number two Nick Matthew seemed doubtful beforehand, and in the event he could make little headway in the first game, as Matthew applied pressure of pace and accuracy.

Nor did matters improve for Ryder in the second game which Matthew dominated totally to serve at 10/4 for the game. A brief flurry took Ryder to 10/6 but at 11/6 he was 2-0 down, in truth flattered by the scoreline.

Matthew's dominance continued as Ryder, despite his best efforts, was forced into errors and Matthew hit his share of winners.

It was an impressive start for the top seed and Thierry Lincou will have to be at his best on Wednesday night on this evidence.

[3] James Willstrop (Eng) bt Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
           11/7, 11/8, 11/9 (40m)

Willstrop weathers Ghosal storm

For sure James Willstrop and Saurav Ghosal would not have chosen to meet in the first round, both live in Leeds, both train at Pontefract and they regularly practice together.

However the draws produce these meetings, it could be worse, the Ashour brothers for example.

Ghosal, looking more comfortable than he sometimes does against the world's leading players, began in fine style and after some quality exchanges deservedly led 7/4. Willstrop then put together a series of rallies, ending in winners, which carried him through to 11/7 with Ghosal perhaps feeling a little hard done by after playing so well to lead.

The standard of play was maintained in the second game with the Indian number one more than holding his own, once more leading 7/5 before Willstrop drew away from 8-all, winning the game on a mishit.

So far the match had been very entertaining and Ghosal's contribution considerable.

It was Willstrop who got away 6/2 in the third, the crowd enjoying the match, but Ghosal was not done with and, playing as well as he had at any time in the match, he levelled at 8-all and then 9-all before two tins cost him the chance of a fourth game.

Willstrop will be pleased enough with his performance and the fact that he had to work hard with a day's rest to come, and surely it won't be long before Ghosal is in the top twenty.

"He's mighty fast, you all saw that, and it feels as bad as it looks!

"It's frustrating that he gets so many of your good shots back and you have to do it all again. You have to be persistent with him but we play and train a lot together so I'm well used to that now."

"It's never easy to come straight off a flight into a tournament, and it did take me a while to get going, although that was a lot to do with Tarek, he's so fast and puts in those killer drops.

"I wanted to play more attacking shots but Tarek wouldn't let me.

"I was never playing at my best, but sometimes you have one of those matches where you just have to dig in ... and win!

"Now I've just got to regroup, get a bit of rest and try to put it all in against James on Wednesday. I've never beaten him before, it must be my turn soon ..."

[8] Daryl Selby (Eng) bt Tarek Momen (Egy)
           7/11, 11/9, 6/11, 11/4, 11/7 (54m)

Selby still on a roll

The last match promised much, but with Daryl Selby having just flown in from Calgary, there had to be doubts about how fresh he was.

The immediate answer was not very, and Tarek Momen eased to a one-nil lead. It was important for Selby to get involved and although he went well behind in the second, he recovered and finally levelled the match at one-all.

He was then unable to capitalise on that and the Egyptian, despite making frequent errors especially on the backhand side, took a 2-1 lead which looked as though it might be crucial.

Once again Selby, who doesn't give way easily, fought back and with Momen continuing to play unevenly, he was able to take the match to a decider.

It was anybody's guess who would prevail, but Selby's resolve is certainly greater than Momen's and he was now moving better than at any stage of the match, without being at his best. He took a 5/2 lead and from there was never likely to be caught.

To win under such circumstances is much to his credit and he will have a valuable day's rest before facing James Willstrop. Momen should be disappointed. After his wins over David Palmer and Gregory Gaultier he should have gone on, but he looked insecure in New York and more so tonight.

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