Matthew lands revenge clash with
in ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic
By ALAN THATCHER
champion Nick Matthew has an early opportunity to gain
revenge over Daryl Selby following his shock defeat in
the final of the British National Championship.
The two English stars have been drawn to meet each other in the
quarter-finals of the forthcoming ISS Canary Wharf Squash
Classic, a PSA World Tour event which takes place from March
World No.10 Selby produced the best performance of his career to
beat top seed Matthew in Manchester on Sunday and said: “I hope
this provides the catalyst for me to rise even higher.”
It was a rare defeat for world No.1 Matthew, who sportingly
conceded: “Daryl didn’t give me anything. He played almost
error-free squash and deserved to win.”
a 26-year-old from Shenfield, Essex, triumphed 3-2 after 84
minutes of physically draining combat and added: “I feel I
played really well, but I had to against the world number one.
“I knew I had a chance but I had to raise my game to his level.
In fact, I feel I played a phenomenal match. I’m 10 in the world
and results like this show that I can go higher.”
Selby was delighted to add his name to an illustrious list of
British champions and adding the Canary Wharf title to his
career tally would be another enormous achievement.
However, he has to battle his way through a difficult first
round match against fellow Englishman Tom Richards, who
also enjoyed a successful week in Manchester.
Richards, from Guildford, reached the semi-finals for the first
time before bowing out to Matthew, who is seeded to meet his
great Yorkshire rival James Willstrop in the Canary Wharf
showdown in last year’s semi-final
has been rated as one of the greatest squash matches in the
history of the sport, with Matthew triumphing after two hours
and ten minutes of brutal, high-quality competition.
Matthew went on to win the ISS title for the first time, beating
French ace Gregory Gaultier in the final, and that
victory helped to propel him to the top of the PSA world
rankings. He became world number one for the first time on 1st
June during a year when he dominated the international
Matthew and Willstrop met in many important finals and
semi-finals, including the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and the
World Open final in Saudi Arabia, with Matthew triumphant on
Tournament director Tim Garner said: “It promises to be
another massive showdown if these two can reach the final again,
but there will be plenty of players trying to stop them get
semi-final last year was an astonishing match with both players
in top form and going absolutely flat out. They literally played
themselves to a standstill. James ended up being treated for
cramp as Nick went to match ball and Nick needed two hours with
the physio before being able to front up for the final the
Matthew has continued his fine form into 2011, reaching the
final of the Tournament of Champions at New York’s Grand Central
Station and winning the Swedish Open for a second year running
before missing out on the chance of a fourth National title on
Willstrop is the most successful player in the history of the
Canary Wharf tournament, winning the final in 2004, 2007, 2008
and finishing runner-up to Australia’s David Palmer in 2009.
third seed is Gaultier, who is returning to London determined to
follow Matthew’s example and win the tournament for the first
English players Peter Barker and Essex team-mate Selby
are the third and fourth seeds, followed by Australian
Stewart Boswell, Finland number one Olli Tuominen and
Spanish number one Borja Golan.
Germany’s leading player Simon Rosner, plus England’s
Richards, Chris Ryder and wild card Joe Lee, make
up the 12 competitors in the first round.
They will be joined by four rising stars from the qualifying
competition which takes place at Wimbledon Racquets and Fitness
Club on March 19-20 ahead of the main draw action on the glass
court at the East Wintergarden venue at Canary Wharf.
Tickets are selling out fast
and Garner added: “Last year’s attendances were simply
phenomenal. We sold out every ticket on every day of the
tournament and so we are urging spectators to book early again
to avoid disappointment.”
The fabulous East Wintergarden venue offers superb opportunities
for corporate hospitality,
with the gallery restaurant offering “the best view of squash
anywhere in the world” according to Garner.